Thursday, August 14, 2014

tweakin the plan.

Tons of people in the PF community will tell you that you need to give your money a job. Not just set aside money for bills but also set a number for your fun money and stuff too. The zero based budget is an example of one where you assign EVERY SINGLE dollar and at the end of the month you should see a budget of $0. (Check out L Bee and the Money Tree, she wrote a short and sweet post about various budgets, the zero based budget being one of them.)

The one thing that I’ve noticed about budgeting is that budgets need lots of attention and almost constant tweaking. Kinda like a baby. What a weird comparison! Hahaha. You sometimes have to try lots of different methods before you find one that you like and can stick with (unlike babies). I have noticed that you can use a few different methods and make a custom budget, you could probably also trademark it and try to sell it and become a millionaire… Dave Ramsey, anyone?

I have been using the envelope budget for a bit and I really like it. Just to be clear I am not following the Dave Ramsey method per say, I’m kinda just making things up as I go along and putting cash in envelopes with labels on them… Well that’s pretty much what he says to do but I’m doing it the Spunky way not the Dave way. Anywayyyy, I like the idea of using cash but I’m not going to sugarcoat that shiz and tell you it’s a cake walk because that would be a lie. The hardest part has been the few weeks that I’ve been between jobs and pay schedules. My first pay check at my new job was not enough to fill up my envelopes (because it was only one week AND I didn’t get to work 40 hours that week).

I have decided to tweak the Spunky method a little bit and see how it goes. The new plan is that I’m going to give my different accounts jobs. This is something I have tried in the past and it didn’t really work but I don’t think I was all that motivated when I tried it. The reason that I’m doing this is that I’m just so tired of carrying all my cash around. I like the idea of using cash for “fun money” so I can know where it is going and for groceries so I have a set limit but as it is I am having to carry 2 wallets and it’s making my purse really heavy! As always I am definitely willing to hear any opinions you guys have on this subject. I have 3 debit cards that I plan on giving specific jobs….. the jobs are as follows: one is for doctor bills/pharmacy bills, one is for all other bills, and then one will be for auto related expenses like gas and oil changes and stuff.

The plan is that I will deposit money into those accounts when I get paid this week and then put the remainder of my money (minus my allowance-which will be in cash) into my savings account.  I’m hoping that this works out for me. Fingers crossed.
Messy Money


  1. I like it! I hope it goes well for you :)

  2. Good idea. The Debit-Envelope method. See now you can name it and sell it. You will have to let everyone know how it goes.

  3. Good for you. I think it's important to find the approach that works for you as there's no one perfect method. And what works for you now may not be what works best for your life 10 years from now.

    I used to do the envelope system. Nowadays I run everything through one of two credit cards and pay off the cards every two weeks. I travel heavily for work and this approach simplifies my life This year I keep track of all myspending categories in YNAB -- but for nearly a decade I tracked our budget in MS Excel spreadsheets.

    What matters is finding what works for you -- great job!

    1. Thanks Jean! I love how supportive everyone is!

  4. I had just written out a really long post about how if you're interested in zero based budgets that you should definitely check out YNAB but then somehow I lost the comment and I see that Jean mentioned it above. If you haven't looked into YNAB yet though, you really should. They have a 34-day free trial which is great. I was pretty dismissive of the idea of purchasing budgeting software at first but after like a week I was convinced it was way better than my extensive excel files. Even if you eventually decide against purchasing, I would check it out, their blog and forums are amazing as well.

  5. Hey!

    I also have a number of current accounts I move money into for specific uses. We have the main one where everything is paid in and all direct debits and payments go from then another which is used for day to day payments and food and once it's gone, it's gone! Finally we have the 'surplus' savings account where all the excess goes (what little we have!)

    It works for us and I hope it works for you as well - it's like the envelope system but digital! :)

    Cottage Retreatist