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  • Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Joanne and I’ve been blogging for many years under the name The Simple Wife (you can see all of my old posts under the archives or by clicking on any of the categories that interest you). I love receiving comments from you and try to respond to each one personally. I hope you’ll visit often!

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Melissa @ Breath of Life

We're doing the same thing...a modified envelope system. I've got an Excel sheet, and deduct money from each category when I spend it. At the end of the month, I'm taking out the $$ we have set aside for taxes and insurances and putting that in an envelope. If it stays in the account, it's too easy to spend. We haven't done exactly great this month (our first)...especially with groceries, so we may need to rethink that. I'm trying to use this month to see what's more realistic.

I think it's going to take a couple of months to really get an accurate picture...but it's going to be well worth it for my family & for yours! So glad we can encourage each other in this endeavor!


We are firm believers in using cash. You just think about purchases a little bit more that way. Our main cash categories are groceries, dining out (limited), gifts, and clothing. We've always used MS Money to track our expenses, but using cash actually makes us prioritize what we need today and what can wait until the next payday.

When I came home from work and we moved to one income, my husband and I each started taking a monthly allowance. It isn't a whole lot, but it makes the day to day saving in the family budget easier to take. I usually spend it on meals out or coffee with friends, fabric, Goodwill finds and sometimes save it for something big. But I give no account for how it was spent. And my husband spends his as he pleases, too.


We are Dave Ramsey fans in our house- I have his envelope wallet which really helps- it is all nice and pretty in my purse and it has a spot for the checkbook, ect! The first thing he has you do when you start the class is add up where you spend (really spend!) your money- going through old statements,ect. When we did this several years ago we were shocked to find we were spending almost as much as our house payment on eating out!! (smaller house payment then- but still Yikes!) I created a budget sheet for us that I fill in at the start of the month and keep them in a binder. I actually enjoy working on it now and we paid off all our debt including the car very quickly with this system!

Congrats on the end of your class! I am so jealous! I have looked through going to Seminary so many times maybe someday! Right now looking forward to my Early Childhood Education class that starts next week! I love school! :)

Becky Jo

LOVE the envelope idea - we have talked about that before, and hubby was hesitant, but I think the keeping track with lists on the enverlope itself might make him more willing to at least try it (he is a list maker fo sho!!).

Also, just learned this week of a little thing called Angel Food ministries. You can get a LOT of food for very little mula. It is for anyone - no income requirements, etc (although, right now, I am SURE we would qualify!!). Check out the website at - I do believe that they are nationwide!


I just set up a file system for all of our household and business papers. Things kept getting lost or tucked in a drawer and promptly forgotten about. To tackle the hurdle of paper I set up a file system with a folder for each month. When a bill arrives, I pay it and put it straight in the folder and that way we know it's paid and we don't have to hunt all over the house for it.

I hadn't thought about tracking what we spend but I think I will start putting all the receipts in the file folders too and then in a month or two I will be able to assess what we spend. We really don't keep track because we spend less than we make but I'm sure there's ways we could save even more! Thanks for the inspiration!


I'm planning on doing this in February ... keeping notes of every penny I spend. I'm finding that little dollars are slipping away and I need to get a better grasp on this for our family! :)


Envelopes are the best way to go, we do it too. I has become second nature, so we just carry the cash unless we have a special purchase for which we are saving. I'm enjoying the tips on your blog!


Hi Joanne! Here's some more info on the Dave Ramsey system from another blog I read.


What I want to know is how you can spend less than $50 at Costco...


We are doing something similar to the envelopes but with a more elaborate setup as we are currently working on our debt snowball. Have you tried FoodSupport before? They offer a $250 gift card for many popular grocery chains after you fill out the requested info.


I use the envelope system too ... only the envelopes are on my computer. It is a fantastic (and FREE) budget program. We love it and have turned our financial situation around in just 12 months !! Here's the link if you want to check it out ...


this was so helpful for me...we have yet to actually implement the envelope system...partly b/c i needed to see how it worked in real life. thanks for sharing...and yeah, less than $50 @ costco? impressive. thanks for sharing!


Sounds like you are all ready! My husband and i have been doing this for i think 7 years. It is interesting when you first start tracking money to see where it goes. It is really not so fun for me to see how things have increased. My gas and Electric bill has increased. Since I have the records in excel I can see what it cost over the last 7 years to heat our home. Not so fun sometimes.


Thanks for the linkage, Joanne. I had an idea for a Frugal Friday post, but time got away from me! Maybe I'll do Frugal Monday!

We used envelopes for the first 13-14 years of our marriage. It is a huge budget saver, and a great visual tracking tool.

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Oh yes, envelope system is a good technique in budgeting money. But I use file folders and envelopes (plastic ones) for less clutter. I also put my bill payments there and my credits. You should find the most reliable lending institutions just in case you need money for emergencies. Oh, I'll share a money saving tip: don't go too much grocery shopping. I schedule my groceries every 2 months. And try buying items in packs instead of singles.

- Sofia Britts

Income Opportunities

Can you tell us more abouht this? I'd like to find out more details.

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