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!