I’ve been a huge fan of Dave Ramsey and his entire Financial Peace system. I’ve blogged about it, shared it with friends, facebooked about it, and I may have even dreamed about it. I’ve started the program so many times over the past year or so for about a week, and then fell off the 2013 financial peace wagon. Now…I’m back on the Financial Peace Wagon.
I got paid yesterday and decided that I was really going to utilize this envelope system FOR REAL this time. Seems I run out of money long before the month is over and end up overspending because I think I can. I’m then struggling to pay things on time, and things do get paid, but it’s a huge stress for me. I can’t even tell you all of the excuses I use as to why I think I’m above any type of “budget”, but I find them.
Friday night, I sat down and made my new envelopes. I did my written budget on paper for the month of March, gave every dollar a name and told it where to go. Saturday morning, I went to the credit union, withdrew the allotted amounts for all envelopes, filled them up and that is how we are living right now.
My envelopes and amounts:
Groceries/Food: 100.00 wk/400.00 monthly (I pre-plan menus for the week and will only shop with a list. I don’t “coupon” and only shop at Walmart because I can get everything in one trip. I also spend $7 on a gallon of raw milk per week from a local farmer that gets taken out of this envelope)
Gas: 60.00 wk/240.00 monthly
Misc: 60.00 month (anything “fun” related. Doesn’t seem like a lot, but this is the amount I’m starting with. I will probably have to “up” this another $25-$40 as anything non-food/non-clothing related will be taken from this envelope as well and we only needed a few things this week, so the amount seems OK for now)
Truck Expenses: 50.00/month. (Based on last years receipts of general maintenance, renewals and a few replacement parts)
Giving: 50.00/month (Donations to any charity that I find worthy. I don’t go to church, so therefore I don’t tithe. Doesn’t seem like a lot, but this is the amount I’m starting with)
Clothing: 100.00/month. (This is for myself and my 14 year old son. I shop mostly at thrift stores for myself and mainly sales for him at the mall)
Saving: I have decided to do the 52 week challenge and deposit the allotted amount every 2 weeks. I’m also adding any overtime from my day job to this fund as well, and the first $1000 will become my emergency fund and anything over the $1000 will become my Christmas 2013 fund. The earnings from my health & fitness coaching/Zumba classes will also be put into this savings after I take 25% out for business taxes/expenses.
Total envelopes: $900 not including the savings envelope (which will be an additional $50-$100 month and a bonus from my day job in September of $750). I take $450 from each pay check, so I’m working with half of those amounts every 2 weeks.
My rent and utility funds are kept in my checking account and will not be included with this.
Every penny is accounted for with my projected income from my day job and child support for one son. These numbers for my envelope spending are just a starting point and may have to be changed as the months go by.
My goal for this month is to NOT overspend and really plan my purchases. I’m also hoping that when I get my emergency fund built up to where I want it to be, that little unexpected expenses don’t set me back.
Time to get creative!