7/15/10

The Envelope System

For quite some time, SG and I have been fans of Dave Ramsey, like HUGE fans. If you are unfamiliar with him you need to go check him out STAT. He is a Christian financial teacher, counselor, & adviser.His primary messages are to get out of debt, stay out of debt, live within or below your means, build wealth, & become a giver. All of this leads to FINANCIAL PEACE. And who in their right mind doesn't want that?!

One of the ways Dave suggests staying on and sticking to your budget is to use the envelope system. This involves designating envelopes to certain spending categories and putting the allotted cash (yes cash, it still exists) in each envelope. There is nothing like the physical, tangible payment method of cash to serve as a true ceiling to your budget.


I, the household money manager, have 3 envelopes: groceries, gas (which I don't use cash for, but keep up with my receipts), and miscellaneous. Under the miscellaneous category falls clothing, gifts, sewing stuff, etc. This category varies in amount from month to month.

Recently, I've grown tired of paper envelopes in my purse. They are all white, look the same, and cause me to fumble clumsily through my purse at the check out line. And over time they fall apart.

So this little dilemma inspired me to sew some substantial brightly colored envelopes using fabric scraps. They will last longer, are easier to locate in my purse, and can be easily thrown in the worsh'.

Here's a little step by step.


1) Find a nice size envelope and use it as your pattern. Keep in mind that your end result will be somewhat smaller than your pattern.

2) Cut out fabric and lining front and back.


3) Sew fabric and lining right sides together like you are making a small pillow case. Leave a small opening to turn right side out. Do this for both the front and back of your envelope.

Turn right side out. *The purpose of this is to secure the lining. I'm sure there are better and easier ways to do this, but this worked best for me.


4) Place right sides together (right sides: the side of the envelope you want to show on the outside), pin, and stitch up on 3 sides.


5) Turn right side out and sew button or place snap.


That's it. Fun in a nerdy kind of way.

I'm the nerd in the family (for all you Dave fans).


Hope to be back soon, but in the mean time...as Dave would say...

"Act your wage."

22 comments:

Confessions said...

Love this post!! We use the envelope system as well- we actually have the Dave one and I was just thinking that I needed to get out the ol masking tape to do a little mending on that paper. Perhaps I should follow your lead? Fun fun!!

Lynn Beck said...

I'm very impressed, and, since I love puns, I love the "Act your wage" advice!

Whitney Lee said...

Love it. I've been wanting to do the envelope system and actually was going to do that for my new orleans trip coming up! Gives me inspiration to do that for more areas! Thanks. Can I go to your "sewing camp" or "training" that you and Lindsey were talking about?

Laura said...

too cute SB! love it when something so cute is practical!

Laura Mielke said...

pat on the back SB. i am so intimidated by sewing, period. it is one of those things that i feel like i "should" know how to sew on a button or put together a little envelope but, no. but you may have just inspired to me to get a little needle and thread!

Susie said...

Great idea. We need to go back to the envelope system!

Erin Caden Rogers said...

Love this. I think something that so many people are missing is PEACE! However, what I think comes with peace is contentment. Coming to a place of contentment is a journey but it leads to all sorts of peace, financial included. We follow a modified version of the Dave plan....called The Matt Plan;)

Elisabeth said...

These would also be great jewerly bags. For all your money you have saved to buy jewels. I adore the bags. Watch out Lily Pulitizer And Vera Bradley. enb

Wanting What I Have said...

Oh dear...I just read the comment you left on my sister's blog (Confessions) regarding Dave and hopped over. I AM SO GLAD I DID!!! I think I'm going to have to copy you on those envelopes! We are HUGE Dave fans!!! He is awesome! Our third set of envelopes bit the dust some time ago and I keep our money sorted in various places in my wallet - which is fine for me, but is quite confusing for the husband. I've got my kids using envelopes, too, and theirs tear up so easily! I am totally going to copy you! I have some great scraps to use, too! Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to read more!

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