Saturday, February 8, 2014

7 Ways To Make the Money Last - The Envelope System

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I can't be overdrawn;
I still have checks left!

Is there more month than money?

My husband and I have a terrible time holding on to our money.  It seems like everything everywhere is on the upward trend, except our paychecks.  Those have remained steady for several years.

Please don’t think I’m complaining about my job.  I am not!  I praise God every day that we have jobs, that we enjoy the work we do, and that we are able to meet our needs.  We can’t ask for more than that!  God has truly blessed us.

We don’t have everything we ever wanted; but we have more than enough when it comes to basic needs.  And, if you’ve been following my blog, you know that I personally have WAY MORE THAN ENOUGH of most things (even if I can’t find all of them when I want to use them, hahaha!)

Financial stress can really put a burden on us; it can make us act irrationally and do things we wouldn’t normally consider.  My husband and I spent years trying to figure out how to make ends meet, how to make sure we didn’t spend more than we had, and how to make sure the finances were handled fairly.  I’m going to share a few tips with you that work for us and that have helped us stretch our budget and save a few dollars.

1 Corinthians 4:1-2 (KJV) – Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

The Envelope System - 7 Ways To Make the Money Last

We have had issues in the past with over-swiping debit cards, and overdrawn checks, resulting bank fines and overdraft penalties so we just don’t want to go there anymore.  Reminds me of that old joke, “I can’t be overdrawn; I still have checks left”; only it isn’t so funny when it’s happening to you.

  1. We keep enough money in the bank to cover the bills that need to be paid over the next two weeks (our bi-weekly pay-cycle), transfer some to savings for emergencies (which seem to be coming more quickly than we can save for them), and everything else is handled on a cash basis,
  2. We use direct deposit, so when our bi-weekly pay hits the bank we pull out the cash we’ve budgeted for the next two weeks (our bi-weekly pay-cycle) and divvy it up!
  3. We place our offering in an envelope and put it aside; on Sunday, the envelope goes into the offering plate.
  4. We put our two-week grocery allowance into another envelope and hold on to it until the next shopping trip.
  5. When we purchase groceries, we put the receipts in the envelope to keep track of the money and to remember how we spent the money.
  6. If, for any reason, we have an emergency that is greater than our savings balance, the first place we cut back is on the grocery allowance.
  7. We each get an allowance to cover gas and miscellaneous purchases for the pay-cycle.  As long as we have money in our respective envelopes, we can spend it however we want, no questions asked!  
We’ve learned to be pretty conservative with our miscellaneous purchases until the end of that two-week pay cycle; neither of us wants to get caught short for gas money.  Both of us need to get back and forth from our jobs, which just so happen to be in different directions and on schedules – so, unfortunately, there’s no chance for us to car-pool.
Tomorrow, is Sunday, and I will not be posting; I hope you have a wonderful day of worshiping at your church.  But, I do hope you’ll stop by again on Monday, and I’ll share a few more tips that seem to help our family.

I hope this post has been a blessing to you.  Please take a few moments and share your tips and tricks for stretching your budget in the comment section below.  

My Prayer for Today...  

Dear Lord, Thank you for teaching us how to find peace, if not plenty, in our finances.  Help us to be grateful for the things we have, to take care of them within our financial means, and to guard the resources you’ve given us so we have the time, money, and energy to serve You and to serve others.


  1. I would love to hear from you today! How do your and your family make ends meet?

  2. jerry stopped letting me pay the bills, there is more accountability now for where the money goes. we go to the grocery together, as well as to walmart. its not a perfect system, but it is one that makes him totally aware of where the money is going, and helps to restrain my own impulsive purchasing habits.

    1. Lisa, Thanks for Sharing! Ray lets me handle all the bill payments. I usually pay them using the bank's payment system saving us the price of checks and postage. When I receive the confirmation from the bank indicating a bill has been paid I forward it to him so he is aware of outgoing payments.

      Thanks again for sharing. I appreciate your support.

      Mary ;-)


I hope this post was a blessing to you and that you found something to help you in your daily walk with Christ. Would you please take a moment and share something that makes your home run more smoothly and aids you in your Walk with Christ? MarySmiles ;-)