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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Envelope system   Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:48 pm

So my wife and I want to move to an envelope system for our budget.

I'm not sure where to start... any suggestions?
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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: Envelope system   Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:37 pm

I have to confess I don't even know what that is.

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"I used to be indecisive.......... Now I'm not sure."
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topshot rhit



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PostSubject: Re: Envelope system   Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:38 pm

Not sure what you're really after. Crown (and likely Dave Ramsey) has some things on using envelopes.

Most Americans (even "poor" ones) spend too much and carry too much debt (maybe following our government's example isn't wise). Keeping a strict budget should highlight those "holes in your sieve" as would reading Mr. Money Mustache (note: he's not a Christian and will use course talk sometimes but he gets the point across.)

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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Envelope system   Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:43 pm

@staybrite - the envelope system is what some of our great grandparents and grandparents used with their money. You have envelopes for each category - clothing, rent, groceries, gas bill, etc. - and once the money is gone, it's gone. You can't go out to eat with gas bill money, or buy cd's and books with rent money.

@topshot - I'm not sure what I'm after either. Some friends of ours use it and I'm trying to figure out how to set it up.

Honestly, we've lived with spending too much and having too much debt. We aren't as bad off as some but we have some stuff to recover from. My wife and I are trying to simplify our lives and not using a debit card by switching to cash is one way to try that.
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topshot rhit



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PostSubject: Re: Envelope system   Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:38 pm

ishmael81 wrote:
Honestly, we've lived with spending too much and having too much debt. We aren't as bad off as some but we have some stuff to recover from. My wife and I are trying to simplify our lives and not using a debit card by switching to cash is one way to try that.

Those 2 links I gave will help you out then!

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"If you are not concerned about your neighbor's salvation,
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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: Envelope system   Mon Nov 21, 2016 4:19 pm

ishmael81 wrote:
@staybrite - the envelope system is what some of our great grandparents and grandparents used with their money. You have envelopes for each category - clothing, rent, groceries, gas bill, etc. - and once the money is gone, it's gone. You can't go out to eat with gas bill money, or buy cd's and books with rent money.

I guess I've been doing that for years now and just didn't know what it was called.
I have a massive Excel spreadsheet that serves both as my monthly budget and checking account register.  Each month has most of the same bills so they are all in there automatically along with amounts for food and gas etc.  When the money is deposited at the beginning of the month there is already money "taken out" for those things and the available balance shows only the funds that are remaining after all of the bills and expenses have been allotted (and hopefully the amount is positive).

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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Envelope system   Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:25 pm

That makes sense. Unfortunately, I don't have the discipline to just follow a spreadsheet.

So, we'll withdraw what we have budgeted for each thing (except for the things we pay with check or online) and that's the limit for that thing until the next pay period.
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BearDad



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PostSubject: Re: Envelope system   Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:57 am

The important thing, no matter what system you use, is to be disciplined. The envelope system didn't work for me because it's too easy to swap money from one envelope to another. I finally decided there isn't any point in dividing the cash if I wasn't going to respect the division, so now I just have one envelope: my wallet. But it works for some folks; I hope that's the case for you. But like I said, discipline is the key.
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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Envelope system   Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:27 am

Thanks BearDad. Honestly, I think knowing that if I take money from one envelope it will affect another bill will stop me. It doesn't now because I can just swipe my debit card and before I know it, we're short for groceries (or whatever...).
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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Envelope system   Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:45 pm

So we've begun working on this... it's ugly right now.

Some prayer would be appreciated (I know this is the wrong place to ask).
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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: Envelope system   Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:13 am

Finances are always a pain, praying you can get used the system and use it effectively.

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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Envelope system   Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:22 am

Thanks staybrite. I think the money's there it's just a nightmare to organize how to do it all.
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kerrick

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PostSubject: Re: Envelope system   Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:07 pm

Veronika and I just started using Mint.  There are a handful of other options similar and we've tried a couple, but we concluded that Mint is probably best suited for our needs.  Anyways, it's an online tool, free to use, that categorizes your spending (i.e. groceries, restaurants, home decor...) which makes it easier to see how much you're spending on what.  You can also set budget goals, etc.  You just sync up your credit card(s), bank account, etc. and it automatically categorizes each transaction (though you can change them if it's wrong).  As we're trying to figure out and set our budget too, this is going to be a critical/central tool for us which you may want to look into as well.
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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Envelope system   Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:02 pm

I may. Is it similar to EveryDollar? It must be... I like that but we're at a point where having the actual cash will build our discipline.
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kerrick

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PostSubject: Re: Envelope system   Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:19 pm

Yeah I think it's pretty similar.  I don't think it's so much intended to be used for maintaining discipline as much as giving you an idea of where you can cut spending, etc.  Example, "wow I didn't realize that we spent $400 last month eating out; we could save a ton of money by making our own dinners," etc.
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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Envelope system   Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:39 pm

Yeah and we're to the point where we're going "Wow, we run out of money too much before payday... maybe we should plan where our money is going..."
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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: Envelope system   Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:13 pm

kerrick wrote:
Yeah I think it's pretty similar.  I don't think it's so much intended to be used for maintaining discipline as much as giving you an idea of where you can cut spending, etc.  Example, "wow I didn't realize that we spent $400 last month eating out; we could save a ton of money by making our own dinners," etc.

We do that all too often.  Life gets us busy and we forget then it's $55 worth of pizza delivery or $60 worth of Chinese take-out (yeah wait until you have two teenage sons).

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