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Pondering an envelope system for my fun money

August 21st, 2012 at 02:12 pm

This time of the summer I always start to feel a financial pinch. We go out more, people visit more, maybe I'm just a bit freer with my spending money because I feel more social, less cautious/frugal and more up for fun outside the home.

We each get $80 every Friday for spending. It's a princely sum, I think, yet especially during the summer we find ourselves running through it quickly.

The money is for anything not covered by our regular budget: restaurants & takeout, booze, clothing, babysitters, movies, taxis, CDs/DVDs/etc., incidentals that fall outside the grocery/household category, gifts (we do save separately for Xmas and bday for the nuclear family, but extended family/friends, as well as anniversary/Valentine gifts, we have to cover ourselves), etc.

Most weeks I don't get much of the above, so a lot of times I'll find myself stashing most of the cash in my dresser. Then I might make a bigger purchase once I have some money saved, like a big order of vegan snacks online, or treating AS & NT to gourmet pizza delivery, or a wardrobe refresh of several outfits/shoes.

But lately, I don't have any money left over, which would make it hard to save up for a big purchase. I'm considering going to "The Book of Mormon," a Broadway comedy/musical coming to Minneapolis in February. Looks like tickets are in the $100-$120 range. I'd also want to bring AS or NT or both. So that would really add up.

It just occurred to me that maybe I should put an envelope in my dresser earmarked for the tickets, and put $20 per week in there. If I do that most weeks, I should have enough to treat us all to a night at the theater, something I never typically spend money on, so it would be a really special thing to do.

I should also try to save up some money for new winter clothes and/or alterations of my existing ones, since I've lost a bit more weight, and my clothes were already starting to be too big for me last winter. That will need to happen sooner than the theater, so I guess I'll start another envelope and stash everything left over at the end of each week.

We love the cash spending money system because it's the one part of our financial lives where no one has to be accountable to anyone else. But I think for these bigger purchases I'm going to have to plan a bit more than I usually do.

4 Responses to “Pondering an envelope system for my fun money”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    I have an envelope set aside for the Christmas cash I've been accumulated. I'm also tracking some of seperate as it is mixed in with our checking account. Both work. I think you have a great plan.

  2. Beawealthywarrior Says:

    I'm saving all of my $5 bills for a girl's trip to the Bahamas in 2013. I started out saving all my ones but bumped it up a bit. Maybe u can try something like that. Good luck!

  3. snafu Says:

    Yikes we have a category for 'Gifts' as well as 'Clothes' in the budget so long as they are 'needs' and not impulse buying. Any new clothing item in requires a similar item 'out.' No adding to quantity. I've usually done alterations myself bu they haven't been complicated.

    Compliments on weight loss, you deserve new duds.

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    Yeah, we have a category for Xmas & bdays for ourselves, but we all are responsible for buying our parents or friends presents and cards. And with clothes, occasionally if we have a budget surplus (a bonus, a big freelance check, a raise we haven't allocated yet), we'll take a few hundred bucks each and stock up on clothes; they are needs, and so I don't think it's fair to put the whole burden on our fun money.

    Anyway, if I added a clothing or gifts category, I'd have to cut down our fun money, since that's one of the reasons I think that category has to be so high. This gives each person the option to cheap out on certain things and spend higher on others without argument.

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