One Month into the Cash Envelope System
We have been using the cash envelope system for one month now and it’s time to tally everything up to see how we did. Unfortunately, we used most of the money set aside. Which is actually ok, because it was set aside for a certain purpose.
I am keeping track of how much is left at the end of each month, assuming we are going to continue with this method for a while. For me, I like the idea of trying to have more and more left over each month.

Cash Envelope balances at the end of month one

Groceries – $2.60 – We did have two steak nights during the month that probably contributed to not much leftover money. But on the other hand we were eating out of the pantry, fridge and freezer for the whole month, only buying minimal necessities like fruits, vegetables, milk and eggs.
Fuel (K) – $52.65 – The second time I filled up I managed to get it at just the right time. The next day the price of petrol had gone up by $0.25/litre.
Fuel (L) – $0
Outings/Takeaway – $0 – My husband took
Car Service – $65 – Some of this was used to buy a product to wash the car
Birthday – $50 –
Emergency Fund – $1,000
Christmas – $200
Sinking Funds – $0

I decided to add the leftover $50 in notes from my fuel to the Christmas fund. At the start of the next month, I also took all of the coins I had to the bank to cash them in. I had $( – 5.25). I think $1,000 is the sweet spot for us at the moment, which can be broken down as:

Groceries – $400
Fuel (K) – $200
Fuel (L) – $200
Outings/Takeaway – $100
Car Service – $100

Is it working for us? Yes and no. I am totally happy to abstain from buying things, I am an under-buyer after all. There were a few slip-ups too. I didn’t realise the self serve checkouts at Bunnings are card only. I had planned to pay cash but had already scanned all of my items.

But wait. What’s an under-buyer? An under-buyer is someone that often consider buying an item, but decides to get it another time or that maybe they don’t really need it. They often come up with a makeshift solution, like using sour cream instead of yoghurt in a recipe. The latter I did just last week!

1 month of the cash envelope system


* indicates required