Friday, July 2, 2010

Cash Envelope Experiment Update: June Report

According to our Microsoft Money software, I was under our grocery budget by $22.49, which is really great. It's actually more than that because I have a little bit of cash in my wallet that I'll use next month, so it will all filter through in the end.
I attribute my success to the cash envelope experiment. I wrote down each receipt total and then would take the "cash" out of my envelope so that I could actually see how much I had left. I always rounded up, so I think I saved around $3 in spare change alone.
Most importantly, I had to weigh my purchases more carefully: do I really need this? If I buy this, then I won't have enough money to buy that okay? What's the best way to stretch my money this week/trip/etc.? Don't assume that it was time consuming because it wasn't. It was just a little reminder every few days that someone is watching you. (In a good way, of course.)
I don't quite feel ready to move on to real cash only...yet. I like my credit card rewards (especially at Costco) and the ease of swiping a card when you have three crowing birds in your shopping cart really cannot be overstated.
At the outset of this experiment, I said that I would put whatever was leftover from my grocery budget into my European Tour Fund. Husband is not convinced of this idea. We do have miscellaneous expenses that crop up (like dance class or other things that you don't necessarily budget for) and my scrimping equals a little more saving in other departments, so that's fine with me.
Don't worry: I've still got some tricks up my sleeve to infuse some cash into my fund.
I am really excited to get into July's budget and start saving away. I just need to sort out my Monopoly money first.

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