The Crazy Suburban Mom: From To-Do to To-Done to The Mall!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

From To-Do to To-Done to The Mall!

My cash envelope system is an enormous success.  Since I began using cash envelopes in my Filofax back in December I've accumulated  hundreds of dollars.  Some is still growing (Xmas) some is used more regularly (Medical Expenses) but it's all rather  astounding to me.  In the past I lived paycheck to paycheck.  When another payday rolled around I was frequently at (or very close) to not having a dime left.  (In fact a month or two before I started doing this I over drew my checking account.)

After a while I had a few hundred dollars in the envelopes and I moved the money out of my Filofax for two reasons; it was taking up a significant amount of ring real estate and I didn't feel comfortable having it all in one place.  If I lost my Filofax, it was gone.

I've learned I do better with cash.  Cash is real; it hurts to spend it.  Swiping a debit card is like paying with faux-money from  Ethereal Bank of the Universe.  And it doesn't feel like I'm spending MY money.

Armed with this new-found self awareness I thought about ways I could implement something else to make life easier.    I don't know if anyone remembers but I wrote myself a 'how to be neat' list...  A major struggle I have is not doing things, NOW!  I put off dozens of little things to do later and when later comes, taking care of all these things is so major I don't have the energy to tackle it.

So I combined getting what I have to do done in a timely manner with cash envelopes.

BeFunky Orton on iPhone

Front and center, the first thing in my Filofax is an envelope with a label; Do it now. 

BeFunky Orton on iPhone

Inside are Fifty one dollar bills.    Every time I do something now, anything, I move a dollar to...

BeFunky Saturation on iPhone

The second zipper pocket that is labeled , Spend it Later.   

BeFunky Orton on iPhone

It's really helping me and stops me from putting things off during the day.

BeFunky Orton on iPhone

Not a hundred percent of the time but a lot more then I did before setting this all up.

I will update how this works but I think it will be perfect for me.  It will get me to do small chores as they come up and provide me another way to manage spending money.


LJ 4/19/13, 1:37 AM  

What a fabulous idea :o)

Susan Mac 4/19/13, 6:38 AM  

I had wondered how the cash system was working out, because I don't seem to be able to stop whipping out that debit card either. I am going to start using your system this month. I also really love the do it now idea! Think I'll try that also. As I have said before, I love the way your mind zoops around. You have probably saved me from poverty so thanks big time.

Tracy Reinhardt 4/19/13, 6:40 AM  

Susan, Thank you! Before I started the envelopes I almost never used cash and spent everything I had each month. I don't know why this works for me but it really does!

Hope you have some luck with it too!

Morag 4/19/13, 1:25 PM  

Tracy, I have been thinking about using envelopes again for a while but you have convinced me it's worth a try. I found it a bit more tricky as most of my bills are paid online and my grocery shopping is done online as well but I can easily pay cash into the bank to cover this and just live on what's left. Here's hoping I save loads!!

Vonlipi 4/19/13, 10:46 PM  

Sounds like a great system!

I can't wait to hear how much you save :) 4/20/13, 10:51 AM  

I feel the same way about cash. I've been experimenting with a "spending checking account" but so far it's not working! Cash is just . . . well, cash. Like you said - it's real.

Love your idea for staying motivated.

lifeconsidered 4/21/13, 7:24 AM  

Tracy, first of all, you have the BEST titles!. You really know how to grab people's attention right out of the gate. Your titles are so wacky I just HAVE to read the blog to find out what the heck you're talking about. So entertaining!
Secondly, I've been using my slim-line Adelphi for my cash system for a while now. Must admit, I got a little off track. You have inspired me to reel it back in and start using cash only again. Thanks for the update.

Tracy Reinhardt 4/22/13, 7:54 AM  

LJ - thank you!!

Morag - Definitely give it a try! It has really helped me!

Tracy Reinhardt 4/22/13, 7:57 AM  

Vonlipi! How are you doing, girl??? Miss you :)

Homemakers Daily - Cash IS SO real!! For sure!

Lifeconsidered - I really do try to make fun titles... No one has mentioned it before and I've always wondered if people liked them or it was just me they tickled :) Thanks so much for telling me... It means a lot! And cash... so hard for me. So hard!

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