Cash is King! My Envelope System

I was chatting with some of my friends and they let me know how hard it is to use cash. They would just assume charge everything and pay it off at the end of the month! Boy, does that sound familiar. That was me 11 years ago. I was fine because I pay off my credit cards monthly and don't pay interest. 
That makes me awesome right?
Not matter how you handle your money, you are awesome! What I have learned is, if you are like me and pay off your cards monthly, you are always a month behind. Meaning, if you charge and charge planning on paying it off at the end of the month and something bad happens, loss of job, car breaks down, someone gets sick, you are going to be behind. 

I'm not saying that paying cash for everything is easy! Not at all. It is work just like anything else. What I am saying is that once you start using cash and know where your money is, know how much you have left for the end of the month. You are more in control of your future. 
Your envelope system doesn't have to be fancy! Not even, this is a pic of mine! Yep, it is an old  coupon organizer. This one has 7 sections and as you can see I have them labeled with what they are for and the dollar amount I want to put in there weekly!

These are the sections we use for our family and seem to be working because they haven't been changed in all these years: 

Allowance. Yep, I call it what it is. My husband and I have money that we get weekly and we pull it from there. I don't need to know that he got his 178th 2L of Mountain Dew for the week and he certainly doesn't need to know if I got a new purse. You get the idea. 

Groceries /Household: Kinda self explanatory. I let this fund roll over and when I see a great sale I am ready to stockpile.

Clothing: I know I am amazed that these kids grow too but we have to be prepared for when they need new clothes (us too).

Birthdays: Both of my children have late fall/winter birthdays and I need this section so that I am not stealing from Christmas fund to have a party. #Truth

Christmas: When I put a little in there every payday then when I see a great deal I can grab it throughout the year! Grab my Debt Free Christmas tips and tricks here. It's free and my gift to you. 

Entertainment:  This is an important fund so that you are prepared and can plan some fun times with family and friends. 

The KIDS  This is where I put money every payday and let it build up. We use it for those yearbooks, school photos, books, school uniforms, school supplies etc. It might sound silly, I know that every year they get pictures taken for school and they are crazy expensive. This way I don't have to worry about and figure out which fund I am taking that from. 

Of course you can find tons of envelope systems all over the place. If you are in need of one you can go to the dollar section and grab a coupon organizer or even a fancy Envelope System, which ever one you choose I know that it will bless you and your family!

Are you planning on going Cash Only? What categories will you have?

Don't forget to grab my guide for 3 EASY Ways to Save you Money!

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cash-based envelope system, budgeting, control spending, financial freedom, categories, allowance, groceries, clothing, birthdays, Christmas, entertainment, kids' expenses

10 Simple Money-Saving Tips for a Frugal Lifestyle

If you're tired of overpriced bills and want to start saving money, then you've come to the right place! I will share 10 money-saving hacks that are easy to try and will help you keep more cash in your wallet. So, let's get started!

  1. Negotiate your bills with service providers: Don't be afraid to pick up the phone and see if you can get a better deal with your service providers. You never know, they might just be willing to work with you to keep you as a customer. I have done this with my cable and cell phone company. This tip might sound annoying but it has saved us $100s. 

  2. Use coupons and promo codes: Before making any online purchases, take a quick minute to search for coupons or promo codes. You could end up saving big on shipping, a percentage off your total order, or even a specific dollar amount! My favorite right now is Rakuten. This website gives me a percentage back on most of my online purchases. They even give you a bonus by using this link and saving now. 

  3. Make a budget and stick to it: Budgeting is key to saving money, and it's easier than you think. Just make a plan, stick to it, and watch your savings grow. 

  4. Avoid impulse purchases: Impulse purchases can add up quickly and put a damper on your budget. To avoid this, try not to shop when you're hungry, tired, or emotional. Make a list of what you need before heading to the store and stick to it.

  5. Cook at home instead of eating out:Eating out is convenient, but it can also be expensive. Try cooking at home instead, and you'll save money while also having more control over what goes into your food.
  6. Use energy-saving appliances and turn off lights when not in use: Energy-efficient appliances use less electricity, and they'll help you save big bucks on your energy bill. Plus, turning off lights and electronics when not in use can help reduce your energy consumption and lower your bill even more.

  7. Carpool, bike, or use public transportation instead of driving: Driving can be a major expense, especially with gas prices and car maintenance costs. Carpooling, biking, or using public transportation can help you save some cash and be better for the environment too.

  8. Buy generic or store-brand products instead of name-brand products: Store-brand products are often just as good as their name-brand counterparts, but at a much lower price. Give them a try, and you might not even be able to taste the difference.

  9. Take advantage of sales and clearance deals: Keep an eye out for sales and clearance deals at your favorite stores and grab them while you can. This is a great way to save money on items you actually need.

  10. Avoid subscriptions or memberships you rarely use: Monthly subscriptions and memberships can add up quickly and drain your wallet without you even realizing it. Take a look at your subscriptions and memberships, and cancel the ones you're not using regularly. You'll be surprised at how much you can save.
Want more tips & tricks to save up for Christmas? Vacation? Really anything you want. Head over to Debt Free Christmas and grab this for FREE! 

So there you have it, 10 money-saving hacks that you can try today! Whether you're looking to save money on your bills, food, or shopping, these tips will help you reach your financial goals. So, what are you waiting for? Start putting these hacks into action and start saving money today!

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Saving Money: budgeting, finances, expenses, money management, saving tips, frugal living.

How We Paid off Our Van in 12 Months

It feels like yesterday that we started this budgeting journey. I was pregnant with munchkin #2 and we finally got the van that I had been saving and saving for. We had $6100 to put down on that van, which took us 2 years to save, not bad right? HA! I was so happy to get that van because the one stroller didn't fit in my Ford Escort, I knew that a double stroller was not going to work.

That monthly payment was a lot for us, (about twice as much as my last car loan) but we were going to make it work.
About 2 weeks after we purchased the van our church had a workshop about finances and gave out a book. That book was the start of a journey to financial freedom. I was hooked. I started watching other programs and reading more and more about how normal people like us become debt free. I gained strategies from multiple resources and put them into practice.   
Every extra dime we had went to pay off the van, if I used a coupon, then the value of the coupon went to toward that van. If my husband worked extra hours, it went toward that van. I know it sounds crazy but tweaking just little things you do on a daily basis can put an extreme change in your habits. 
We were able to pay off that van ($29,000) in 12 months, on one income, with 2 babies in the house. Did you read that right? YEP 12 months $29,000 and that van is MINE!!!!  I am hooked. I can't tell you the happiness we feel every month now that we don't have a car loan.  I know that this works and we are now on a CASH ONLY budget. We are not using Credit Cards or Debit Cards.
At this point in our lives we only have the mortgage as our debt. I want to have that paid off and be truly financially free! (I mean really.... can you imagine having NO MORTGAGE?  I can't wait!

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