Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Our First Attempt at Envelopes

Before I go into details, I need to admit that I’m not using actual envelopes. I know, I know, it’s breaking the rules. But at least I’m trying! I am keeping it in a spreadsheet that is updated every day, so it’s a start. (For those of you now familiar with envelopes, it’s basically a budget for each category.)

Here are the “envelopes” I created for December:

Fixed Expenses = $2525
Groceries = $375
Personal = $400
Entertainment = $200
Spending Cash = $160
Gas = $300
Christmas = $300*
Total Expenses = $4260
Amount left over to send to debt = ya right, not sharing that one!

*The Christmas line item is for additional gifts that our Christmas fund did not cover. Even with the savings I did this Christmas, I still spent way too much. We went way over our original Christmas fund, and way over the additional amount budgeted above. It’s really hard when there are so many people to buy for. But at least I’m paying cash for Christmas!

This is the first winter in several years that we do not have a vacation planned. We’ve been to Colorado on our annual ski trip for three years, then we went to Vegas last year. This winter we’ll just be staying home, but it’s ok. We are going to DisneyWorld in June so Pool Boy is working extra to save up for that. Don’t feel bad for him – he loves refereeing wrestling.

On a side note, my car loan is now under $10,000! In addition to the $336 car payment paid on December 3, I’ve sent them an additional $800 so far this month. This money came from a few different sources (selling stuff, working side jobs, etc.) I can see the end in sight…

Do you use an envelope system? How do you like it?