Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My Envelope System

Often the new year comes with resolutions being made, many times forgotten within just a couple of weeks. This year, I decided to really stick to a budget. Before we were married, Drew and I took a Dave Ramsey class and I have always made a budget on my computer. We never really stuck with it. I decided that this year I wanted to try using cash envelopes, and really stick to our budget.

After Christmas, I searched around to find a cash envelope system that I could carry with me. Most of what I found online were super expensive or just plain ugly, so I finally settled on one of Dave Ramsey's options.  It wasn't too expensive, and it seemed like it would fit my needs. 

I received it a few days after ordering (thanks, Amazon Prime!) and was so excited to start using it. It had enough envelopes for me to use daily, a note pad in the middle, a place for cards and a spot for my checkbook. 

Unfortunately, After just a few days of using this wallet, I was already having trouble with it. My first problem was that I couldn't stick my loose change in the envelopes. I had to all change from each envelope into one vinyl change pouch, which I didn't like. I wanted to keep all the change separate, but there was no way for this with the wallet. 

My next problem I had almost immediately was with the envelopes themselves. I hadn't even been using them for one full month when they started tearing. 

 Plus, I had almost used up one entire side with my writing.
 Finally, the wallet wouldn't stay shut. It needed a clasp or button or something to keep it secure, as it was always opening up in my purse. I knew it just wasn't going to work out. So I started searching for a different option.  After looking at lots of different budgeting wallets, I found Jennifer's Etsy shop. I looked around and was relieved to find exactly what I was looking for! I wanted envelopes that had zippers so they could hold cash AND change, but I also wanted them to be clear so that I could see what was inside. Jennifer's wallets fit all of these parameters, while also being completely adorable! Jennifer's line of wallets are also much more affordable than some of the other options on Etsy, which I very much appreciated.

After I placed my custom order with Jennifer, she kept me up-to-date on how things where going, and even let me make changes as time went on. I had some reservations about having white on a wallet (I cannot have anything white, I get it dirty in no time!) and she explained that she uses vinyl, so it is very easy to clean!

After a very short time, my box arrived. I was so excited to open it and start using my new wallet! To my surprise, Jennifer had wrapped it beautifully.

After admiring the packaging, I quickly started comparing the two wallets before changing everything over.

As you can see, Jennifer's wallet is a bit bigger, but also MUCH MUCH cuter! 
I chose the Aqua chevron, and the wallets are now coming with a clasp closure, which is a much better way of keeping the wallet shut!

On the inside cover, it has three pockets to use for cards. I don't have very many (I don't use credit cards) so I have two in each pouch. They fit perfectly! 

For my envelopes, I chose to have one each for my blow money, groceries, entertainment, clothing, Jeffrey, Car, Home, Vacation, and Gifts. 

Inside the gifts envelope, Jennifer put a divider so that I could see how it worked. This allows you to have less envelopes inside the wallet if you want, which makes the wallet much thinner. 

I ended up taking a few of the envelopes out, as I requested too many. They were very easy to take out and put back in. I was a little nervous about it- but it honestly couldn't have been easier. 

I decided to leave in ONLY what I use the most- Groceries, Clothing, My blow $, Entertainment, and Jeffrey. 

The wallet also includes a little note pad in the back with a place for a pen. 

This is where you can write the budget category, and keep track of your purchases and  how much you have left to spend. I decided to make a sheet for each envelope and stick in inside, and keep the pad in my budgeting binder like so- 

This way, I have a place for my check book. 

I am incredibly impressed with Jennifer and her work. From the moment I first emailed her to the moment I received the wallet, she has been the sweetest, most easygoing person to work with. She went above and beyond for me, and she is the kind of person that treats every customer like family. She was more than willing to customize, and answered emails within minutes. Jennifer also makes really awesome wallets for children to learn how to budget! If you are looking for a better solution for your budgeting, check out Jennifer's Etsy shop here. You can also check out her Facebook page here, and her twitter page here

If you are interested in buying an envelope system, you can get 10% off all of Jennifer's products by using the code PAYINCASH when you check out of her Etsy shop!

Do you budget?
Are you currently using a cash envelope system?

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*I recieved this wallet free of charge to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.