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Gwen’s August Challenge: The Envelope Method for Spending

Welcome back!

My August mo’ money, mo’ progress challenge was to use ‘the envelope method’ for spending. That meant my challenge was to pay only in cash, and to budget all the money I was going to use in envelopes for the month.

Why was I doing this? There were two main reasons:

  1. It’s more painful to part with cash than to swipe a card. I’m in savage mode to pay off my debts, and I’d heard this is a great tactic to use.
  2. Curiousity. Could I actually use this simple method of spending?

As a card-carrying swiper (for all the things) I thought it would be interesting to see what it would be like to actually take out a wad of cash, put it in envelopes according to my budget and stick to it. So at the start of the month, I headed to the bank, took out the money, and sorted the dollas the best I could into envelopes.

THE RESULTS:

It worked… for about half the month.

I had about 10 envelopes and was really vigilant at the beginning with carrying almost all of the envelopes I’d need (groceries, coffee, restaurant, miscellaneous) wherever I went. I’m a very ‘go with the flow’ kinda gal, so I never knew what envelopes I’d need for the day.

I will be honest, it’s a little unnerving to carry around a couple hundred bucks wherever you go. It kind of made me want to spend it, so I wouldn’t lose it.

I also found that once I couldn’t keep up with the change (or it fell out of envelopes and all over the place), I started to resent this system.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Overall, I’m happy I took on this challenge. It is a very eye-opening exercise to actually decide how much money you’re going to spend for the month… and see it. I actually do love the idea of paying in cash for a few things, so I’m going to extend the envelope method for September for my coffee and groceries budgets! I highly recommend trying this if you’re curious.

MY SEPTEMBER CHALLENGE:

I noticed in August that I started to become addicted to technology. It was quite a busy month at work, and I’m going to be moving again soon (and was dealing with that stress), so I found that at the end of the day all I wanted to do was curl up under the covers and watch YouTube videos. There’s nothing wrong with that, though I found I also went to sleep listening to podcasts, and overall had too much technology swirling around my head before grabbing some zzz’s. So my September challenge is going to be airplane mode and laptop free at 9 p.m. This is my effort to disconnect from technology before going to sleep and get some time back to read, meditate, and reconnect with a better sense of well-being.

Thank you for reading!! <3
Gwen

 

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