Just over a month ago, I had a massive sewing fit and somehow managed to sew THESE: fabric cash envelopes, into which went our family’s weekly spending allowance. Each envelope was labelled, and a certain amount of cash was allotted to each category: food, fuel, entertainment, gifts, and dog/physio.
Yes, my dog food and physiotherapy share an envelope.
Anyway, after a month, this is what happened:
- The first week was a wild success! I was almost $100 under budget, and it all went into a big glass (former kombucha vessel) jar on the counter
- The second week was also a screaming success
- I’m assuming the third week was also a success. I was in Calgary/Las Vegas for the entire week, and Leith didn’t make a single debit card purchase. I arrived home to find my family clean and fed…
- Last week was a bit of a wagon-drop: we didn’t withdraw cash, but we still stayed within the budget overall. The best part?? All the excess money in the jar paid for a two-day trip to Drumheller and the Calgary Zoo, with an overnight in a hotel!
This week, I’m cashless again, seeing if I can stay below our means on my debit card. I’ve spent our food allowance on groceries and meal planning, so I don’t anticipate anymore food purchases. I spent $157.50 on an annual family pass to the Telus World of Science on Wednesday, so it kind of threw things off kilter. My only “allowed” expenditure this week are fuel for my car, as a result. But I’m not too worried We have swimming lessons and our TWoS membership to entertain us, and a fridge full of food with a menu on the side!
So far, the cash-only lifestyle is great. The fact that one month allowed us to go on a small family holiday was fantastic! A “free” vacation feels a lot greater than one where you pulled strings to pay.
This fall, the big goal will be sticking to food budget and meal planning. My dance classes start in just over a week, and I need to be diligent about preparing our meals so that we don’t fall into a weekday convenience rut. Fortunately, the bugz’ only paid activity this fall will be swimming lessons ($110 for both girls, each session) and their (free) dance classes at my studio. We won’t be spending the big money at play cafes like last winter, and we have our now-paid-for TWoS membership for the cabin fever days!
What changes will you be making to your budget this fall?
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