My husband and I have tried different budgeting methods to help us save money throughout our 12 years of marriage. Some of them are really annoying, some of them are easier to use. But one thing that I can attest to is the overall feeling that we have when we feel in control of our money. There is a true sense of peace in our lives when we are telling our money where to go and what to do for us. So we decided to start using the Cash Envelope System again!
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Two Steps Forward One Step Back
At one point in our marriage, we had both of our cars paid off! It was a huge accomplishment on my husband’s small Seminary Teacher salary. Unfortunately, our family grew and we needed a larger car. Through our ups and downs in life, we have gotten sloppy with our finances and we have truly missed the peace that comes from taking control of our money. We are ready to make some habit changes and get back on track! So I decided to try out the Cash Envelope System again.
Cash Envelope System
We learned about this system from Dave Ramsey. If you want more details about it, here is the link. For our family, I chose 7 different categories to use for the envelopes. Some might argue that some of them aren’t necessary. But time spent with my family and my husband is absolutely necessary in my book. So we just keep the amount small so I accomplish my savings goals as well as maintaining my family and marriage relationships and making memories together! My categories are:
- Family (used for a small family activity)
- Clothes (I have growing children!)
- Slush (a small amount for unexpected necessities)
- Dates (Weekly dates with my hubby are a must)
So decide on the categories that are necessary for you in your life and be reasonable with the amounts that you decide to put in your envelopes.
Creating your Cash Envelopes
I created my envelopes using my Silhouette Cameo. It’s seriously one of the best gifts I have ever received. I use it constantly for creating all types of projects around my home. It’s especially nice when it comes to creating organizational labels!
For the Cash Envelopes, I used a Silhouette file from the Silhouette Online Store and just use the search term ‘gift envelope’, ‘cash envelope, or money envelope’ and it will get you some great listings that you can use. I tried linking the exact file that I used but the link isn’t working for some reason. I used various matching papers that I purchased at Hobby Lobby. If you do not have a Silhouette machine, I found an awesome video on YouTube where she shows you how to make them from scratch!
After you create your envelopes, I highly suggest that you laminate them. This will significantly increase how long these babies last. I bought a laminator years ago and I use it almost weekly. I laminate almost every printable that I create or download. It saves so much paper and it’s much more cost-effective than reprinting things that you use over and over that don’t last otherwise.
Keep Your Goal In Mind
One thing I have realized about myself is that I have lost sight of my larger goals. I get distracted about the here and now and spend money on things I don’t necessarily need. Does that sound familiar to you? Do you do the same thing? Please tell me I’m not the only one! If so, you’ve come to the right place. If not, you need to drop me your favorite tips below!
This is my challenge to you before you start anything else! Decide what your goals are! Have you been dreaming of paying down your mountain of debt? Have you been dreaming of that family Disney Vacation? Or maybe you desperately need a new car! Make your goal and print a picture of it and tape it onto your envelopes. This will help you remember what your big goals are and it will help you stay focused!
If you are looking for some ways to teach your kids responsibility and money management check out my post with free kids Chore Charts here. I also have a freebie with kids chore cards to allow them to earn money for extra chores!
Best of luck to you in your financial endeavors! Let me know in the comments what your favorite way to save money is! And if you already do the cash envelopes, give me your best tips! And if you like this article, share it with your friends!