Thursday, April 19, 2012

Envelope System for the BF?

The other night on the way home from the Dodger game, BF and I got to talking about money. He said,
"I need you to help me with a budget again. I want to do it, but I just don't get how you plan for how much you'll spend on things."

My answer: "You have to track your spending. You have to record every expense or there's no way to know if you're in budget."

We talked a bit more about why it matters. He agrees with me in theory, but the execution has been hard for him to get down. He did a great job in paying off his credit cards a few months ago, but since then he hasn't made progress in saving or paying his car or student loan. I mentioned that he should do an automatic deduction to savings from each paycheck, which he agreed with. Then I casually mentioned the envelope system.

He had never heard of it, but when I explained the idea, he was very intrigued/interested. He compared it to Weight Watchers points (when you use them, they're gone) which is always good, since he kicked ass at Weight Watchers. I suggested that he and I work out what would go in his envelopes weekly, and then any leftover money for each week could go into a jar and he could decide what to do with it at the end of the month (I'm pushing for debt payoff or savings, but it's his money).

I did the envelope system just for my fun money when I first started out, and it wasn't my favorite. BUT, I also wrote down all my spending anyway, so I didn't really need it. So, sometime this week we're going to sit down and go over a budget for him, hopefully planning to try the envelope system. I would love to see him get stronger in this area. He's not out of control...he has no CC debt, and pays his bills. But I know that I am so much more peaceful and content now that my financial life is in order. Not that the money makes me happy, but having control over it does.

Any envelope system users have suggestions for how to make it work well for BF? I'd love tips or tricks you've used!


  1. I have never used the envelope system, but I have heard so much about it. I am so undisciplined I would just spend every envelope and then sit a cry. By the way I have spent all my envelopes this month!:)

  2. I really like the envelope system, but I always forgot my money at home, so I never spent any money! But I now use an evelope system on my phone, I leave the money in the bank and use my debit card/credit card and then deduct it from the program on my phone. A good one is EEBA..I have tried this for a couple of months and it really works, what i like about it is that I can sync my phone and my husbands to the same account, so we can both make deductions without over spending.

  3. I loved using envelopes, but DH spends less with a debit card so we don't use envelopes now. I used to out the allocated amount of cash in each payday and then I would write down everything I used that money for on the outside of the envelope with the date. It helped me track the individual expenses better and I could clearly see where the money had gone.

  4. I use an "envelope" system, but use one of my budget wallets to keep me on track. I pull out the money for our budget every week and know it has to last the week. When it's gone, it's gone. I don't write down every penny I spend anymore, I find that to be too time consuming, but I only spend from each category on what it's intended for.