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the quotable dave {week 5}

hello! i am doing a series of posts during our journey to financial freedom via the dave ramsey financial peace road. this is our third week - if you would like to read about the previous weeks click here! :)

this week started the second month that we have been working towards a debt free life. it was the first round of student loan payments that i made an debt snowball payment towards and even though it wasn't near what we planned... it still felt so good!

i went shopping sunday afternoon for our month's worth of groceries. i actually sat down and made out a meal plan for dinners for the entire month. this is a big deal for us. we are usually so busy during the week that we barely have time to sit down for dinner. but after a month's worth of fly-by-the-handle training i thought i was about ready to put on my big girl panties and plan it out and stick to it. :)

i coupon shopped, looked for the best deals, bought off-brand everything. i was pretty confident that i could cram our month's worth of groceries into our allotted $150.

folks. i was wrong.

after the last item scanned and all my coupons were in the total was $191.42. for about an instant i felt guilty going over budget. but hey. i had my debit card so i just whipped it on out and thought to myself "i can make that up somewhere else... like in our gas money."

after i hauled it all out to the car and loaded up the trunk... i had an epiphany.

the envelope system... that is why it works. had i taken an envelope with $150 in cash instead of a debit card (which i have been using as cash) i would have had to do something different. i would have had to work out what could stay and what i didn't really need. i would have been adding as i went on a calculator to make sure i was in the budget. it would have made me in control of the money instead of letting my debit card allowing me to make exceptions.

so i have been rethinking my approach to budgeting. the biggest obstacle for me is knowing when to get the money out of the bank and put it in the envelope.

so anyhoo - that was my big epiphany for the week. anyone else use the envelope system? when do you take the cash out and put it in the envelopes and how did you come to decide on that date? inquiring minds want to know ;)

2 comments:

  1. I don't have a grocery or house budget to plan, but I have found that cash keeps me on track spending wise. Because you can't go over! And you are likely to check, and double check, to make sure you don't embarrass yourself. :) Not that I haven't kept my debit card as backup before, but if I really needed to be careful, I guess it could stay at home! :)

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  2. We do envelopes and just take out cash twice a month (payday). That way you aren't carrying around a whole month's worth of cash!

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