I set a pretty strong savings goal this September. You find yourself trying to save money on a tight budget this month. You aren't alone for sure. This economy has many people thinking about ways to save more money with less income. So, I wanted to share with you all how I plan to accomplish my savings goal on my teacher income using the cash envelope system!
The cash envelope system will help you start budgeting your bills each week. Each envelope supports your journey to creating a money changing plan. They are easy ways to encourage you to stay accountable with the income you make each week or month. Did you already write down your expenses for the month? If not, it is important to write down all of your bills for the month of September. I like to use a spreadsheet from The 21 Day Budget Workbook.
Once you write down all your expenses you are ready to move to the next part of the cash envelope process. Time to take your income and allocate each dollar to the correct place! What in the world does it mean to allocate your income each month? (I had to learn it too when I first started budgeting. It is a pretty important word. ) According to the dictionary, allocate is a verb that means distributing your money for a particular purpose.
Yep, you have to do some assigning with your money. I know it can sound like a lot of work, but it works that can literally help you save more of your paycheck than usual. Basically, it's an accountability partner that can help you with paying your bills each month and saving money.
First, take a look at your bills for the month. You wrote these down on your expense tracker.
Then, head to the bank and take out the exact cash amount you need to pay your bills for the month. Make sure to do this at the beginning of each month. It is important to always stay one month ahead if you can!
After that, place the cash in the correct envelopes according to your spreadsheets. For example, on my spreadsheet, I wrote my electric bill is $157 this month. So, I need to grab an envelope on the next page. I will need to cut it out and glue the sides down. This will be my cash envelope system (a complete set is located in The 21 Day Budget Workbook).
Then, I will write “electricity bill” on the front of the envelope. I need to count $157 to place inside to pay my electric bill this month. Lastly, I will repeat this process for each of my monthly bills or just the ones I want to focus on monitoring this month.
At the end of the month, take any money you have leftover in your envelopes and write yourself a check! Take the check to your bank and deposit it into your savings account, pay off an extra bill, put half towards the loan from your loan sheet, or put it away for a nice future vacation!
Why the cash envelope system?
Sometimes, swiping our debit and credit card can become a hindrance to us becoming financially healthy. Overspending on travel, food, clothes, etc. can keep you from making smart financial choices. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to swipe your debit or credit card? Does it seem easier than paying for things in cash?
Handing over cash can be a little more meaningful and challenging to spend. Placing the exact cash amount in an envelope will help you stay organized and accountable. Most importantly, it will help you obtain your overall goal…. FINANCIAL FREEDOM and budgeting your money weekly!
So, if you need a little help on how to save money on food, how to budget and save, or how to work with your money when it feels a little tight...I would suggest starting here!