I am a spender at heart. Ever since I started making my own money, I generally would just spend it and not save a penny. My parents were not good with money. Although they never had any credit card debt they did not teach or encourage me to save money. SO, I NEVER DID! Yikes. I am not making excuses for myself, but most of my friends that are good with money had a parent or an adult in their life as a child that either set a good example around money or taught them to save.
When I became a single mom, I became better with money and less of a spender. This was also due to quitting my well-paying job to stay at home with my son. I no longer much money to spend. I feel grateful that I was able to stay at home with my son, but also for the fact that basically being dirt poor I learned the actual definitions of “need” and “want.”
Fast forward to now. My son is older (7 almost 8), I am able to work more in turn I am making decent money. Mind you, I have three jobs and I don’t make a lot or even close to what I used to but it is more than when my son was little. I have noticed that my spending has gotten more frivolous. I have been following Dave Ramsey (www.daveramesey.com) for a few years and more recently The Budget Mom (www.thebudgetmom.com). Both budgeting gurus recommend and The Budget Mom actually uses the cash envelope method.
With this method I am hoping to reverse my attitude of, “well I don’t make enough to save so it really doesn’t matter if I just spend it.” That is the wrong ATTITUDE and it leaves your life more stressful then necessary.
I feel the cash envelope system is sort of like a food journal, it holds you accountable for using your hard-earned money wisely. If you don’t use it properly, you will not have enough when you need it.
I will be going to the bank each Friday of each week. Here is the layout of my weekly budget cash envelopes: