For the vast majority of our marriage, Carl and I have used a "cash" only system for budgeting our money. It works well, if we don't have the cash for something we just don't get it or we save until we do have the cash for it. What I haven't done so well in the past is staying in budget in each catagory each month. (I say "I" because I am the spender and Carl is the saver, but I've gotten better over the years.) It is just too easy to swipe the debit card at Wendy's if we are out running errands late and then by the end of the month realize I've overspent on "fun".
This year one of my goals is to stay on budget in each catagory. We've done the envelope system at times, but I have several issues with the envelopes...you can't put change in the envelope, it falls out and, more importantly, they're ugly.
So, inspired by these zippered pouches and this post I made some cash pouches for each catagory that we spend actual cash on. I stamped on the catagory name, but you can print them on the computer. You can iron fabric to an 8 1/2 by 11 piece of butcher paper (to the shiney side) and run it through your printer just like cardstock. I cut the fabric 5 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches and used a 7 inch zipper.
So far, it is working great, I can put my change and reciepts in the pouch and, more importantly, they are cute.
What about you, how do you stay on budget?
Linked to Made by You Mondays