I get paid solely on the last day of the month, while Alan gets paid on the 15th and the last day of the month.
However, these same principles apply even if your pay schedule is different. So, don’t think you have an excuse if your life doesn’t mirror ours. Every family’s situation is unique. But, that doesn’t mean you get to sell yours short by not getting it together financially.
Through trial and error (i.e. running out of money and having to sell things or pull from a different envelope to “make it work”) we’ve discovered these actions are non-negotiable must do’s to stay on track for the month.
- Take out all cash on payday– even if you have to sacrifice your lunch break to get it done. Because we get 3/4 of our monthly income on the same day, this works for us. An alternative approach is to take out half of your money for the month on the 1st and the remainder on the 15th. This may mean that some purchases will have to be delayed until the end of the month. That is completely okay. Delayed gratification is a perfectly acceptable- not to mention grown-up and biblical to boot- way to live.
- Take out the exact demoninations of bills you will need. So, if you have $12 budgeted for one category, you will need to get one $10 and two $1s. Yes, you will need to go inside a bank, stand in line and work with a human teller. This is not something you can accomplish using an ATM. Don’t think you can outsmart the system by just getting a $10 and making change from another category later. It will not work. It will get screwed up, you will fight with your spouse wish y’all would have just taken the correct amount to begin with. Trust me.
- Don’t spend any money until all cash is taken out and safely tucked away in its designated envelope. Again, it will not work. It will get screwed up. You will forget how much you spent, and three weeks later, wonder why you are $20 short on grocery money. And then you will have to forgo the money you needed/ wanted to spend on clothes because these tiny humans in your house expect regular meals and snacks…with fancy things like juice and ketchup. Note- if your hubby decides he just. Can. Not. Wait. for a haircut until his cash is in hand, just run over to the bank and deposit that cash!
Now that your cash in its appropriate amounts is safely tucked away into its new home, you are free to begin spending! Just so long as you stick to your predetermined spending plan (I like that better than budget.)
Here’s to a diligent, on-purpose, budgeted month!