Cash Only Budgeting

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      Good morning everyone. I usually just kind of like to sit back and gleen
      all the information I can from this group. You all have very good ideas
      and I love trying to save as much as I can.

      First of all let me
      introduce myself. My name is Lucy and I have been married – very happily
      to Brian for 16 years as of next month (March).

      We have debated this issue for the past 16 years and have come to a
      working strategy for us. We do the same thing as the envelope system and
      have an Excel spreadsheet set up on our computer with different
      categories. We have everything down to lawn care and school supplies for
      the kids to veterinarian.

      anything that we think we would possibly need
      in the span of a year we have budget categories set up. Then we take
      what we think we will spend in a year for that particular item and divide
      it by 12 and that’s how much money we put back per month for that
      catagory.

      That way when our car insurance is due (which we pay
      bi-annually) we have the money already in our budget and don’t have to
      scrimp and try to get the money together to pay for the car insurance.
      We have all of our money in our checking account and the budget
      categories on the computer (of course you could put it on paper if you
      wanted, but my job is on the computer, so…) When we spend anything we
      usually use our visa card which is from Kroger.

      With the Kroger card if
      you spend so much money you will get a rebate back from Kroger for free
      groceries (raising 2 rambunctious little boys and a 6’2″ husband, we go
      through a lot of food). We always pay our visa bill off at the end of
      the month. i have never had to pay extra because we only spend what we
      have in our budgets.

      but we also get up to $25 dollars a month of free
      groceries when we use the Kroger visa card. I think Discovery visa cards
      do the same thing, but I’m not for sure. All I know is that we need
      extra money for groceries sometimes and the $25 dollars comes in handy on
      some months.

      When I go to Walmart, I try to use the receipt that I have and subtract
      whatever I spent on groceries out of the grocery fund, clothes…the
      clothes fund, etc. It would be up to you what categories you made. I
      usually include diapers in my grocery fund, but that’s what works for me.
      Larry Burkett has a couple workbooks out that have helped us with
      financial matters and bills also.

      I hope this helps. If you have any questions just let me know. All I
      can say is what has worked for us.

      The only debt that we have at this
      time is our car and house and we hope to have the house paid off in a
      couple years. We just purchased our vehicle this past year and put half
      of the payment down on the car, so our payment is very low, less than
      $150 a month. My husband believes in paying cash for everything.

      If we
      don’t have the cash (or in our case, in the budget) we don’t get it!

      Sorry for taking so long,
      Lucy

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