How we are managing our cash & budget this month



If any of you are following our “Focus on Finances” month on Instagram (highly recommended, there's lots of good stuff over there) you've probably seen this picture: An excited, but terrified Jordan.

Terrified why? I hate cash. It scares me. Some days it makes me feel like I want to jump on my bed and throw it in the air like they do in the movies. Other days I want to stuff it under my mattress and never touch the stuff. It's hard to track, easy to lose, and it has a power that when you have a wad of it it takes every ounce of self-control not to run and give Target it's best sales day yet. However, the cash-only spending must go on!

Here's how we're managing our cash, and here's a breakdown of what our budget looks like for the month:


  • I'm in charge of “Groceries” and “other” spending. See HERE for everything you need to know about what those two budgets involve.
  • A family should aim for having a grocery budget of $100 per person in their family, per month. Again, be sure to check out the guidelines because that includes everything from food to diapers, makeup, shampoo, and cough medicine.
  • For my “Other” budget I'm giving myself $65/week.
  • So my total budget for the month $760, or $190 per week for everything.
  • I'm considering it a 4-week month so the math is easy.
    • Week 1 = Jan 1 – 11 (normally that would be really hard to do but since Jan 5-11 is a spending freeze, that will be a piece of cake! More on the freeze soon, so check back!)
    • Week 2 = Jan 12 – 18
    • Week 3 = Jan 19 – 25
    • Week 4 = Jan 26 – 31
  • To pace myself I'm only pulling out $190/week.
  • At the end of each week any extra will go back to the bank, and will go toward our Slush Fund!
  • As for gasoline and bills…My budget does NOT include gasoline, utilities, or bills. In our family gasoline is a business expense so we handle that differently. But in general, I consider gasoline to be a utility. As hard as you try to cut back, it is what it is – you have no control, and it's not really much of an “optional” expense. All of our utilities and bills are on auto-pay and will still be paid with a credit card this month. Now, gasoline is totally your call. We have to pay for gas on our business credit card, because all business spending has to be tracked for tax purposes. So we will still fill up our cars with gas on CC's for the month. For your family, you decide what works best for you. But still try hard not to use cards if you don't have to! Average what you spent on gas the last 3 months, and give yourself that budget for gas. If you have extra, put it in the bank. If you need more, pull out just enough to cover you…but be sure not to spend it on anything other than gas!!!!!


  • Bubba is in charge of Bubba's other” (hair cuts, shoe repair, any clothes he needs, going out to lunch) and “family fun”  ( including date nights and eating out). He is technically also in charge of car stuff (oil changes, repairs, tire rotations, etc), but again, much of that is a business expense so we have to pay for it separately. So for the sake of budgeting, the only thing we can really track of his is
  • His budget is $50 a week for “family” and $20/week for “other” (he hardly spends money so $20 is reasonable).
  • He hates the envelope thing (he says its old-school :)) so he just has his cash in his wallet. He uses (their app is awesome) to track his spending. It's hard when you pay cash for things, so he's just doing his best to manually track it.
  • Any leftover money he has at the end of the week goes into our Slush Fund.

How are YOU tracking your budget(s) this month? Be sure to post a picture and share! Instagram, Facebook, whatever you prefer.

Use the hashtag #FocusOnFinances and you could win $100!





  1. I will be using your system along with starting the Total Money Makeover to get out of debt. Love your ideas and they seem super simple and easy to follow. 2014 is going to be a better year for us. It’s been to long. Time to take control. 🙂 #FocusOnFinances

  2. I’m confused. Looking at the envelope it looks like you have space to keep track of both grocery and other budgets. Am I missing something?

    • Yes, so sorry, I didn’t explain that well at all…my envelope system is usually a card-only system, using only one envelope – so that’s why the printables have a column for grocery and a column for “other”. For the cash-only challenge. Some might want to print out TWO envelopes for January since there’s cash inside and it might be easier to divide it up between two envelopes, using one envelope for “grocery” and the other for “other”. So yes, if you go the 2-envelope route, there would be an extra column on each envelope. You can just ignore it or use it as overflow writing area.

  3. we use Mint to track our expenses as well. i think i will be incorporating your 3-budget method (bills, groceries, other) because having 10 budgets seemed like an overkill! we also started to use several savings accounts so we can save for planned events outside of our normal budget: yearly trip home, christmas, insurances, down payment on a house, etc). mint can track our goals with each in its separate account. and they earn a little interest as they grow. my husband is not very excited to make additional checking accounts. he doesn’t spend much and we usually put everything on our credit card and pay it off every month. any suggestions on that part? great blog!

    • For groceries? No that’s just for the people in our family. If you have a full-time nanny or babysitter then you might have to adjust a little, but it shouldn’t be by the full $100. Thanks for reading!

  4. Still learning all this. Taking notes and making an effort to be the hubby on board.

    How to bake bread! (EASIEST bread recipe…ever.)

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