Once you have done your first budget and experimented with the envelopes, you are ready to plan for a month at a time. We sit down the weekend before the new month and plan. As a result, our weekly meetings are relatively short.
- A new budget, for a new month. Based on what you learned last month and looking ahead to this month, make a new budget.
- Plan four weeks of envelopes. In the first month, you looked at the envelopes week by week while you learned about the system and how much you thought you needed. Now, you may not be 100% sure about how much you need, but you have a much better idea. I like to use my Envelope Chart. It goes four weeks and has paydays marked. Adjust it for yourself.
- Fill envelopes according to paydays. Our payday is every second Friday. We fill the envelopes on payday. This means we only have to meet about money and go to the bank twice a month. We have some categories with two envelopes; one for each week.
Week A (payday) Groceries A
Week B (not payday) Groceries B
Why? If we put all our grocery money in one envelope for two weeks, we will likely be hungry in week two.
- Balance Week One’s Envelopes at the end of the first week. This gives you a heads up if you are going to be short or if you have some wiggle room. This usually takes five minutes.
- Leftover cash. There are different options. In your budget, you likely have minimum payments for debts. Using your leftover cash for extra payments is likely the best idea as it will get you out of debt faster. We deal with leftover cash at the end of the month.
- Continue researching how to be more efficient with your categories. The more you learn, the further you will stretch your dollars. The more you stretch your dollars, the faster you will become financially secure either by getting out of debt or building a nest egg while still enjoying a good quality of life.