There are tons of ways to manage money. I have chosen to use the envelope system. It is simple and doesn’t cost anything. Whenever I earn income, or am given money as a gift, I place the money into an envelope.
The current envelopes I have are:
My favorite! Cause I can spend it! On gum or jewelery or gum or chapstick or gum… I use this for things like going to a movie, purchasing gifts for friends/family, or any other kind of special purchase.
I am saving up for a car, and am thankful that my grandparents are going to help me in this area. However, I am only going to make this purchase when I really need it and now is not that time. The initial cost is bad enough, but I don’t want any earnings I make now to be swallowed up in maintenance, gas, and insurance. I would rather save that money so I will be putting this purchase off for a while.
This is probably the most important envelope that I have currently. Even if I have to delay my college graduation date, I am totally committed to graduating without debt, particularly student loans.
My parents have taught me all of my life that it is important to give. This envelope is for me to set aside some of my earnings to give to my church. It is important to start this habit while you are still young. If you attend church that is definitely the place to start. You may also want to think about supporting a missionary, choosing a local charitable organization, or some other group that does something in our world to make it a better place.
Yes, I already have an envelope for retirement. The younger you start the better. It may work out that I have to divert these funds back into the college envelope at some point, and that is fine with me. I can always start again once I graduate and get a job.
When I was little I remember sitting down with my parents in order to put my allowance in my envelopes. I had a spending, saving and giving envelope. I think I got five dollars a week, and mom always gave it to me in one dollar bills so that I could put something in each envelope. My parents did ask that I put something into each envelope but I got to choose how much. I’m really glad they did this with me when I was small because it comes a little easier to me now.
How do you manage your money? If you use envelopes, what are your categories? Do you have a plan or are you just winging it?