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How I Budget ~ With Out Envelopes

First off I LOVE Davey Ramsey and love just about everything he preaches when it comes to money. His grand "snow ball effect" is how we got out of credit card debt and paying cash for a used car has been less stress than another car payment. But when it comes to Ramsey's famous envelope system I totally disagree. Though this system may work for a few, it doesn't work for every one. How do I know? Because it didn't work for me!

I would make the envelopes out as told and place the amount inside on payday. However when time would come to pay that bill from that envelope the money would be gone. How? I don't have enough discipline when it comes to cash on hand! Envelope #1 would run out and then I would dip into #2 or #3 in order to make up the difference and then start shuffling money around like a stack of playing cards until there was no more money to shuffle. Because this didn't work for me I started using gift cards. It's the same concept but I can't see touch or feel the money so I don't really know that it is there.

Then one day it dawned on me how far I could actually go with such knowledge and save even more money. Let me try to explain;

  • Krogers allows you to rack up points based on the amount of money you spend in their store
  • these points can be used toward gas
  • Krogers also give you double points when you buy gift cards (sometimes more)
  • you can use Krogers points at Shell Gas stations
  • Krogers sells Shell Gift Cards
  • See where I am going with this??
So when I do my weekly grocery shopping I go ahead and add in my gas amounts for the week buy the Shell gift cards along with my groceries and then fill my tank using the points I earned in my shopping visit. Depending on the week I can save anywhere from .30-.40 cents per gallon of gas.

**Note- I am not the only genius that thought this up and Shell may be catching on.....their gas isn't as cheap as it use to be.....of course neither are the groceries ;-)

Regardless of the gas I still buy my gift cards especially when Subway prints our their BOGO coupons. We LOVE Subway and will use those regularly. I am now known for giving gift cards for every special occasion; birthdays, holidays, mother's day, father's day, teacher appreciation and even back to school shopping. I ESPECIALLY purchase these gift cards when Krogers runs their sales where you can earn 4x's the points.

This goes back to giving every dollar a name only it is more like a "proper" name rather than just "entertainment" it is Subway or Amazon or Spa and etc.

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