Simplify For Fall: Paper Clutter and Budgets

This is a continuation of my very late participation in the Simplify for Fall Challenge. Here’s the first daysecond daythird day, and fourth day of the challenge.

I don’t really have a whole lot to do today! Woohoo!

When it comes to paper clutter, I’m pretty nominal. I used to keep everything because I wasn’t sure what we’d need in the future. Now that I’ve figured that out (what an adult I am!) and do our bills online (automatic payment rocks!), I don’t really have a whole lot to keep. I could probably go through these and get rid of some stuff, but it’s really not more than 30 minutes of work.

I do like to keep all the manuals to my appliances. And I have a soft spot for the girl’s growth charts, though I should probably move those to my cedar chest. Really though, I go through this fairly regularly and just don’t hold onto things that don’t matter, so it doesn’t need the purge.

A few things that can’t fit in our filing cabinet. Just papers from buying our house and a couple of manuals.

I also have been working on our budget pretty continuously for the last 4 months. This is where we started when I decided to finally get going with the cash envelope system and I’m happy to say that I still love it. We’ve moved to keeping track of our Dave Ramsey sheets on Google Docs (which is now Google Drive, in case you didn’t know). I just made a simple sheet for our Monthly Cash Flow Plan and Allocated Spending Plan that have only the categories that pertain to our situation. Way easier than doing it by hand on paper every month. Does the math for me and deleting is way more simple than crossing out!

I’ve also added some folders. We now have one for blow, one for pets, and most recently we added one for gas. Blow was a category that I didn’t really believe in at first, but now I realize that sometimes there are things you want to buy that just don’t fit into any category. You need to have that little bit of money that you can spend on a whim. With the pets, I originally had their necessities as part of the grocery budget (I combine toiletries, make up, and other such things into the grocery budget), but when one of our cats needed to go to the vet (which sadly ended last week in putting him down, which is another post for another day), I was at a loss as to where we should take the money from. So I decided to have the pets be their own separate folder. Lastly, I was doing gas on our debit card because that’s what Costco takes, but I was tired of always overspending on gas and not knowing exactly where we stood on it. I decided to give up on Costco, which is further away than many gas stations so I was avoiding going and it ended in me running out of gas one day, and just take the car to the cheapest gas station near our house. There are some around our house that even give you a cheaper price if you use cash! Score!

We did end up using our credit card a bit over the last few months with our flooring. It was a planned use though with a planned payoff, so I feel a bit better about it. Originally it started with getting a crazy good deal on laminate flooring off of KSL (it’s basically Craigs List for those of you who aren’t in Utah). Such a good deal that we decided we couldn’t pass it up. As for installing it, we were planning on waiting until my husband was done with his big project (and therefore we had the bonuses), but schedules collided and we ended up doing it earlier. And it cost more than we planned, of course. Regardless, when my husband gets his final bonus of his project, our credit card will be 100% paid off and our emergency fund will be back in place.

Lastly, we had a couple of difficult weeks last month. It was the first time where it was really hard to live on cash-only, and it was entirely my fault.

That post I did on all the awesome unschooling summer things we did between my school semesters? Well, those things cost money. Lots of money. Money that I ended up taking from other folders. That, along with registering the van and other money shuffling, meant that we literally didn’t have any money to move around for a bit over a week before my husband got paid again. Oops. Luckily I kept the money that we really needed in certain folders (like music, which we were about to start paying) where it needed to be and we didn’t resort to using the credit card or debit card. Of course we still had food in our cupboards, we just kept it to money-free activities for that time.

Overall it’s still going great. We’re saving up money where we need to and we haven’t overspent once since starting on our cash envelope system. Even more than that, we’ve continued to put our extra on our debt snowball and we’re doing all the things we want to, without the guilt of whether or not we can afford it.


One thought on “Simplify For Fall: Paper Clutter and Budgets

  1. Pingback: Simplifying For Fall: Schedules and Routines | Adventures of Lactating Girl

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