- Pen or pencil
- Copy of your budget, bank statement or access to your current account.
- Cash for the month!
- Create a budget or know what your budget is for the month: Pay day! One of the most exciting days of the month, and also one of the days we tend to splurge just that little bit more because we've been paid and its nice to see some figures in our account! For the envelope system to work effectively, you firstly need to know how much money you have coming in each month, how much you have going out to direct debits, bills, debts, travel, standing orders, savings accounts, and how much disposable you have remaining once all that money has left your current account. This will help you to see and budget how much you can pull out for your cash envelopes. For example if your disposable is £500, you can pull out £300 for your cash envelopes, and leave £200 in your account for an absolute emergency or necessary purchase.
- Divide your envelope into categories: Everyone's envelope categories will be different, but there are a few essentials that you should have such as food shopping, petrol, household, toiletries. Once these are covered, you can create envelopes for anything else that you would like to allocate money towards month on month such as date night, baby essentials, hair funds, gifting, clothing etc. You can have as many envelopes as you wish, but be realistic, because if you have £300 budgeted for your cash envelopes, you'll have to split that money across all of them 5, 10, or 15 envelopes!
- Fill your envelopes: Out of the £300, you can allocate as much or as little to each envelope as you wish, and as is realistic for you personally, and for your family. Fill each envelope with the money that you've allotted to that particular category, and set your self a target that you will use only that amount for that given month, until the next payday when it needs to be reloaded. No month is the same, and the envelope system is fluid, so you can change the amount that you wish to put in each month if you find that it is too low, or too high.
- Spend! Pay for your purchases out of the appropriate envelopes-use the food envelope for food purchases and the clothing envelope for clothing purchases and try not to cross over :). Once you have spent all the money in each category- that's it for the month, and all spending must cease until the next month. Try and pace yourself! This is such a great exercise for self-discipline.
- If you have any leftover money: If you have any money left over in your envelopes at the end of the month, you can choose to add it to your savings, use it to pay down a debt, or leave it in the envelope as an additional little surplus or bonus for the next month.
- Refill again the next payday: When payday comes around again refill your envelopes and start again. Remember each month is a new opportunity to work towards your financial goals and cultivate discipline. Some months may be harder than others, but keep going and you'll soon see growth and great results!
As a wife
I am always inspired and motivated to do my part and be a blessing to my home in many ways. One of those ways is to personally cultivate discipline when it comes to spending money that I earn. It feels good to know that through my actions, I am not depleting from my home but adding to it in a significant way. I love that.