Moving to the envelope system

Two people with two debit cards and one account can lead to an absolute mess of a budgeting system. After the umpteenth time of trying to reconcile our spending with with what the checkbook says we should have, compared to what the bank account says we should have, I’ve bitten the bullet and moved us to the envelope system.

Rather than relying on a debit card, the envelope system has you withdraw cash according to your budget. This is what you get to spend, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. It serves to give you a more visual idea of how your money is being spent, as opposed to whipping out your debit card whenever necessary. For gas money I took the cash from our budget and bought a gift card that can be used at the pump; the concept of a finite amount is still the same, but it’s much easier to use if there’s no one at the station to take your cash.

I use the same app on my Kindle Fire to balance our envelop spending that I use for our debit spending- Ledgerist. It’s simple to use, and is perfect if all you’re looking for is a simple checkbook app.

P.S.> I couldn’t bring myself to carry around a bunch of envelopes in my purse. Instead, I’m using this organizer by Martha Stewart for Staples. I have the same one in a different color for carrying coupons. How much do I love Martha Stewart’s Staples collection? Too much.

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