Stay on Top of Your Spending

Ever wonder where all your money goes? Financial Educator, Amanda Christensen explains how to stay on top of your spending. The secret…stash your cash!

Envelope Spending Method

What is the benefit of the envelope spending method?

· Entertainment, food, personal allowances and other variable expenses can cause you grief if you’re not keeping an eye on your spending throughout the month.

· Using the envelope method to control some of those variable expenses can be a lifesaver as well as help you feel on top of your money management skills.

· Here is a list of some monthly expenses that might be good to use with the envelope method: gas, food, eating out, entertainment, personal allowance, date night, and gifts.

How will the envelope spending method help you?

· Do you ever get to the end of the month and ask yourself where all the money went? Using the envelope spending method will help you get to the end of the month without experiencing that sinking feeling that comes from not having enough.

What are we doing wrong?

· Perhaps you are creating a spending plan and setting aside amounts of money to spend in certain categories every month. Keep up the good work!

· Although it’s easy to get online and check the balance in your checking account, it’s not as easy to keep track of how much has been spent in these spending areas. It’s easy to get discouraged and think that your efforts aren’t getting you anywhere. The envelope spending method is your solution.

What are the solutions?

· The traditional envelope method for budgeting allows you to take a specific amount of cash, stick it in an envelope labeled “groceries”, “entertainment”, etc. and consistently know how much you have left to spend that month in that category. When the money is gone you’re done spending in that category for the month. Then, if the stars lined up and you had money leftover in one envelope at the end of the month, you could choose to put that money in the bank and save it, pay extra down on a debt or reward yourself and spend it! No guilt attached!

· EEBA APP (Available for both the Android or Apple phones): If carrying cash isn’t your thing try this awesome free app that allows you to keep track of your cash flow using this same method minus the actual cash.

· Visit to explore and learn more about this awesome app and its features.

Amanda Christensen is an assistant professor at Utah State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences. Visit:

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