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Posts tagged with: envelope system

A Big Weight Off

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I’ve mentioned before that I do my forecasting out a quarter at a time. (It’s just a simple Excel spreadsheet.) I include all my regularly budgeted items, any extras I know about (birthdays, holidays, travel, etc.) and my income based on current contracts with clients.

As I continue to go full speed ahead with debt payoff, I spent some time this weekend creating my forecast through the end of the year. And you will never guess what…

I am finally at a place of stability again…by that I mean, if I maintain all my current on-going contracts, I will make enough to cover all my currently budgeted for expenses for the rest of this year!

That is such a weight off my shoulders, especially as we have been living paycheck to paycheck for so long. Obviously, there are no guarantees, but right now, my financial situation is stable, my income streams are varied and I am very hopeful for the long term.

The Caveat

There are a few caveats to this and one is glaringly obvious, at least to me:

I do not have a car, car payment, fuel costs or car insurance in my budget. (Well, I do have car insurance but it is minimal since Sea Cadet and I are both insured on his car.) That will have to change in the next couple of months somehow.

But for now…I can breathe. And I don’t have to count every single penny, although I am.

Switching to a cash only budget has made a big difference to me. There’s something about seeing the dollars in my purse dwindle that keeps me from spending on things that are wants rather than needs.

There is definitely something about seeing positive numbers in my forecasting and money in the bank that is very motivating. What keeps you motivated?


Cash is King

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The credit card is on ICE…literally. Put up, out of reach…and detached from all online payment methods…for now. We have no travel plans until late June, and our town in tiny. So I’m not worried about not having it.

That bulls eye I mentioned when I mentioned my last debt pay off, it’s all I see when I think of it!

The Plan

Cash, cash or not at all. I’ve divided our monthly expenses into weeks. And I’m pulling out that much cash every week.

This weekly amount includes our:

  • Groceries – $125
  • Entertainment – $50
  • Household – $2.50
  • Gas – $20 (I’ve decided to give each twin $20 every other week for 1) my use of their car and 2) the gas they use when they drive Princess somewhere. I think this is more than far since nothing is more then 3 miles away.)

To make it easier on ATM withdrawals, I’m taking out $200 per week. I’ve let the kids know of this plan…we can use this money however we wish, but when it’s gone, it’s gone. Until the following Monday.

I decided on Mondays so that the kids start planning ahead at least a little bit…ie think about what we want to do this coming weekend, meal plan for the week, etc.

Caveat: This is one caveat to the $200 per week. Princess birthday is in May. I have a little extra budgeted that week for a family meal out and her birthday present, so I will also pull that extra out for that week.

Goal

By doing this, my goal is to not overspend at all…

And when we come to the end of each week, I will review income vs outgoing and put any extra toward the credit card debt. My income continues to vary greatly depending on what projects I pick up, etc. so I am hoping that this will expedite the pay off process.

Wish us luck. I haven’t done a cash system in a very long time. And today is the first day! But I think it will be good for us. And there’s something very empowering about pulling cash out…


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