Eric and I have tried various different ways of budgeting and paying the bills over our almost 10 years of marriage. Some worked out pretty well, others not so much. We have learned a lot about each other during this process but it has also made us stronger as a couple as we work together to reach an end goal. Often times money can be such a difficult topic for couples and even though I admit there have been times where a conversation or two has become more heated than I'd like but in general I am blessed to have a husband who really is a partner in this with me.
So recently I wanted to try to revamp our system once again. Our current one had been working for about 3 years, but I wanted to find one to allow us to save more aggressively while still having money for other things. I started reading away on different types of systems and got stuck on the cash budget idea. Eric had reservations because in the past we have lost/misplaced or had cash just full on disappear (I'm talking hundreds of dollars) but the overall system seemed appealing so he agreed.
I first came across this idea on Money Saving Mom and this is her post about how to get started. I looked at various blogger's sites who have also started on this adventure to get an idea on how they worked it out. You can read some of the sites I found info about it here, and here.
Eric and I spent one night going over all the categories we could think of that we wanted to include in our budget. This is what we came up with.
- Date Night
- Family Fun/Eating Out
- GNO (girls and/or guys nights)
- Clothes: $/per person
Our second checking account is our family account where all other money use to go, but now with this cash budget I think I will only leave $100 in there for emergencies. Then we have our long-term never ever ever touch it savings account and then a regular savings account where we save money to help where needed or for special things or whatever.
And the rest goes into the envelopes. I debated how I actually wanted to do the envelopes. I am slowly sewing a wallet insert with cloth envelopes with magnetic closures, but like I said, that is happening very very slowly. I didn't like doing just plain white envelopes, because lets face it, those are no fun. But then I found this post online on a DYI envelope system. LOVE IT!
So we are going to start on Sept. 1st with the guidelines we have set up. I am assuming there will be a little adjusting as we go, but hopefully it works out. I'll keep you updated on the status. So now I have to keep working on the cute new envelopes before the end of the month.
What system works for you and your family?