Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Saving Smart! Series: Day Eight

How is your budget going? Are you staying on track with your spending? One of the things that has helped us greatly to live within our means for the past ten years is using cash only (and occasionally our debit card).

We were first introduced to the "envelope system" by Larry Burkett (of Crown), though Dave Ramsey also recommends it. We pay for nearly all of our things (except items like utilities, mortgage, etc.) using cash. It's simple! It also helps keep us from overspending.

We use the envelope system - and have for years - and here's how it works: You place cash in each of your spending envelopes (budget categories) at the beginning of the month (ie: $500 in groceries, $20 in gifts, etc.) and when the money runs out, you stop spending!

On the rare occasion that we use our debit card (for example, at the gas station when precious kids are in the car!), we simply take the money out of its envelope later and deposit it back into our checking account. We also have been known to take money from one envelope and move it to another, but again - our budget stays the same as at the end of the month,;we have still only spent the alloted amount (just perhaps in different categories).

You can learn more about the envelope system here:Crown Financial MinistriesDave RamseyYou can also purchase your envelope system here:Crown Financial Ministries (we own and use this one and it holds up well!)Dave Ramsey

Or, simply hit your local Target and pick up a generic expandable envelope for cheap! :)
If you decide to try cash only for a month or so, I would love to hear how it goes!

~~~~~This is Part Eight of my Saving Smart! series. Be sure to stop in each day from October 1st through October 10th for more money saving tips and advice. For specific money saving questions, please email me.
"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.” Luke 14: 28

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