So money envelopes... I'm a fan of Dave Ramsey, despite the fact that most of his advice isn't aimed or helpful to me and I'm not his target audience. If you have read a Dave Ramsey book its pretty clear that his target audience is middle aged parents who are currently in debt, I am none of the above! There are Dave Ramsey tips I do find useful though, like money envelopes.
The concept of using money envelopes to stay on track with your budget is simple: You put the amount you have allotted for the month in an envelope and you use the cash from that envelope only- NO DEBIT NO CREDIT CARDS NO EXCEPTIONS!
If your like my husband and don't like to carry a lot of cash you could also do a modified method I just thought of: the gift card method! Same principal only for this one you just buy gift cards every month or two weeks to give you your budgeted amount and only use those... or you could do a combination if you primarily buy from one place but want to keep some cash out for other stores/gas stations/ etc you want to be able to shop at if you choose to!
envelope systems . For anywhere from $5-$30 you can get started with his gear for your money envelopes!
When I started using the envelope method over a year or two ago I did it very simply. I would buy the smaller envelopes from the dollar store so $1 for 60 envelopes and would just label them what their purpose was... I would reuse them for a while and throw them when they got messed up. It wasn't ugly nor super attractive, just plain and functional!
Now that more people have gotten into using the envelope system you have those crafty people who want to make budgeting fun and attractive so they create beautiful money envelopes, then you have those people who want the beautiful envelopes but don't want or can't make them so you have stores selling them.
Here are my two favorites, one from the store I hyperlinked and one from a blog I found!
Sold in Stores
Now here is my attempt at homemade:
Mine isn't nearly as nice as Amy Bayliss but I don't have craft tools/supplies. I in fact didn't even have glue and used hodge podge that I had from a recent house project!
Overall money envelopes were a great way for me to keep on budget which is why I'm getting back to the envelope method... but I honestly think I prefer plain envelopes... no muss, no fuss, and I'm not worried about them getting messed up!