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Friday, November 18, 2011

Envelope System - 2 Months In

If you're curious about what I'm talking about, you can read here and here.

Before I begin with the envelope system, I have to share what happened this morning.  I'm not joking, and I'm not exaggerating.  These are just the facts....

I'm sitting here putting the budget together for this coming month using mint.com and jotting things down in a word document.  I think everything is square and am happy to see a couple hundred dollars left over to throw in any budget I wanted.  I LOVE it when that happens, so I start scheming and planning but then realize that our last tithing check hasn't cleared our account yet.  I'd given it to a member of the bishopric the night #1 went in to interview with the bishop for her ecclesiastical endorsement for applying to the college.

We went in for our annual tithing settlement this past Sunday evening and explained to the bishop that it should be coming.  We've kind of been waiting for it.  I'm sure it will show up, but whether it makes it or I have to rewrite it, I have to have that money reserved for it when it does go through--no wonder we had money left over in our account.

So, I double the tithing amount in the budget--OUCH!  Okay, so say good-bye to the extra fun money.  I now have to figure out how to eke the rest of the money out of the budget.  Don't you HATE it when that happens?

I start thinking about the date night budget and the Christmas budget and the clothing budget, and you know the grocery budget can always be slimmed down a bit, but UGH!  Then the thought creeps in to just pay part of the tithing.....NO!  That's not even an option.  Gotta pay the whole thing.  I  know there are blessings that come from paying God first, so....

I have been reserving money for the kids to play sports for the past couple months.  I'd been out and paid for #2 and #5 to play basketball, and I know I have to reimburse that money into the account (I paid #2's with cash, but #5's was paid with the debit card online), so there is a little bit of money to put back in.  YAY!!  Every little bit helps.

The "envelope" container I use is transparent pink--you can see right into it, and let me tell you, for the past few days, it's been so you can almost see from the front clear through to the back--it's been empty.  **sigh**  But that's part of the plan.  It's supposed to be spent at the end of the month.  Well,  I open it up for really no reason at all and in two different sections there's money.  Not a whole lot, but some.  Hmm.  I know it was empty because I was the one who used it.  Ah well.  I  must have overlooked it or somebody put some in it for some reason or something.

I pull that money out, count it, decide which part of the budget to put it in, and go to put it in the correct section of the holder.  As I open it up, in the very front, where I don't file any money EVER, is $25--a twenty and a five.  When I had pulled out the money the first time, I was sure it was empty.  That's why I pulled it out in the first place, so it would be empty.  So, where did this $25 come from?

I take it out, a little dumbfounded, sit and look at it for a moment, figure out where it will fit in the budget and go to file it, pull open the container, and you're not going to believe this....There in the front section--AGAIN where I don't file money EVER--is another twenty and a five.  I'm not kidding!

I suddenly had $50!

I called the Warden and told him what had just happened.  He told me I should just keep opening it and shutting it and see how much money I can make off the deal.  Heh Heh!

Okay, so I am joking here, but a few months ago, someone told me that you're never to put your purse on the ground because you'll lose money.  I thought that was superstitious nonsense, but here's the funny thing.  Yesterday, I went to keep my purse away from #7 and put it on top of the fridge.  As I did so, I thought of my mom because that's where she always kept hers.  So, there you go.  If you put it on the ground, you lose money, but if you put your purse up high, you get money.  That must be why she always kept it up there.  What a smart woman!  HaHa!

There you go, there's the miracle of the day.  Let me just tell you, I'm saying lots of prayers of thanks for that one.

So, I'm loving the envelope system.  I highly recommend it.  I don't necessarily recommend the budgeting program on mint.com.  It's okay, but sometimes funky amounts end up in the "spent" part, and I'm totally not getting that.  I'm liking that I lay it all out in the simplest way possible in a word document with the amount placed next to what it's being spent for and a total at the bottom.  I actually make two lists--those things that come straight through our account (bills paid via billpay or those that go through automatically or anything paid with a check) and those paid with cash.  I create an excel document that says how many 100s, 50s, 20s, 10s, etc. and get that all broken down.  I insert that into the word document so I don't have to go to two different places to find what I need.

I take that excel sheet with me to the bank once I've totaled it.  The teller can just look at it and count out how many of which denomination I need.  I split the money into the sections, deal some out to the hubs, put money in the container that holds money on reserve, and we're off and running for the month.


Queen Bee said...

Laughing out loud, literally. We have had a lot of months where money shows up the most unexpected places (like getting a minor car accident!?) Joey says it's fun to pay tithing because then you get to see how on earth the Lord will bless you! And thanks for some more motivation to do envelopes. We did it and it worked well and got off track. I think we need to do it again for sure.

Molly said...

It's so funny that we started this system at almost the exact same time! I love it! I have the best wallet too - it looks like a normal wallet with divided labeled sections. It's called the coupon Caddy - look it up online. I have three seperate plastic divided containers I keep out of reach on a shelf in the office with all the excess that I don't keep in my wallet all the time. By the end of the month my fancy walled has become pretty light but it feels so good to know excatly where all of our money is going!! It's fun to be doing this with someone else who knows what it's like - I feel so much more free not using any credit cards!

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