A Quick and Simple Guide to Envelope Budgeting

You have a hard time keeping track of just how much money you spend on a regular basis and you’re worried that most of it is being spent in the wrong places. To make better decisions with your paychecks and kick bad habits to the curb, try envelope budgeting.

Why is it important to have a budget at all?

Having a budget keeps you from living beyond your means and spending money that should be going to essentials, long-term goals and general savings. Living without any limits encourages you to go through a stressful cycle of getting a paycheck, burning through it in a hurry and pinching pennies until the next check comes in.

Another reason why you need a budget is for helping you save enough money for emergency costs — these costs can be for unexpected medical bills or household problems that need to be repaired right away. Setting aside a portion of your earnings every month will eventually give you a considerable sum to deal with unfortunate surprises.

When people haven’t left themselves any savings for emergencies, and they don’t have time to wait for their next paycheck to come in, they can look to a place like MoneyKey as potential solution. The company can approve a cash advance for them a lot faster than any regular bank so that they can fix their problem as soon as possible.

In addition to the speedy service, people don’t have to pay off the advance in one lump sum — you can stop by MoneyKey to learn more about howto apply. You’ll also learn how paying these cash loans back in smaller installments are easier to manage than traditional short term loan repayment schedules. To avoid this situation entirely, experts suggest that people save up at least three to six months’ worth of expenses for emergency costs.

What is envelope budgeting?

The style of envelope budgeting requires that you take out the extent of your monthly budget in paper bills — then you divide the sum into separate spending categories, which are conveniently divided into labeled envelopes. Some popular categories for envelopes are groceries, rent, gas money, entertainment and personal care.

When you leave the house with the goal of a purchase, you bring the proper envelope in your purse or bag with you. So, if you need to stop at the pharmacy to get more toothbrushes and floss, you grab money from the personal care envelope and put the change back inside.

If you feel like after a month your original calculations for categories weren’t a good fit, you can always adjust. It’s easy to move some more money into the groceries category by sacrificing some of the costs of entertainment. Over the year, the budgeting style will force you to confront and modify your spending habits.

Why should you pay with cash?

The reason why traditional envelope budgeting is so successful is that it gets the household to depend on cash instead of debit or credit as its main financial resource. Paper moneymakers it easier to maintain spending limits because you can see exactly how much of it disappears.

On the other hand, people can use their cards all week without noticing how much they’re spending. You’ll be estimating the extent of your purchases until you decide to check up on your accounts, tally up all of your receipts or worse — discover that the payment won’t go through when you’re standing at the cash register.

 Research from assistant marketing professor Avni M. Shah revealed that people find that paying with cash hurts — the experience feels more vivid to consumers than using plastic cards, online transfers or vouchers for the same purpose. Since it’s so hard for people to spend their cash, the purchase ends up feeling more significant.

What if you’re looking for a compromise?

Many people will find taking out their entire monthly budget in paper bills intimidating. If you relate to this feeling, you don’t have to jump into the deep end straightaway — envelope budgeting 2.0 uses a combination of the old method and online banking to keep the household finances in order.

You can treat accounts as your envelopes, storing different types of savings into them for safe-keeping.Digital accounts work best for monthly essentials like phone bills or child care fees, along with long-term goals and emergency funds. 

You don’t have to hire a financial advisor in order to save money and make smarter spending choices. You can manage your monthly expenses and put away a significant amount of your income all on your own. All you need to do is to take out a sum of your paycheck in paper bills, get some envelopes and commit to your budget.

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