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cash

Making changes to your envelope system

envelopes

I am such a fan of the envelope system. The FIRST step we made in starting this Debt Free Process was to start living on cash. We had done it some in the past but never stuck with it 100%. We both agreed to jump in with both feet!

I’ve mentioned before the envelopes that we use. After I traded my car, I did not need as much in the gas envelope. My husband’s fuel is covered through his work so the envelope is only for me. I realized after a few weeks that I had a LOT of cash leftover in that envelope… BUT, we had really gotten into trying new food at home and were spending more at the store. Easy fix! But– I still took time to read on Dave Ramsey’s website to see what he would say. 🙂 Once I had his permission {I know, I know} to make this change, I did it.

The cash we take out each month is still the same amount BUT it gets divided up differently. Make those changes! YOU are in control! Perhaps your family requires a TON of money for food but you live in a place where you take the bus? Or maybe you only have one vehicle. That’s OKAY!

I’ve mentioned my Love/Hate relationship with DR before… and part of the reason is that he comes across as though there is no margin for error, or change. I want to do it RIGHT and let’s face it- Dave Ramsey has this down to an art! So I was struggling with swaying from the “plan.” Make the plan your own! You know what your needs are and you HAVE to take those into full consideration on this “plan.” The PLAN will NEVER work if you aren’t on board. And it’s HARD to get in board when it seems so rigid, right?! I know I felt that way! I don’t anymore.. I have made peace with making changes. In  some areas I follow his plan 150%, but in others, well, my husband and I don’t agree with them. {Mainly the emergency fund… DR says $1000 and we say we want it to be more to feel comfortable.}

Make it your own. Take each step and apply it in the BEST way to fit your NEEDS!

Thanks for reading!

For Now,

Cara Roxanne

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To keep… or to toss?

That’s the REAL question.

My husband and I sat down at the kitchen bar and went over EVERY little thing we could think of that we spend money on. Having these kinds of real discussions regarding your finances is a vulnerable and wonderful time! It’s hard ya know? Finances are very personal and they weigh differently to men and women. What I value and want to see happen financially is not always what my husband wants. Finding that common ground is SO important!

Our list of random things we spend money on went like this:

Gym membership

Netflix

Hulu

Apple Music

Amazon Prime

Sam’s

Dish Network

bills

Let’s start with the gym. It is ONLY $22 bucks a month. And we have NOT been in 3 months. {FACE PALM}

We had the discussion of what to do with it. It’s very inexpensive but we are NOT using it… yet we both WANT to. It is hard for us to find the time between our busy schedules, my husband traveling a large portion of the time, having a child who isn’t old enough to be IN the gym, and let’s not forget having the TRUE motivation to go work out. We talked at length and decided to keep it until February. If we haven’t used it at least twice a week (on a GOOD average) then it’s gone. If we start using it like we desire to–then it stays.

Netflix. We can’t get rid of that! That was a pretty quick conversation. However, we DID make a change. Our bill is going up in January to $13.99 a month. I looked at the plans and we are currently on the 4 screens at a time/ability to download on 4 devices plan. We lowered it to the 2 screen plan for $10.99 a month. The ONLY time we ever need more than 2 devices is when we go on trips…which happens often. On an airplane we will each have our phones watching a downloaded tv show/movie from Netflix. That cannot happen on this new plan. However- Netflix is AWESOME in the fact that you can change your plan at any time and just pay the prorated difference. For now, this plan works. “But is is JUST 3.00 a month you saved.” You are correct. But that’s 3 dollars that WE get to keep. That’s a redbox movie and a 20 oz Dr Pepper to split. That’s a date night. And THAT is worth it.

Hulu. It’s going “Bye-Bye-BYE” as Justin Timberlake would say. {Well-now you know my age bracket!} For $7.99 a month we can get 99% of the same shows that are either on Dish or are on Netflix. My daughter will NOT be happy because she loves her some Cake Wars on Hulu… but I bet you anything we can find some of those episodes on Youtube. #THATISFREE

Apple Music. My husband doesn’t have an iPhone {which drives me crazy} so this one was up to me. I use my Apple Music every single day of the week! It is $14.99 a month and I DEFINITELY get my moneys worth… but I set that to cancel at my next payment date. I have used Pandora a lot this holiday season and though I cannot be AS selective with the music, it really is okay. I’m a big girl. I can do this. I think. I hope. I pray.

Amazon Prime. My number is up with them. They discovered [through their detective ways] that I am no longer a student. I purchased Prime last year as a student so it was half price. Starting in January it will go up to $99 a year. That’s not bad-right? But we don’t use the Prime Video often at all as most of the content can be found on Netflix or tv, and due to our cutting back on spending we really don’t have a lot to order this year. We got our moneys worth last year and ordered some large items, but I don’t see us doing that again this year so— buh bye!

Sam’s Club. I need to verify but I believe we have a membership through March. I jokingly {not so jokingly} told my husband that before our membership runs out we are going to stock up on some TP and paper towels! That is all I REALLY buy there! I mean if I am there I will be a gigantic bag of almonds because they are cheaper than Kroger, but overall, I don’t buy much there. I have found that for a family of 3, we can’t eat the yogurts before they expire, and I can’t eat all those bananas! I hate bananas… but I buy them because they are healthy. {yuck} So all in all, we might spend a LITTLE more on TP and other paper goods but not enough to cover the membership. I never buy gas there even though it’s a little cheaper because it is out of my way. So– there goes another savings of (I think) around $100!

Dish Network. Every month I pay for a TV service provider so that I can watch something I’ve either already seen or own the DVD of. {FACE PALM} It’s so true! We watch 20/20, Dateline, This is Us, Teen Mom [hey- this is a judgement free zone] and reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond. We pay a significant amount for that and even though my husband recently got them to lower the bill by $40 bucks, we pay over $80 each month! So here is the plan- I called to find out when our contract is up. Valentines Day. I confirmed this… we will cancel on that day and 30 days later we can come back as “new customers” and receive the same equipment and channels for 1/3 of the price. Basically this means that in January we will be doing the Whole 30 plus fasting social media for 21 days with our church, and then turn right around and have no cable for 30 days. Sounds like a stellar start to the New Year, huh?!

It comes down to your priorities. Maybe you have those perfectly in line. Or maybe you need to reevaluate them. I know that for US, this year is about paying off as much debt as humanly possible. If that means not having Apple Music and Dish for 30 days (And who knows? Maybe we will end up 6 months and just get it back in time for football season?), then those are sacrifices we are willing to make in order to reach our GOAL!

What is your goal? Figure that out NOW! Maybe it is to pay off one credit card and move right along. Maybe you can’t sleep at night for fear that you won’t be able to pay your bills. Whatever your situation is, decide what your GOAL is. Once you have prayed/meditated over that goal and decided this for SURE what you want… NOTHING will stand in your way!

Thanks for reading.

For now,

Cara Roxanne

CA$H

Living on cash is not always easy.

I wish I could say that it was but sometimes it requires a lot of discipline.

I am SUPER forgetful.

I will make my grocery list, have my coupons organized, have my list organized by aisles and sections of the store… I will do my best to stay within my budget and I will straight up let the cashier ring it all up only to realize I left my cash at HOME! This WILL happen.

Living on cash for us means just that–we only spend cash. Now I will say that the scenario above has happened… and I swiped my debit card. {OH THE HORROR!!!!} I also came home, got the cash I MEANT to take with me and went straight to the bank and deposited it. That wasn’t a “Freebie”… I had to replace what I had just used.

We use cash for the following things:

Groceries

Gas

Fun

Extras

Clothes

Each pay period a set amount of money goes into each envelope.

“What happens if there is money left over?” You decide.

Our plan is to keep the extra money in the envelopes and not use it somewhere else. For example, I put $100 dollars aside each month for clothes. I don’t spend that each month. That will often pile up because we may not need anything. But when it is TIME to need something there is money to spend. I rarely have extra money in groceries left over.. and occasionally I have borrowed from the gas envelope to pay for a quick trip to Kroger. That’s okay! {for us anyway} The bottom line is that this is the cash we have and if we choose to spend the clothes envelope to go out to eat and to the money we CAN… but can’t buy clothes that month.

SPENDING CASH MAKES A DIFFERENCE.

cash

I don’t know why, but it does. I don’t think of myself as an over-spender by any means but even for me I spend less when I use cash. Even if I had a pre-paid debit card with money on it, I would spend more by swiping. {Can someone explain that to me??} Cash makes a HUGE difference for us.

We have income coming in each week. Fortunately we are on opposite pay days but it that happens to mean we get paid each Friday. So after I pay my bills each Friday I then go withdraw the set amount of cash designated for that week. And then it goes straight into the envelopes.

EXTRAS

Dave Ramsey will tell you to plan for emergencies by having $1000 saved up. DO THAT! Do it now–today–this week!! But the point of that is to recognize that things WILL happen. So our EXTRAS envelope helps with that. We have our $1000 in savings for the emergency fund but I also recognize that things happen we can’t/haven’t budgeted for. In my budget binder I have a sheet titled “Things to plan for that we can’t really plan for”. {I am so creative–riiiighttt?} My list has things on it like: oil changes, air conditioner vent things (legit how I have it listed), light bulbs, birthdays, essential oils, hang-outs.

I do NOT want an envelope for light bulbs. And I don’t want one for things like propane tank for the grill. So I summed it up and called it EXTRAS. Extra stuff WILL come up. You will have planned perfectly and bought your groceries, filled up your car, bought your kid a new coat, and then someone will call and invite you to dinner. Well you don’t wanna show up empty handed now do you?!?! #EXTRAS

The neighbor who is just too cute to turn down will ask you to buy popcorn for his school fundraiser. #EXTRAS

You will burn something in your oven and you MUST buy a candle. #EXTRAS { I mean- that’s never happened to ME but I’ve heard of that…}

Have you ever gotten to the end of month and realized that you don’t recall a fun night out or buying anything extravagant yet you have $18 dollars to your name? {My hand is raised… you just can’t see it} If you are TIRED of that happening then you MUST make a change!! Maybe you make really good money and so creating a budget and/or cutting back hasn’t crossed your mind? I get that! But what if you could have MORE?

hand

Maybe the cash plan isn’t for you. Just find what works. I PROMISE you that each little thing you do will have an impact on your financial health.

Thanks for reading!

For now,

Cara Roxanne

 

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