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Monday, January 13, 2014

How to Stop (Some) Money Arguments With Your Spouse

Do you ever look at your bank statements and wonder how your spouse could WASTE SO MUCH MONEY on ________. And then you might say "Sweetie, what'd you buy at BestBuy?" "We already have a Wii, do you really think that we needed a iGame, too?" (I don't even know the names of the new ones. Let's just call them Nintendos). And then he might be defensive, and ask what you bought at Banana Republic. After all, you already have pants. 

Yes, but new pants are new.

And they make me feel good.

And self-esteem is important.

But when we use the envelope system, we have decided ahead of time how much each of us gets to spend. We get it in cash. We can save up for something big, like a "Nintendo", or fritter it away on Starbucks, but it doesn't matter because we have already decided that it's okay to spend that much in whatever way we please. 

In one way, it is a limitation, but mostly it is freedom. Your spouse will never question your spending again if you stick to the envelope system.

 In our case, we each have $80 a month to spend, but you can make it whatever is appropriate for your family. It's easiest if you choose multiples of $20, since that is what you can get at the ATM. 

This is my envelope system wallet. I bought it at DaveRamsey.com, but they are no longer selling this exact version, which, in my opinion, was the best version. 

The point of the envelope system is that when your envelope is empty, you are supposed to stop spending money. That is the easiest way to stay within your budget.

We use cash envelopes for groceries, gifts, home improvements (paint, door knobs, etc), entertainment, and, of course, personal money.

Could you use a little more freedom to spend money?

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