My New Years Resolution is to Simplify… and that means reduce everything, including spending. For me shopping is like breathing. I even had this horrible pregnancy tick where I would go and buy a ton of things I didn’t need nor really want and then return them (I also got lost while driving). I also am under the direct impression that shopping is indeed the cure to a bad day. So as you can see this will be a challenge– but I love challenges!
So to get started– I first started with researching various books and methods and can across Dave Ramey. He really stresses CASH ONLY. So I thought I would give it a whirl.
I first sat down and did a budget on what we needed to save, and where we could cut spending (I am gonna give a big shout out to Mint.com).
We are now 1 month in, and I have already found that we are spending less money. I think since I am a visual person that seeing the actual cash has helped me to simplify what it was that I was spending and make the choice if I really need the item.
However, I did find that it was a bit confusing to figure out how much we have left in each category and I didn’t always want or need to keep all of my cash with me. To help with this I have come up with a three envelope system.
The Wallet Envelopes.
I actually don’t use envelopes, but dividers in my wallet that I made from the manilla file folders.
I have a long large wallet. It has four divider areas for money. I have one side with the following dividers: Grocery Coupons, Target Coupons, Other Coupons, Receipts.
The other side has all of my cash “envelopes” that correspond to the items labeled in blue on my spreadsheet.
Here is a picture of my wallet. (Sorry not the best one) I got it on sale at target. And it works perfectly.
The Envelopes for Receipts
After going cash for a week, I found it very hard to figure out how much money I had left, even when I kept all of in my wallet. I made a receipt register that prints out onto 10# envelopes. I save every receipt, and place it in the correct envelope for each category. If I bought something say at Target and it is both Kid and Groceries, I make a copy of the receipt or make a note and place it in the envelope. Then, I store all of them in a file folder in my command center file cabinet.
Also, I have found that is easiest to round the receipt total up, and not deal with change. This gives me an easy total for how much money I have left.
The “Save Later / Use Later” Envelopes aka The Cash Box
I quickly found that I did not want to carry all of my cash with me everywhere I went. I made envelopes matching the same sections I have in my wallet. I store these in a file folder in my file folder box at my command center.
I made a Cash Box Register so I could keep track of how much money was left in each category. I just enter the date and the amount I withdrawal from each category.
Sometimes the money will be saved to use a month or two later. For example, my beauty budget is high because I get my hair professionally colored (I am working on a plan to get this lowered and to not color my hair). I have to save up for this. I pull out the cash for the month, and make sure I make a note how how much I need to keep in the envelope / save up for.
To download the Receipts Register click here (pdf).
To download the Cash Box Register click here (pdf).
All you need to do is print it out on a 10# envelope.