Budgeting,Tips & Tricks

DIY- Budget Envelope System

Y’all, I have a confession to make. I tend to ball out of control.

It’s bad. But I just love shopping.

The only thing that helps me be a baller on a budget is Dave Ramsey’s envelope system. When I first tried this system I saved about $2K in a couple months. Granted, I was living with my parents at the time so the only financial stuff I had was my car, car insurance, phone and any credit card debt I had racked up. But with using this system I was able to pay everything off and save money before Corey and I moved into our own home.

Once we moved in I got a little too excited about all the fun house stuff I could buy. All the money I had saved was spent and I was back to using credit cards.

I’m not comfortable with the situation I’m currently in so I need to get my booty back in check and get back on this envelope system. If you’re in the same boat as I am, keep on reading!

What you need:

Envelopes (I bought mine at Staples)

Wallet or some sort of bag to keep your envelopes organized. I use this cross body/wristlet from Lou Lou Boutiques.

Silhouette Machine & Vinyl (This is optional, I used my Silhouette to make labels because my handwriting sucks)

Envelope categories: 

Groceries

Restaurants

Upkeep (paper towels, tp, dish soap, dog food, etc.)

Home Improvement

Home Decor

Beauty/Clothes

Vacations

Gifts

Misc. (I normally put a $20 in there for emergencies)

Your envelopes can be for anything you want, buy they should be categories that you need to control your spending in. In Dave’s envelope situation they have gas as a category. I personally think it’s a pain in the butt to go inside and pay with cash when I can just swipe my card but if you’re into that, go on with your bad self.

How I use the Envelope System 

I get paid every two weeks. The first thing I do is pay all my bills that are due in that time period; phone, electric, insurance, car, loans, credit card payments, etc.

Once all the bills have been paid I can see how much I have left over for all those envelope categories. I also keep in mind what I have planned in the next two weeks and what I may need.

For example, if it’s a friend’s birthday and I know we’re going to go out to dinner I’ll put some money in my restaurant envelope. Or, if I’m running low on toilet paper and laundry detergent I’ll put some money in my upkeep category.

Now, sometimes random things come up and someone may ask to go out to lunch or dinner or whatever. That’s normally when my misc. envelope comes in. I’m a planner and tend to make plans way in advance so this doesn’t happen often, but it’s there just in case.

Once the cash is Gone, it’s Gone

Say I gave myself $40 in the beauty/clothes category. I go to Ulta, find a couple liquid lipsticks and spend my $40. I can not buy any more beauty products/clothes until the next time I make my budget. But, maybe I only find one liquid lipstick I like and I have some cash left over by the time my two weeks are up. I can reward myself and spend it on something I want, keep it in the beauty/clothes category or roll that money into another category.

How to Keep Track 

There are a ton of budget apps out there, I just downloaded Intuit Mint to help me keep track of my spending. You can connect all your credit cards, create a budget and track your spending Fo Free.

source

That’s all for today folks. Have any of you used the envelope system before? I’d love to hear about how it works/worked for you or if y’all have any other tips and tricks that help you be a baller on a budget.

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31 Comments

  • Reply
    ShootingStarsMag
    January 15, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    I have never done this, but I had a teacher in high school who was the first person to tell me about it and I always thought it was great. I’m fairly lucky right now in that I don’t have too much that I need to pay for, but I know that will change in the future and it might be a good idea to try doing this. Even now, it would be good for saving up for certain things or for “hang out” type of money so I don’t spend my whole paycheck, etc.

    -Lauren

    • Reply
      Maggie Lois
      January 15, 2017 at 10:49 pm

      Yup, you could totally do that! It is a great system, thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    chelsea jacobs
    January 16, 2017 at 8:06 am

    The envelope system really works for me when I need to pull back on spending a bit! your envelopes are way cuter than mine though haha!

    • Reply
      Maggie Lois
      January 16, 2017 at 9:21 am

      I know, I love this system! Lol, well thank you, they’re easy to make!

  • Reply
    Joan Merrell
    January 16, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    I love using the envelope system … OK, that’s a bit of an overstatement … but it has certainly helped me keep spending under control and get out of debt! I am so glad to see others who use this method and post about it. I have a couple posts about my experiences with it on my website as well. Thanks for sharing your take on it, and how you use it. Great post!

    • Reply
      Maggie Lois
      January 16, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      Haha, your comment literally made me laugh out loud. It is helpful!

  • Reply
    Donna
    January 16, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    One of my goals for 2017 is to read one of Dave Ramsay’s books. I am pretty financially stable and for the most part make good choices, but it never hurts to make better ones!

    • Reply
      Maggie Lois
      January 16, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      That’s awesome! Budgeting is not my strong suit, but I’m determined to get my stuff together this year!

  • Reply
    Mary Bost
    January 18, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Great post and tips! 2017 is the year of investing for our family and to invest we have to save… I’d rather shop but have buckled down on saving!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Mary

    • Reply
      Maggie Lois
      January 18, 2017 at 8:52 am

      Haha, I hear ya!

  • Reply
    Maria Brittis
    January 19, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    I love how everything is so organized and stylish. I truly need the envelope system. Will book mark this post.
    Maria

    • Reply
      Maggie Lois
      January 19, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      Thank you!

      The envelope system is awesome, I hope it works for you!

  • Reply
    Lyndsey
    January 22, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    I haven’t tried the envelope system yet but I have heard a lot about it! I like the way that you have done yours. I budget really well but tend to leave myself off the list. I think I would feel better about spending money on myself it was just cash from a designated envelope. Glad I found this on Bloggy Brunch!
    Thanks
    -Lyndsey

    • Reply
      Maggie Lois
      January 22, 2017 at 8:57 pm

      Thank you, it really does work, you gotta treat yourself sometimes too! Thanks for stopping by!

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  • Reply
    Lynn
    January 23, 2017 at 9:35 am

    I haven’t but I did try to use a cash system on a weekly basis where I take out X amount and that’s my free spending money for the week. I have fallen off that bandwagon but it’s time to begin again. Thanks for the inspo!

    • Reply
      Maggie Lois
      January 23, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      Lol no problem! It can be hard staying on a budget sometimes, thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Jackie
    January 23, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    I NEED to put extra money in my budget for those cute envelopes!!!!
    Love the idea of making realistic budgets with this system.

    • Reply
      Maggie Lois
      January 24, 2017 at 9:32 am

      Thank you! I love this budget system and making sure they’re cute helps even more!

  • Reply
    Sara @ finditfixitorbuildit.com
    January 26, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    This is a GREAT idea, thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Maggie Lois
      January 26, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      Of course!

  • Reply
    Morgan
    January 26, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    The envelope system is a great way to track your spending. If you don’t want the hassle of actually using cash, the Goodbudget app is another free way to record your spending. It allows you to set up a budget using 10 “envelope” categories. Here’s a link to my post about it:

    https://styleandsavings.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/where-did-all-the-money-go/

    • Reply
      Maggie Lois
      January 26, 2017 at 8:18 pm

      That’s good to know, thanks for the info!

  • Reply
    Pam
    January 28, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    I’ve heard of the envelope system before but it certainly wasn’t this cute! I’ve actually considered trying it out – might need to finally do so!

    • Reply
      Maggie Lois
      January 29, 2017 at 8:13 am

      Aw, thank you! If you tend to overspend in certain categories the envelope system really helps to keep you in check. I’m one of those people lol. Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your Sunday!

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