Do you use cash envelopes? Or do you know someone who does? Or maybe, like me, you’ve tried it and hated it!
Cash envelopes are a really good tool for some people, but not me. I’m here to tell you about why I don’t like them and what I do instead to keep my finances organized and how I manage it all.
Spoiler alert: my system is easier and much more simple!
Who are Cash Envelopes Good For?
Cash envelopes are a great option for people who really need to have that control. These are people who don’t want to be tempted to overspend on things.
It’s also great for people who need the visual of seeing that a particular envelope is empty and knowing that you’re done with that for the week or month.
Why I Don’t Like Using Cash Envelopes.
Using cash envelopes can be a lot and it can get overwhelming and confusing. You have to have all of these envelopes and all this cash on you at all times. You have envelopes for groceries, eating out, paying bills. If you don’t want to keep the cash on you at all times, you can leave your envelopes at home. But, if you leave them at home, when you’re out and about, you could end up needing it but you won’t have access to that particular envelope at that time. That’s a little inconvenient.
It can also be a bit dangerous to keep that much money on you. What if you lose it or it’s stolen?
Additionally, it takes more time. You have to go to the bank and take out a specific amount of cash. You might want specific dollar denominations so you need to have the teller take care of that for you. Then you have to take all of that cash and divide it into all of the envelopes. It’s a completely manual process and it’s time consuming.
Cash envelopes can also be tricky if you have more than one family member who needs to spend from the same envelope. How will you handle that? Will you both take money from the envelope or will one person take the envelope and the other take some money? What if you end up not having the right amount of money? This process can just be a bit inconvenient.
What I Use Instead.
My family uses a quick and simple app called, YNAB. YNAB stands for You Need A Budget and it’s personal budgeting software available for Windows, Mac, and iOS. What I love about YNAB is that it’s super simple for me to divide and budget our funds into different categories. Then my husband and I can see what we have left to spend by simply looking at the app on our phone.
In the app, we set categories for all of our monthly expenses. When you add your budgeted amount to each category, it is automatically deducted from our monthly total. This might seem like a lot of work, but it’s really so quick and easy. Each month, it only takes me a matter of seconds to update our budgeted amount for each category, as opposed to all of the time it would take with cash envelopes.
Best yet, it updates instantly on all connected devices so my husband and I can both see, at all times, exactly how much money we have left in each category.
Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of a way to budget that is different from using cash envelopes and you can see if, maybe, this is a system that you would prefer. Let me know, which system has worked for you in the past or which system you think would work best for you and your family.
Do you like the idea of having access to your budget on an app on your phone at all times? I’d love to offer you a done-for-you/done-with-you family budget program! One where I will hand deliver a fully set up and organized YNAB budget plan based on your flow. I’ll work side-by-side with you to develop a routine and process to keep you on top of your family finances once and for all. Schedule a free 15 min call with me! Find out if we’d be a good fit and how I can help make it happen for you!
Did you ever start budgeting, just to end up too overwhelmed and then quit? Don’t feel bad if this is you, it’s so common! But that doesn’t have to be your story.
When my husband and I were first married, we found ourselves quickly buried in debt. Budgeting helped us to get out of over 120K in debt. But it took a lot of trial and error. I’m hoping that some of you will be able to learn from the missteps we made at the beginning.
If you are thinking about getting started with budgeting or if you’ve started before and quit, I want you to be successful from the start this time! Check out the top reasons people quit budgeting just after they start. You’ll be able to see the challenges and face them head on.
Here are the top 3 reasons people start budgeting but then end up quitting:
You just don’t know where to start.
You’ve heard all of these ways that other people are successfully budgeting, like cash envelopes, zero based budgeting, apps, and spreadsheets. You’re hearing it all but it’s overwhelming and it’s making you freak out. You just can’t figure out where to start.
There’s a lot of information out there to sift through and it absolutely is overwhelming. It’s hard to know what is the right system for you and your family. Because of the information overload, many people try and quit, or worse yet, they don’t even start.
You don’t have a solid foundation set up.
Many people who have the best intentions and really want to have a solid successful budget just don’t have the foundation in place to get started and stick to it. Before you even start budgeting, you need to get into the right mindset. Ask yourself why you want to budget. To be successful, you really have to know that piece. If you don’t have a clearly defined “why” your budget will continue to be low priority.
You start with a tool, process, or system that doesn’t work for you.
So many families start budgeting but they get started using the wrong tool, process, or system for their family or household. Obviously there are tons of different ways you can budget successfully but not every way is going to work for every family.
Before starting, it’s important to really consider the different options and what will work best for how your family operates. Make the best choice for your family, but also remain flexible and open minded. That way, if the system you chose to start with doesn’t work out for you, you can seamlessly move to a better fitting system.
What’s worked for my family:
The system that my husband and I have used to manage our household finances since 2013, when we got ourselves out of debt (and kept ourselves out of debt for all these years), is a system called YNAB. YNAB stands for You Need A Budget and it’s personal budgeting software available for Windows, Mac, and iOS.
YNAB is a system but it has helped us to create a routine and process for us and our household that works really very well. I would LOVE to show you how to use it as well.
If you are overwhelmed and you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get your household finances on track with a plan, we should chat.
Do you like the idea of a done for you/done with you family budget program? One where I will hand deliver a fully set up and organized YNAB budget plan based on your flow. I’ll work side-by-side with you to develop a routine and process to keep you on top of your family finances once and for all. Schedule a free 15 min call with me! Find out if we’d be a good fit and how I can help make it happen for you!