Results of Cash Envelope Month

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Husband and I made it to the end of the month with only a little bit of cash left in the cash envelopes, but I’d call the month a rousing success. For one thing, the cash represented less than we usually spend on shopping and restaurants and groceries per month, so we really noticed and avoided eating at expensive restaurants or buying groceries we didn’t need. We delayed a variety of shopping purchases that, by the time February arrived, we didn’t really need any more.

In celebration, we also put some of the savings into an extra payment on the house; while we are happy with the 15 year mortgage we got on the house we own, we are always trying to pay it down a little faster. That extra payment felt great a couple of days ago, and I honestly think it is part of why I’d like to maintain a lower level of spending rather than creeping back up to where we were at the end of 2017.

During the summer, I see beautiful weather and new businesses opening and I just generally feel like spending money is “worth it” in a lot of cases because of the positive memories created. Lately has felt like a lean time – right now, our income is stable but outside is dark and cold and even spending money on nice things seems like it won’t contribute to as good of memories. It seems like a natural time to eat simply, to invest in keeping our home warm enough to be (close to) comfortable, and to dream of spring.

The cash envelopes taught me that I can make very small adjustments and save quite a bit on groceries, shopping, and restaurants, the areas with the most substantial discretionary spending for us. I hope that even without cash I will carry these lessons through and remember that I don’t have to spend a lot of money on an experience just because it might be fun – there are many ways to have a nice time.

7 Comments, RSS

  1. John Kraft February 2, 2018 @ 6:51 am

    Congratulations!

  2. Self Improvement Sisters February 2, 2018 @ 5:55 pm

    I like this idea – I typically never carry cash, but I can see how putting something on my card may not seem as tangible as handing over cash. I may have to try this in the future. 🙂

  3. Encore Voyage February 2, 2018 @ 11:52 pm

    The most important words in that post — “I can make very small adjustments and save quite a bit.” The fact that you recognize this and actively pursue savings will, in the end, give you the freedom for your own encore voyage! Way to go!!! ~ Lynn

  4. mavisdee February 3, 2018 @ 11:14 pm

    Hi I’ve nominated you for a Liebster Award https://mavisdee.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/the-liebster-award/

    • lauramleavitt February 6, 2018 @ 9:22 pm

      Thank you!

  5. R. Jane Bowen February 4, 2018 @ 8:12 am

    Still not quite sure what cash envelopes mean, I will read previous posts and maybe that will enlighten me.

  6. Mandy Hackland February 5, 2018 @ 6:08 am

    When my family was young I used the cash envelope system for years. We labelled each envelope and I was careful not to dig into the electricity envelope for groceries and vice versa. However on the odd occasion I do remember having to ‘borrow’ for extra petrol – and made my husband laugh when I said that I was running my car on milk – once he understood I had used some milk money to top up my petrol. (We purchased our milk directly from a farm at the time, so it had its own envelope). The system worked well for us and I can recommend it.

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