Tuesday, March 1, 2016

This Years Envelope System

This year I decided to do something different with my budgeting and envelope system.  In years past I would always forget or not plan well for things we needed to pay for that only happened once a year. Things like random holiday's, birthday's, car registration, activities we wanted to do, visits from relatives etc.   So this year I decided to try a different approach to these things.

First I went through the calendar month by month and wrote down every thing I could think of that happened each month that would be an added expense other then our normal monthly bills.  I added the date it happened and the dollar amount I estimated we would spend.  Here is a short example of the list:


Family Christmas ( this involved extra purchases of food) -1/2/2016 - $50


Valentines Day - 2/14/2016 - $100

My Mom's 60th Birthday - 2/28/2016 - $200 ( this is my part of her party )

My Car Registration - 2/28/2016 - $110.25


Easter Egg Coloring Party -3/19/2016 - $100

Easter - 3/27/2016 - $150 - ( this is baskets for 5 kids and filling eggs for and egg hunt at my sisters and bring a dish for Easter dinner)

Kid #3's 21st Birthday and Dinner -3/28/2016 - $200

Spring Break -$200

Anyway, you get the idea I hope.  I did this for every single month.  Every single birthday and holiday and any other things that would be coming up that we needed to budget for. 

Next up,  I have slowly made envelopes for each and every item on my list.  I have used free envelopes that come in the mail with bills and other things to make these with.  I have almost 40 envelopes which may seems crazy but it is working so far.  I write on the envelope what it is for, the date and the allotted amount that goes in it.  I have a box I keep them in.  I do not and have not filled them all at once.  I fill them as I have extra money left from my grocery budget.  When I don't use all of the money in one envelope I empty it and move it to the next one that needs filled.  For example I gave my husband $50 to spend for Valentine's Day and $50 for myself.  I had $20 left out of my $50 so I placed it in the envelope for my Mom's Birthday Party which had not reached it's allotted amount yet. Some of the envelopes I estimated high on the dollar amount and if there is money left that is awesome and I use it to fill whatever is next.

So far this is working out great!


  1. It sounds like a lot of details to keep track of (I'm lazy!), but great news that it's working. That's all that counts. :-)

    1. I guess it probably does seem like a lot to track but once I made the list it really hasn't been hard.

  2. Replies
    1. So far it is working. We will see if I keep it up :)

  3. I do something similar for Christmas, birthdays, school lunches, school registration fees, and vet bills- but I have $ auto deducted from my paycheck and put into a separate savings account. :)