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Anyone here try the 'envelope' method when it come to budgeting? Looking to try something new in the money management department.

I started a while ago documenting every penny I spent... four months actually. July through October- everyone swears that that is the way to go-just like watching what you eat- writing it all down makes to more aware.

Nope. Not really. It mostly just made me depressed that I spent a lot of money on a weekly basis.

But between the new car and now the phone plan. ... something has to change. I am incredibly impulsive and I fully admit to this so while I am slowly making progress I don't feel it's good enough. I really wanted to be debt free by 30 but the car shot that in the ass!

In principle I understand- don't spend more than to make. I get it. I don't need a lecture on materialism lol. But I really like my stuff and I have expensive hobbies but i want to make better head way on not blowing through paycheck after paycheck.

I'm interested in if any particular trick worked for you guys. I am seriously thinking about going green for all my regular purchases like groceries and fuel and such.

Thoughts? I get a new pay check this week so will probably try and impairment something new this week. Fucking bills man. I hate them...I wish I just married some old half way dead millionaire. Fuck.
 

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I just make a list of expenses, sorted by most expensive first. Then list my future weekly paychecks by week with the running balance. That's where I can start crossing things out. Very simple and fast.
 

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We just use an excel file that the wife made up. Got our bi-weekly take home on it, followed by a list of the bills that must be paid. The remainder is what we can spend on gas/food/fun stuff. It's worked well in the past, though admittedly we didn't have to be careful with money when we were in CT as we were well off.
 

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My parents did it and try to tell me it would work.

My problem is most of the money goes for emergency, unexpected, unbudgetable things

(hard to budget for multiple insurance claims, acts of god, thefts, defective things, accidents, medical issues, etc... I'd have to put most of the income in that envelope to stand a chance)
 

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I make a monthly excel chart with a list of all my expenses and the estimated cost in the next column. I fill in the next column with the actual cost of the bill. I only keep track of my 'fixed bills' with this method. For example, even though groceries are a major cost each month, I don't track them in my excel file. I have my mortgage, electricity, car insurance, etc. etc. listed. This seems to work pretty well for me.
 

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Sounds **** it did work for you I jo. It made you aware of y our budget and thats thw main idea.

I tried the cash thing but I hate cash. And like you I hate how much I spend. In my new office I was keeping a stack of paper coffee cup sleeves until one say I saw it and figured that 4$ each and I drank too. Much. So I had some instant coffee at home....who knows how old...brought it to work and made a promise.

Thats thectypea of things we need to do...cut the fat. Im normally very fiscally conservative but I recently went through a phase.

I recommend credit carding everyrhing and then forcing yourself to study the statemwnt once a month.

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I use an App called Expense Manager (on Android, dunno if it's on iOS) to track everything. You can setup weekly and monthly budgets and it's super easy to track and log everything. I have a monthly recurring budget that has everything listed out, rent, babysitting, bills, gas, food, and others. Basically I budget out each thing, and whatever money would be left after everything is paid is my play money. The good thing about this, is that you can use your play money at any time, but once it's gone, it's gone. Of course you actually have to track everything else, but I dig it, and I'm on a ridiculously tight budget right now. Every penny I get from work is budgeted, literally to the penny, and if I don't stick to it that means I can't eat, I can't pay rent, or I can't pay bills.
 

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I use my own bank program. it shows my expensing in every area(food, gas, shopping etc etc) and compare it to previous weeks/month/year
 

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Jo I got started on the write everything down method years back and haven't deviated from it since. It works best for me. As others said I write all income down for the month and then subtract out all fixed known bills - utilities, payments, etc. I pay for all my fuel with a credit card and that runs a month behind so that bill comes out of the balance that is left. The rest is what I have left to spend on groceries, fun stuff each month. Most months that is a depressingly small amount but I have found that by being aware of what I have to spend I can make better choices and get better things for my $ rather than just indulging in my every whim. Quality over quantity.

i have never been one to eat out for lunch or get coffee, soda, etc. from the machine or McD/Sonic. Pack my own lunch (I'm a better cook) and slurp down a half gallon of ice tea from home.
 

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You already nailed it- consistently spend less than you make. It works..it is just hard to get started!:)
Exactly. Its the whole purpose of budgeting. If you know how much you spend, you hope to be able to make changes.

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i have never really had a spending problem, one thing i will never do is have a car payment, if i can't afford a decent car out right ill buy a beater till i can, i have done it too. sold a 2 year old sports car and bought a 20yr old econobox that i drove for 18 months till finances changed, saved so much money on insurance alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was using mint on my old phone. I think that definitely helped .. . I think. Lol because some days it would keep from spending and other days it allowed me to justify spending.

I do have automatic savings that gets pulled out-long term and short term but I still feel like I am barely keeping it together rather than making consistent responsible head way. I don't know. .. I tried the cc and pay stuff off but despite militant observance of work out or dietary structures/restrictions- I always justify extra expense and I wind up behind. I used to be amazing at saving money. .. now not so much. I have to much cc debt ad is so I think it's now prudent to pay it down than just it AND try to over pay and pay off new acquired bills.

Again it's not like I am actively burying myself but it's more like I just don't taker it seriously and it is what it is. ... very much an enabler/rationalizer rather than the super spend thrift. Hmm. I might give the envelope thing a try. I know for I am more aware when I have twenty bucks. . I home physical cash pretty tight to the chest lol.
 

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Don't borrow money.

Ok fine you can have a loan on the house. But don't get a loan for a car or a bike or a sofa or any other toy. Paying interests on something that depreciate like crazy is not a good idea.
 

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isn't it easier to get a job where you make way more per month than your monthly bills are ?
Oh, duh!!! Why didn't we all think of this? Boy, what a genius you must be! All this time I've been going about it the wrong way. Thanks for this helpful piece of advice. I'll just go ahead and quit budgeting and grab that job this weekend. Thanks for the tip Warren.
 

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My method of financial handling has changed over the years, but what I do consistently is keep a running tab of monthly expenses in my head, as well as income stream. When i kept paper notes, i made sure to keep up with the statements, so I would know if a problem was on the horizon. Now I keep an eye on things electronically, saving each monthly bank statement as backup.

I have drastically improved my attitude on buying cars/motorcycles, I used to come up with all sorts of justifications for the purchase, as well as schemes for juggling money to pay for it. In the past decade, however, I have realized how much money I threw away doing this and resolved to change. Any large purchases that I consider financing needs a large downpayment (minimum 50% for vehicles, 75% for motorcycles), if not outright cash purchasing, and I must wait three days to think it over. I usually get over whatever I wanted by then, and move on.

As for bills and such, i have most set for electronic payment, and I pay the credit card off each week. For loans in the past, and my wife's remaining student loans, I pay off the ones with the lowest balance first, then roll that payment onto the next, as needed. As long as my job does not disappear in the next two or three years, I will have just about everything paid off, and the rest could be handled by one income.

Impulse buying sucks. To beat it, you have to be honest with yourself. Look back at all of your previous impulse buys, and ask if you really needed it, or if it truly benefitted you in some way. This will help you develop resistance to future impulses. Also, if you are considering buying something impulsively, take the cash and stack it up, then look at it for awhile, while asking yourself if you are really ready to part with it.
 
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