Tag Archives: envelope system

Frugal Friday – Financial Fast

Hi-Lo everyone! How was your week? As most of you know, I’ve been working on a money saving series entitled Frugal Fridays for a few weeks now. Where I share some of the things I do in my own home to save money. This week I’d like to talk about financial fasting, which is basically only buying necessities for a defined amount of time, usually 21-30 days. When I go on a financial fast I choose not to spend “lunch money” for a month. I have a good handle on budgeting and take my own breakfast and lunch to work most days but still buy food about twice a week and grab an occasional snack from the vending machine or an ice cream cone (yes, Mr. Softee comes to my office!!) During my financial fast I brown bag it for the entire month, breakfast, lunch and snacks. But I’d like to try craft and DIY purchases this time around. Which means a month without Target, Michael’s, Marshall’s and Home Depot.

So you may be asking what motivated me to add craft supplies to my financial fast? This very simple, very honest, very real quote I found on Pinterest.

Frugal Friday's Financial Fast

I love crafting, creating, organizing and blogging. But most of the time I usually end up buying something for every project or idea that pops into my head. Sometimes it may be something as simple as a piece of scrapbook paper or a shelf organizer and other times it could be something like a piece of furniture. The problem is I already have a stash of scrapbook paper and other supplies in my craft closet, I even have a few pieces of furniture stored at my parents house that I could try using. Now don’t get me wrong, I recycle and up-cycle a bunch of stuff but I probably could even more than I do now. So I decided to challenge myself to see how many projects I could pull of using the items I already have in my home. Now this challenge is twofold, I’m hoping to embrace simplicity but also clear up some space. I’ve been accumulating a stash of supplies, fabric, embellishments, jars and stuff with the idea; I’ll use it one day. But I don’t want to keep accumulating stuff, I’m hoping to live a simpler life with less stuff.

I’m challenging myself to this financial fast so i came up with a couple ideas to help me complete it;

Use what you already have – This is a crucial part of the financial fast. How many of us are guilty of forgetting about all the goodies we already have in our craft stash? What’s really at the bottom of that bin, the storage container or closet? Guilty here, so I’m going to start by pulling everything out and reacquainting myself with what I already have.

Start with what you have, not what you think you need – This sounds a lot like the first one but it’s pretty different. Let me explain it like this, a project for me usually begins as an idea, then it becomes an image in my head of the finished product. I think about everything and write notes, lists and sometimes sketch small drawings.  Then it’s supply time, some come from my own craft closet and some I purchase. I realized in order to stay on track I need to step back and think about what I’m trying to accomplish. Instead of picturing the finished product in my head I should let my supplies inspire the end result of the project.

This is about simplicity not money – The idea is something I’m working towards. I’m good at following a budget and the key is my envelope system. When the cash is gone, the spending stops until I put more money in the envelope. My spending isn’t a big deal but I really don’t have to spend all my Craft/DIY money all the time. Not to mention that I usually have another idea and list ready before it’s even replenished. Now like I said at the beginning of this post I love crafting, creating, organizing and decorating my home. But the bottom line is just because there’s money in the envelope for it, it doesn’t mean I need to spend it. I want to try and adopt the simplicity phrase in all aspects of my life and I feel like crafting and DIY’ing is a good place to start. For the next 30 days I plan to accomplish every project using the supplies I already have on hand.

Check back in 30 days to see how I did with the Financial Fast and for a recap of the projects I was able to complete with a $0 investment.

Frugal Friday’s – Envelope System

The envelope system isn’t new, it’s been around for a while. But there are still people that don’t know anything about it or how it works. I didn’t until I started listening to Dave Ramsey, he’s a financial advisor with lots of advice and opinions. He promotes using cash to control spending because you spend money differently when you use cash. When your  breaking bills and watching the money disappear your more mindful of your purchases. Not to mention there’s no way to overspend or go off budget. When you pay for things with your debit card you don’t see the money so you don’t feel it as much as when you use cash. I know that’s the case with me, when I have my debit card I may end up putting that really cute “thing” from Target in the cart or maybe make a quick stop at Home Good’s because it’s right there. When I have cash and a list I stick to the list and never spend more than I want to.

envelope system

If your interested in using the envelope system I would suggest you start with a budget so you know how much money you have to allocate to your envelopes. Then you need to assign categories, examples include groceries, transportation, fun money, clothing and so on. Then you fill the envelopes with money, draw half from bi-weekly paychecks and quarters from weekly paychecks. Remember to take your envelopes and spend cash.

When I first started using the envelope system I’d forget to take them and would end up having to use my debit card anyway. My envelopes were plain and ugly and I wanted pretty ones. I mean, sure you can buy some from Etsy and tons of other places online but what’s the point of creating a budget and using cash to control spending just to buy pretty envelopes?  I took a peak in my craft stash and realized I already had everything I needed.

Supplies:

  • envelopes
  • pretty scrapbook paper
  • Mod Podge
  • label maker (optional)

Envelope System

I grabbed some scrapbook paper, traced the envelopes on the back and cut them out. I brushed Mod Podge on the envelope and attached the scrapbook paper. Once it was dry I Mod Podged the scrapbook paper to seal and protect it since they get plenty of use. I made labels for each envelope with my P-touch.

envelope system labels

I love using the envelope system and my pretty new envelopes make me  smile every time I pull them out in the store.

envelope system