How to Use a Cash Envelope System & How Our Family Budgets

Cash Envelopes

 

Holding cash in an envelope

Using cash is an important part of controlling your spending. It’s not only a system for people trying to get out of debt, but it’s also for everyone because it really makes you think more about your spending.

A cash budget never lets you overspend because once the money is gone, it’s gone. In order to make this work, stop using credit cards and stash the credit cards where it’s hard to get to them. You could also place your credit cards in a Ziploc bag and freeze them in water.

 

envelopes with cash

WHAT IS THE CASH ENVELOPE SYSTEM?

The cash envelope system divides your spending into small categories or budgets. And each category has its own envelope to help you manage your money better and help you intentionally think about how you’re spending your money. Having to hand cash to a cashier really does make you think twice about impulse buys. And setting aside money in an envelope for larger expenses helps relieve the burden when the bill comes due.

To begin using a cash envelope system, start by making a list of all your expenses and then decide which categories to make cash only. With your monthly bills, you can continue to have those deducted from your bank account. Here is a list of cash only categories you could have:

  • Groceries
  • Clothing
  • Eating Out
  • Entertainment
  • Hair Cuts/ Beauty
  • Doctor and Dentist Visits/Medicine
  • Miscellaneous Spending
  • Home Repairs
  • Vacations
  • Christmas
  • Car Insurance/Other Insurance

 

cash envelopes

HOW MUCH CASH TO TAKE OUT?

In order to determine how much cash you need to take out of each paycheck, take the total monthly amount for each category and divide it by two if you get paid every two weeks or divide it by four weeks if you get paid weekly. For instance, we have a monthly grocery budget of $400, and we get paid twice a month. If I divide $400 by two that’s $200 that we take out per pay check to use on groceries.

Additionally, break the cash down into weekly spending. For instance, if I pull $200 from each paycheck for two weeks of groceries and if I were to go to the store weekly, then I would only allot myself $100 per week to spend at the grocery store. That way I still have money to spend on groceries each week and I won’t come up short.

Here is another example. If your car insurance is $700 per year and you only receive the bill once a year, then in order to determine how much money to take out each paycheck, divide $700 by 12 months, which comes out to be about $58 per month. If you get paid twice a month, then you divide the $58 by two, which means you need to take out $29 per paycheck and set it aside in an envelope or bank account so you have the money to pay for car insurance when it comes due.

Once you decide the categories and determine how much cash will go into each envelope, then go to the bank and withdraw the cash each time you deposit your paycheck. Then place the cash in each category envelope. I don’t use anything fancy, just some blank envelopes that are located by my desk, and I write the category on the outside of the envelope.

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Cranberry Scones

Cranberry SconesThese Cranberry Scones are light and flaky and packed with dried cranberries. My family loves it when I make these for breakfast or as a snack. I also like to make these as a Valentine’s breakfast. On Valentine’s, instead of cutting them into triangles, I turn them into heart scones using a heart cookie cutter.

To make the Cranberry Scones, start by preheating oven to to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate frozen butter into flour mixture using the large holes of a grater. Then use the mixer to mix in the butter. Add in cranberries. In a small bowl, combine sour cream and an egg until smooth. Stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture and mix until dough forms.

 

Cranberry Scones Dough Rolled Out

Gather the dough into a ball and place on a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into a 7- to 8-inch circle about ¾-inch thick. Sprinkle the top with 1 teaspoon of sugar.

 

 

Cranberry Scones Cut Into 8 Triangles

Use a sharp knife to cut dough into 8 triangles.

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Tropical Green Smoothie

Tropical Green SmoothieYears ago, I was not interested in trying a green smoothie. I thought that green smoothies wouldn’t taste good and that they would taste gross, especially with spinach in it. After talking with a few people who did drink green smoothies and loved them, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to at least give it a try. I made a bunch of different green smoothie recipes, and I’ll be honest, there were some we liked, and there were some we didn’t like. After trying out multiple green smoothie recipes, this Tropical Green Smoothie is by far my favorite and my family’s favorite. My kids regularly ask if I will make this green smoothie and if they can help pour the ingredients into the blender. It’s so easy to make and it’s only four ingredients! And what I love most is that it gives us more greens and fruit in our diet.

When making green smoothies, I highly suggest that you invest in a good blender that will blend up the spinach really fine. My husband gave me a Ninja Blender as a Christmas gift, and it’s been a really good blender. I know people who have a Blendtec Blenders and they are really good, high-quality blenders, but the Ninja Blender was more affordable for us and it works great and blends the spinach up into tiny, fine pieces.

green smoothie with pineapple and banana and spinach [Read more…]

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The Best Light & Fluffy Homemade Biscuits

The Best Light & Fluffy BiscuitsMy mother made these homemade biscuits regularly when I was a child, and I just love them. They are light and fluffy and taste wonderful with some butter and a drizzle of honey or jam on top. And these homemade biscuits are quick and easy to make. I usually make them when our family has soup for dinner. Then we either take a biscuit and dip it in our soup, or eat it on the side with some honey. By the way, you’ll want to check out these 12 Favorite Soup Recipes that my family loves because they are all really good recipes too.

 

The Best Biscuits on a pan [Read more…]

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One Pan Garlic Parmesan Pasta

One Pan Garlic Parmesan PastaThis One Pan Garlic Parmesan Pasta is a delicious dinner and it’s an easy recipe. I love that you place all the ingredients into a pot after you saute the garlic, and then you let it simmer for 20 minutes until done. Serve it with some bread and a side of vegetables and dinner is on the table.  To change up the recipe, you could also add cooked chicken to the top to make it a garlic Parmesan chicken pasta dish. Here is how to make the recipe:

garlic parmesan pasta

Garlic Parmesan Pasta Easy Meal

Garlic Parmesan Pasta

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Dish Towel & Wash Cloth Neighbor Christmas Gift Idea

neighbor christmas gift inexpensive

Every year, we do small Christmas gifts for neighbors and friends who live close by. Last year, we saw this cute idea of a dish towel and wash cloth that made us smile and decided to do it as our neighbor Christmas gift. It’s simple to do,thoughtful, and doesn’t cost a lot of money. I picked up the items at a dollar store. Here’s what to do:

 

Holiday Dish Towel

Choose a regular or holiday dish towel from the dollar store.

 

 

holiday wash cloth inexpensive

Then choose a wash cloth. I picked them up at a dollar store, and they came in a pack of 10 for $1.

 

hand towel inexpensive neighbor christmas gift

Fold both the hand towel and wash cloth together. Create or purchase printable tags that you can add the following saying:

“We wanted to get you something big this year, so here’s a “washer” and “dryer”. Happy holidays!”

I just used red paper for the tag and printed six on one page. Then I hole punched the tag and tied it all together with ribbon. That’s it! Really easy!

 

You might also like these inexpensive neighbor Christmas gift ideas:

25 Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas25 Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas

 

 

15 Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas15 Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas

 

Dishwashing Liquid Christmas Gift IdeaDishwashing Liquid Christmas Gift Idea

 

Peppermint Vanilla Sugar ScrubPeppermint Vanilla Sugar Scrub

 

DIY Hand WarmersDIY Handwarmers

 

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The Best Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Holiday Deals

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.The best black friday deals 2018

Here are some of the best Cyber Monday deals:

Amazon has some great Cyber Monday deals. Check out all the Amazon deals here. Here are just a few deals:

Best Buy – Grab this Gourmia 6-Quart Pressure Cooker in Stainless Steel/Black for only $39.99 shipped (regularly $79.99). Check out all of the Best Buy Cyber Monday deals here.

Cents of Style has the popular Tig sweater for 50 % off with the code CYBERSTYLE, which makes it only $27.47. Plus shipping is free.

Famous Footwear has a BOGO 1/2 off plus 15% off when you use the code CYBER18.

Get Away Today is offering an Adults at Kids’ Prices deal for Disneyland tickets with a major price cut for spring travel dates, which means you can save up to $95 per ticket over annual pricing.

Gymboree is offering $25 off of a $100 purchase with code CYBER. They have 80% off all regular priced items, plus an extra 20% off markdowns. And shipping is free. This deal is good through November 27, 2018.

Kohl’s has a 20% off deal when you use the code GIVE20. They also have a deal $10 off when you spend $50 or more when you use the code JACKPOT. And you get $15 Kohl’s cash for every $50 you spend.

Old Navy has 50% off everything. No exclusions. This deal ends November 27, 2018.

Payless Shoesource is offering 50% its entire stock. No coupons or codes needed.

Target has 15% off select toys, home, electronics & more. No promo code is needed as the price will adjust at checkout. Target also has BOGO 60% off clothing, shoes & accessories, and up to 50% off hundreds of toys. Here are some of the deals:

The Children’s Place has 60-75% off the entire site with no exclusions. Plus 75% off all clearance items. And they are offering free shipping.

The Container Store is offering 20% off a different department each day: Closet – Monday, Kitchen – Tuesday, Storage – Wednesday, Office – Thursday, and Bath and Travel – Friday.

Walmart has great Cyber Monday deals too. Check out all the Walmart deals here. And here are just a few deals:

 

 

 

Here are some of the best Black Friday deals:

Check out these best Black Friday and holiday deals so you can save money during the busiest shopping days of the year. Be sure to also read the post  5 Tips How to Shop Black Friday Deals to help you prep before you start shopping either in the store or online.

Amazon Black Friday Deals

Amazon deals change all of the time, but they have great Black Friday deals. Head over here to see the all the Black Friday deals.

 

Best Buy Black Friday Deals – Browse the Best Buy Black Friday Ad Here

Here is what you need to know:

  • Doorbusters will be available online, November 22, and in-store from 5 pm Thursday, November 22, until 1 am.

  • Starting Friday, November 23, Best Buy will have new doorbusters and deals, and stores will open at 8 am.

  • On Saturday, November 24, more new deals will be revealed.

  • Shipping is free on any size order.

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Caramel Cheesecake Bars

Caramel Cheesecake BarsThese Caramel Cheesecake Bars have a yummy gooey caramel topping, a delicious cheesecake filling and a sweet graham cracker crust. I took the caramel cheesecake bars to a luncheon get together and everyone who tried it said it tasted delicious. The caramel kept dripping off each bar of cheesecake as I took it from the pan and placed it onto a plate. It was quite the challenge to get good pictures of the bars because of the gooey caramel, but it was worth making this sweet treat. I ate more bars than I should have because they were so good. This is a recipe you’ll want to make, so be sure to save it and pin it for later!

Caramel Cheesecake Bars

One kitchen item I wish I would have had while I was making the caramel was a candy thermometer. Because then I would have known exactly when the caramel reached the temperature of 225 degrees F. But since I didn’t have a candy thermometer, once I thought the caramel had boiled long enough I would drop a small amount of it in cool water to see if it would form a ball. The caramel still turned out being delicious.

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Chicken Enchilada Tortilla Chip Casserole

Chicken Enchilada Tortilla Chip CasseroleI made this Chicken Enchilada Tortilla Chip Casserole on a day when I needed an easy dish to put into the oven quickly. I took already cooked shredded chicken from the freezer and thawed it in the microwave while I mixed together ingredients to create a sauce. Once the chicken was thawed, I added it to the sauce mixture and then poured it over the tortilla chips that had been placed in a casserole dish. After sprinkling the top with cheese, it was ready to place in the oven to bake. It only took about 10 minutes to prep! Below is the recipe for the Chicken Enchilada Tortilla Chip Casserole:

Chicken Enchilada

 

 

Chicken enchilada casserole

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7 Video Tips to Save Money Now for Christmas

7 Tips to Save Money Now for ChristmasThe holidays are coming up quickly, and I want to share with you tips to save money for Christmas because the last thing we want is to have credit card bills that need paid off in January because that is a financial stress. It’s unfortunate that a lot of people have credit card bills from shopping during the holidays, so watch the video below to get 7 tips to save money for Christmas that have helped our family so we aren’t paying off Christmas items after the holidays. If you start now, you can save money to help pay for Christmas.

 

 

 

If you can’t see the YouTube video, head over to my channel here, and be sure to subscribe. And for those of you who like to read the post instead of watch the video, here are the 7 tips to save money now for Christmas.

1. Set a budget
Determine how much money you are going to spend on Christmas, and set a budget. To figure out how much you’ll spend, look back and calculate how much you spent last Christmas. That should give you an idea of what you think you’ll spend this year. It might also help you realize that you spent more than you planned and that you need to cut back on some Christmas items or presents this year. But when setting a budget, be sure not to set it too tight because it’s nice to have a little wiggle room for last minute purchases. And don’t forget to include in your budget the extras such stocking stuffers, Christmas cards, and holiday home decorations.

2. Begin Saving Now
After you’ve determined how much you think you’ll need, then break it down into how much you need to set aside each month to reach that goal. If it seems like there is no way you can set aside that much money each month, especially since the holidays are in a few months, then at least set aside something. You’ll have some money saved that will help out toward some of the holiday purchases for this year. You may also want to re-evaluate the amount and price of gifts you are purchasing for others. And look to see if there are areas in your holiday shopping that you could cut back on so you have enough money for the most important purchases.

Last year, I made it a point to set aside $50 every month for the entire year and place it into a “Christmas” envelope. There were some months that were tight and we had extra bills to pay, so I wasn’t able to put aside money each month, but by the end of the year, we were able to save $500 for our Christmas fund. It was nice to be able to pay for our Christmas items as we purchased them. And what’s even better is that with the money we didn’t spend, we put it toward our goals of paying down our mortgage and increasing our savings.

I realize this year you might not be able to save as much as you want, but save what you can now, then starting January try out the Christmas envelope budgeting technique so you can get a head start on next year’s Christmas.

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