06 April 2012

MONEY: easy envelope budget aid = the shiz

Don't go running for the hills. I just wanted to share this app with y'all. 

Might keep you from stranglin your hubs. Might keep him from stranglin you. Or, might help you save for somethin you been wantin forevaaa. Maybe you already know about it.

Well, I am here to make your life easier, sugar pies. You've probably heard of the "envelope" system? Put money in envelopes for certain things? $X for groceries, $X for entertainment, whatever your needs are. When the money's gone, it's gone? Well, Easy Envelope Budget Aid is like a virtual envelope system. It really is super easy. Duh, or I wouldn't do it, much less write about it.

So, background: Andrew and I use the system of a shared bank account for everything. When we first got married, we thought we'd do one shared account for bills/house needs/stuff that's for both of us ... and separate spending accts. But it was a pain in the arse, and there were some things that fell in the "gray" area ... "Why is this coming from my money? I'm not the one who wanted to go to ______ / do _________, blah, blah, blah."

So, we decided, that it would be easier (and so far, way more effective) to set an amount that we have each month for anything that's NOT fixed ... like groceries, going out to eat, shopping, a new mattress, gifts, gas, anything that is NOT a set price each month (like rent/student loans, etc). We personally, only use one "envelope" for all non-fixed spending. But you could set up as many envelopes as you like.

This little app allows me and the hubs to put in a set amount each month for non-fixed spending, and we can both have access because we set both of us up on the acct. (We use the free version, but there are several available that are more detailed and help you analyze your spending, etc.)

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So, for example, when Anj spends money on gas, he records it on the EEBA app, and I can see that the money has been deducted from our spending money for the month when I bring up the app on my phone. When I go to Target and buy e.l.f. products and Diet Coke, Anj can see it. (Just record the total cost.)

It's basically a running tab, "put money in" at the beginning of the month, and "take money out" as you spend it. If you get a refund, or return a purchase, etc, you can just "put that money back in". It's just a running list of addition and subtraction, much like a checkbook would look. It divides up the money left by the number of days left in the month, and it will make a little sad face if you're goin in the hole. It will give you a little message, "You're behind by $75.18. Stop spending for two days?" So cute.

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Then there's the "critical" face - yikesation.

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It's not actually "tied" to any account, so it's up to you to record your spending. It updates immediately, and your spouse can see it. (Or, if you just want to keep up with your own personal spending and are trying to stay within a budget .. works the same way.) Keeps you from having to check a bunch of different statements all the time: bank, this credit card, that credit card, etc.

I love it! And the money left (or debt left :( ) from one month just rolls over to the next. It helps to keep from putting a huge dent in your account one month and feeling like you've totally blown it. Like, maybe if it's 4/28, and we only have a little left for the month of April and I need to get gas, and so does Andrew, and we need to buy groceries, I can put my trip to Sephora off until May's budget. Know what I'm sayin, shugs? Or like when you do make a once-in-a-blue-moon purchase (like tires, mattress, new washing machine, whatever), you can see where the "huge dent" came from and be conscious to try to spend a little less over the next several months.

Anyhoo, it's helped us a lot, so I thought I'd share.

Adios, and good luck! :D

2 comments:

Inggrid Monalita said...

This is such an interesting blog. I really enjoy read ur post. Keep blogging sweetie!

Btw, wanna follow each other?

Have a nice day!
-Inggrid
http://miss-monaa.blogspot.com

Laura Darling said...

This is awesome! I was using mint.com for a while but it was overwhelming me. This sounds much more doable though! Definitely going to check it out!