Do we really use envelopes?
This question was posed on the LLNOE forums by KEDkrafty. The simple answer, yes. From my experience teaching Financial Peace University over the last two and half years, folks are a bit reluctant using the envelope system for one reason or another. Many have issues carrying cash for the fear of being mugged. I’ve even come across folks who just plain don’t like cash because it’s dirty. To many, it’s more convenient to use plastic, either debit/check card or credit card. Whatever the reason may be, there’s always some apprehension toward envelopes.
For us, however, envelopes have been essential in sticking to a budget. Not only that, but it’s helped us keep it simple. Listen, we have lives outside of this financial stuff and the last thing I want to worry about is counting receipts to make sure we’re within budget. With the envelopes, if there’s money in there, we know it’s in the budget. If not, then we’re done until the next pay period.
What envelopes help us do is stay accountable. This topic is often times overlooked in the personal finance world, but, it’s absolutely crucial. Whether you’re married or not, you have be held accountable for how you spend your money if you want to win with money.
I know some of you out there just don’t want to carry cash. “I might get mugged, after all, I don’t live in the safest city/town.” Well, we don’t carry all of our cash or envelopes with us all the time. We keep the envelopes at home and only carry our blow money with us. If I need to get groceries, I simply grab the cash from that envelope and get to it. Besides, the chances of getting mugged are rather slim compared to the many times you have been mugged at the mall or department store.