Monday, July 16, 2012

My Budget Box

Last week I discussed my need to budget and increase my savings. I don't have any particular savings goal in mind. I do have plenty of money for my two weeks in Mexico this fall, so that isn't a consideration. And I do have a healthy emergency fund in case I get fired for being too awesome or something.

I think my main goal would be saving for big things like a wedding (you know, once I actually meet a man?) or perhaps the down payment on a house someday. Or maybe paying off my mortgage? The world is my oyster once I start saving!

Naturally, the first step in any budgeting program, is to to envision what cute DIY idea for budgeting you can come up with. :) I considered doing a jar system with neat, labelled jars containing my weekly spending money. But then I would need to open and close and jar and save my receipts in my wallet and blah blah blah. Didn't seem efficient. My friend Lisa suggested that I get a wallet sized accordion file and use that for cash and receipts and carry it with me. Score! Great idea! Only problem? I couldn't find one! Booooo.

So I am going with envelopes! I can grab my "restaurant" one if I am going out after work, and I can put the change and receipt back in it to bring home. Any loose change will go in my piggy bank as my "Sombrero Fund" for my trip to Mexico.

 My plan is to cut down on the things I often spend excess money on. I am not budgeting groceries or transit, because I am fairly constantly with both of those- however they may be important categories for you! Hopefully this will result in me cutting down on excessive spending week to week.

However, I needed something snazzy to store my envelopes and receipts in. I mean, c'mon, if it is cute, you will use it. You can quote me on that.

Firstly, I bought this remote holder from the dollar store. But it cost $2. Gotta spend money to save money! I really don't see the point of this as a remote holder- I think it would tip! Plus, I have a universal remote, so this seems like a silly product to me. ANYWAY, it started like this.

Bo-ring. So I grabbed some of my favourite fabric from my ottoman and I began to cover it. I forgot to take photos as I went, so basically I folded over the front and did some simple stitches right under the lip. Then I went up the sides with my stitches.

To take care of excess material on the side, I folded it kind of like a present and stitched in place at the top.

Finally, I folded over the back and sewed in place. All one piece of material!

I did some quick snips of the inside corners to make sure the material lay flat inside.

But the inside was kinda ugly, so I grabbed some leftover material from my yoga mat bag. I think I am going to become a material hoarder, cause I keep so many scraps. But the fabric is so pretty! For this part, I cut a long narrow strip and i folded the edged down in the back and front for a nice, neat finish, and just pushed the excess into the bottoms and sewed the middle secure.

The inside sides are unfinished, but you can't really see that when it is in use, so I don't mind it.

Finally, this part was complete. I am going to store my envelopes with cash in the back of it, and stick receipts in the front. Then I plan to review my receipts once a week and track where I am spending. I think being aware of where your money goes is important. And as my dad pointed out, buying a $30 pillow for the condo is better than $30 on a meal out because that pillow can come with me to my next place!

For my envelopes, I didn't want big white ones, and I thought colour would be kind of fun, so I when to the invites section of the dollar store and I got these party invites with small purple envelopes for $1. I just threw the invites out. Sorry friends, I am not having a wine and pear party!

Then I labelled the envelopes with the categories I plan to track and cut back on. I haven't quite worked out the amounts to put weekly in each envelope. Psht- details!!

As you can see, I busted out my cursive skills. I don't think I have improved since the third grade. Sigh, sometimes I wish I had beautiful handwriting like people of yore.

Then, I popped them in my budget box and I was ready to go! Well, except for the whole allocating money and cutting my spending thing....

Wish me luck!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pin It button on image hover