Thursday, March 17, 2011

Budgeting & Weekly Savings

A few years ago, one of our topics at church was saving, being debt free and using Gods money wisely.  There was a video sermon for a period of 4 weeks featuring Dave Ramsay.  I wanted to share his 'Envelope System.'  We went through his courses offered at our church and also purchased Dave Ramsays Financial Peace University to get us started.  For more information  visit

The way we budget our money is quite simple.  I have our budget for the next 2 years already figured out into an excel spreadsheet.  First I set up a page that shows all monthly expenses.  This includes everything, insurance, mortgage, credit cards, student loan, and any other automatic withdrawls that we have on that account.  We also have both of our paychecks direct deposited and they are the same every paycheck so I know exactly how much is going in.  

Step 1: Find out your monthly guaranteed expenses and guaranteed income.  Coming in/Going out.
Step 2: Decide a comfortable amount to 'budget' for Food, Gas, Clothing, ect. (You choose your variable items to budget).  Once you decide how much your variable items are going to cost you per paycheck, double the amount and add to your monthly guaranteed expenses spreadsheet. 
Step 3: The way I have my budget set up as follows (for example)

May 20th DepositsBalances:
Alaska USA
prev. bal:(carried over)20-May$xxxx.xxCheck # to Exceed Learning Center -Daycare
Scott check$xxxx.xxMail 20th$xxxx.xxCheck # to GMAC for June Mortgage- due 1st 
Kristina Check$xxxx.xx20th$xxxx.xxPAYOFF CAR LOAN  
21st$xxxx.xxIdaho Power
21st$xxxx.xxIntermountain Gas
5th$xxxx.xxCity of Meridian
A W/D20-May-$20.00Boise Milk Company
A W/D27-May-$20.00Boise Milk Company
A W/D1-Jun-$37.50Anytime Fitness- Gym Membership
AKUSA Balance$xxxx.xxTotal$xxxx.xx

If you notice, there is a remaining balance from the previous week carried over to the next week when we get paid again.  Where it is listed -$500 for Envelopes, that is my pre-budgeted $$ that I withdraw every payday and distribute into my 6 cash envelopes:

$50 for Scott Gas & lunch out 1x per week
$150 for Kristina Gas & lunch out 1x per week
$200 for Food
$35 for Pet food
$15 for Haircuts
$50 for clothing & gifts

The way this system works is: When the money in the envelope is gone, it's gone!  You have to wait for the next paycheck if you spend it all right away.  It doesn't really pay off to 'steal' money from another envelope either, because you will throw off your whole budget.  Also- I started puting $15 in a haircut envelope every payday so that there is always $ there when Scott needs a haircut (typically every 5 weeks) but then there is always extra so that when I have to go (and spend considerably more) there is also enough for me to get my hair done. 

If you don't have a lot of debt and maybe 'extra' money to put in envelopes, then you can make your self other types that aren't so essential!  Maybe you have a strange addiction to buying baseball cards (I don't know) .... Make yourself an envelope for your hobby...only lets say $25 a paycheck can go into that.  Or maybe you are very crafty so you buy a lot of paint or sewing materials.... make an envelope.  Some other good examples would be to make an envelope for fundraisers, charities, children's allowance, vacation fund, car maintenance, landscaping, remodeling fund, ect ect ect!  You could really find a million different categories to make envelopes for, but I would suggest sticking with necessities unless you are debt free.

I highly encourage you to check out Dave Ramsay's information.  It is really fabulous.

Ok, now here are my weekly deals:

3/15 Shopping

Albertsons: Retail Price $63.70, I paid $6.09
Walgreens: Retail Price $59.98, I paid $18.50

Grand total: Retail $123.68
I paid $24.59  80% off!!!

There was also FREE bread and hamburger/hot dog buns sitting out at Albertsons that I got 1 of each.  And the eggs listed above are Farm Fresh from someone at work.... I snagged for $1 for a dozen.
Albertsons was doing doublers and I used Walgreens match up deals from

3/16 Shopping

Albertsons: Retail Price $111.85, I paid $14.97
Walgreens: Retail Price $149.91, I paid $43.09

Grand total: Retail $261.76
I paid $58.06  78% off!!!


Walgreens Diapers
On sale- B1@ $8.99 Get 1 Free
Use your $2 off coupon from the Infant Care Coupon Book and it will automatically scan 2x
End price: $2.50 each

Kraft BBQ Sauce, Propel & Jello
Albertsons has a special this week where if you buy 10 qualifying items (the three above were all included) then you automatically get $5 off.  Just so happends that I had (5) .75 cents off 1 bottle of kraft bbq sauce from last Sunday's paper as well as a $1/2 for the propel
BBQ sauce Final price- .25 cents each
Propel Final price- FREE
Jello Final Price .79 cents

Hearing Aid Batteries (I know- why the heck did I buy these)
Here is why- At the Federal Way Albertsons in Bosie there is a gigantic bin of hearing aid batteries on clearance for .75 cents each.  A couple of weeks ago (I think it was the big P&G coupon insert) had coupons for $1.50 off a specific type of hearing aid battery.  They were FREE AND I was paid .75 for each that I took out of the store!  I am now selling those on E-bay for way cheaper than someone could get them retail for and I  might make a couple bucks for matching my coupon up with a clearance item.

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