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Have you heard of the “Envelope System”? It comes highly recommended by Dave Ramsey and other “financial gurus”. I love the idea and see how it can work for people.
I’ve tried it. I’ve tried it with plain paper envelopes, plastic envelopes, fabric, ect.
And I have not had any luck. After many tries, I give up. It’s time to admit that:
The Envelope System Doesn’t Work For Me.
That’s not to say that it isn’t the better option for many people. It’s just not the right one for me.
After countless hours pinning cute envelope ideas and attempting several of them, I’ve learned five reasons the envelope system just doesn’t work for me.
1. I Spend Cash
It burns a hole in my pocket. I have a MUCH harder time swiping a debit card. It is too easy to buy a small snack at a gas station with cash but I’m less likely to do it if I use a card.
2. I Make It Too Complicated
I set up too many categories. Which sets me up for failure. If you decide this system is right for you, do yourself a favor and don’t over complicate it.
3. I Don’t Follow The System
I overspent on groceries? No problem…I’ll just pull out of the gas envelope. I have no idea why I don’t have the discipline to follow a cash system but I can follow a self imposed budget if I’m using a card.
4. It’s Hard To Keep Track Of
Once cash is spent, there is no way to track it if you loose your receipt. With a debit card, you can easily see exactly where you spent money. I am a little obsessive about tracking expenses. It’s how I learned I once spent $100 on Slim Jims in a month but that’s another story for another time. I like to know precisely where my money is going each month.
5. I Shop More Online
I shop for more items online than I do in store and I can’t use cash for that.
How about you? Do you use envelopes to keep track of your money?