Thursday, December 16, 2010

All About the Envelopes

On January 1, 2009 I sat down in the study at my parent's house and started reading this book...

By the time the day was over I had finished it. I couldn't put it down. Everything in the book was exactly what I needed to be reading. Josh and I had only been married a few months but we had just bought a car, we had a little debt accumulated from before we were married, and I had current dental bills and future bills as well. I knew at that time we needed to take control of our money before things got worse for us than they already were. We were fortunate because what we had so far was manageable but if we didn't do something about it soon that would change. So we signed up for Financial Peace University at a local church and that was probably the best thing have done as a married couple to date. Josh and I faithfully attended the class and learned so much. We set up a budget (a lot easier than I thought) and we really started working on our debt. One of the things we wanted to incorporate into our spending was the use of envelopes. Luckily when you join Financial Peace University you get an envelope wallet as part of your package. So for almost two years I carried around these...


One was a wallet for my envelopes and the other was for my personal cash, debit cards, receipts, other random things, etc. These two things together weighed my purse down and were a pain to deal with at times. It just wasn't always easy to get all of my transactions done efficiently. I didn't want to spend just to spend (after all this whole thing is all about saving) so I waiting until my envelopes were a mess and it was time for new ones. I actually even used it past that point for a while. Since we're expecting a baby and I wanted to simply I figure now is as good of time as any. So I went to www.daveramsey.com the other day and found this...half off!

Here's my new wallet. It holds money, change, debit cards, AND ENVELOPES!!! I wasn't sure I was going to be able to combine everything in it but so far so good. It's just nice having everything all in once place.


The envelopes are crisp and clean and I can't wait to write in them. They just make budget and money saving so much easier and I highly recommend them.
In honor of all this Dave Ramsey talk I also wanted to share something exciting (and to have it written down for future reference). Today Josh and I are making our LAST car payment. Because of the good Lord and all we learned through Dave Ramsey we were able to pay it off in two years. Not only that but we have zero credit cards, no bank loans, no student loans, and no dental/medical bills. If it wasn't for the sacrifices we have made throughout these last two years things could be a lot different. We still have a small amount of debt that we want to work on (it's interest free and there's not time limit on it) so we're trying to get refocused and get serious again.
I encourage you all, if you haven't gotten yourself on a budget (married or single) you should do it. It will change your life. It's so nice to have control of your money instead of your money having control of you.
Having said all this I want to assure you that Josh and I are still into saving money and living as inexpensively as we can (no cable, limited eating out budget, apartment living, etc). We are about to have a baby, Josh is still in seminary, etc so this is not the time to spend the money we're saving. We're just thankful to be able to have more of the burden of debt lifted. And I pray we'll be such good stewards of what God gives us so that next time we need a car we won't have to get a loan. I've had several people ask about things Josh and I did to save money and get on a budget so if you have any questions feel free to e-mail me. We aren't perfect AT ALL and we don't have this whole thing down but we're working hard on it.

14 comments:

Superchikk said...

I just want to know if you're calling Dave on Debt Free Friday today!

His Doorkeeper said...

I think you and Josh are two very smart young people and if more young couples would follow suit, there would be hope for their future! You are to be congratulated and admired for the example you have set!

Baby Sadie will be in good hands!! Can't wait to see her sweet face!

Kelly said...

Great advice Hillary!!!
Dave Ramsey has a great program. We haven't taken the class but we follow his plan loosely and it has helped us so much!
Y'all are very smart and will make great parents! :-)

Laura said...

We love DR as well!! I had NO IDEA about the envelope holders-i've been using ragged old regular envelopes. I will def check these out, thanks!!!!

The Durham Family said...

We are also dave ramsey followers! We went through FPU last year and have not used a credit card in 1 year!!! We are currently on baby step 2...snowballing our debt! We can't wait to be able to live and give like no one else!

John and Riley said...

Hillary ~ I've read your blog for a little while...so cute! However, I think this might be my first time to comment. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Dave Ramsey - I cannot say enough about him and his program. We did Financial Peace about a year and a half ago at church and it was AWESOME and has totally changed our finances in so many ways. It's funny you mention about the envelopes because I had some of the same issues and ended up making my own envelope pouch with a coupon holder and I love it. Instead of where the coupons go, I have labeled dividers with all of my cash sorted accordingly. I'm rambling, but I just had to say I second everything you said. Best of luck going forward! It's a great plan to stick to!

Meredith said...

Hillary, that is great! Russell and I want to start Financial Peace University soon. We have heard awesome things about it!

Mr. and Mrs. B said...

My husband and I just finished up FPU and I am excited to see where we can be in a year from now. There is great potential if we stick with it. Thanks for sharing part of your story...it's very encouraging to hear of others having great success doing this.

Summer and Matt said...

That's awesome Hilary! My husband and I are huge Dave followers and even help teach FPU at our church. He changed our lives years ago and we get so excited about teachers others they can live debt free too.

Congratulations on being debt free and making the decision to live like no one else so later ya'll can live like no once else!!!

walkers said...

wohoo! what an amazing feeling! I use our dave wallet faithfully but yours is so much cuter, maybe I need one!

Kim said...

Hey! I've been on the envelope plan for almost a year and I LOVE IT! I'v saved so much money! It is so much easier than I thought it would be! I thought have cash would encourage me to blow right through it. The opposite happened...when I saw I only have this much to last me, I spent more carefully!
You and Josh should be very proud of yourselves for being debt free!!!

Alex and Jill said...

This is AWESOME! We haven't been through DR's plan, but stopped using credit cards many years ago. We have since paid off both of our cars and it's an incredible feeling!! I feel like I still need some help in the saving dept though! Maybe I should go through it just for that. :)

Jennifer said...

I'm so excited for you and Josh!! I love that you love Dave Ramsey as much as we do!

Just the 3 of Us said...

I would love to read a post on your top 5 or 10 tipd for budgeting.

How did you pay your car off in two years??