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!