An Experiment in Budgeting

Posted on 24. Jan, 2006 by in Saving & Investing

My wife and I are pretty good at creating and following a budget; however, we’re always up for trying new methods. And this week a new (FREE!) online personal budgeting site was announced – MySpendingPlan.com. The site is described as:

A new website for people and groups who are looking for powerful, collaborative, and free software to mange their finances, announced its official launch. MySpendingPlan.com is free secure online personal finance budgeting software that’s easy to use for a variety of budgeting purposes from personal home finance, to vacation planning, home remodeling, and organization budgeting.

The site is based upon a common budgeting technique — called the “Envelope System” — that has lost steam as more and more people use plastic for everything. The evelope system consists of taking a month’s or week’s worth of income in cash and dividing it up among your budget categories which are represented by actual physical envelopes. This way, each time you need to go out for lunch, you take the appropriate cash out of the “Dining Out” envelope so that you can see how much will be left in there after you buy your Big Mac. Seeing the actual cash leave the envelope is a lot more effective at curbing spending that using your debit or credit card where your Big Mac is “magically” paid for and you don’t give a second thought to it.

I’m a fan of the evelope system; however, it does take some sacrifices. As I’ve already mentioned before, switching to a cash-based payment system is a big change from the prolific use of credit cards. But despite this drawback, I’ve decided to try out both the envelope system and
MySpendingPlan.com for the month of February. I’ve created a new category as well, called “Experiments” that will be used to track this and other experiments. Feel free to subscribe to that feed as well. I’ll be releasing more details about my experiment as February approaches, but I wanted to let you know about the new program in case you wanted to experiment as well!

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2 Responses to “An Experiment in Budgeting”

  1. Chris

    24. Jan, 2006

    My wife and I have been using the envelope system for a couple of weeks now and have noticed a big swing in our spending habits. It’s also a big help for grocery store trips since you end up totaling up the bill as you go along and hunting a little harder for better deals.

    I can thoroughly recommend it.

    Good luck.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. BeancounterBlog.com » Experiment in Budgeting - Part 2 - February 7, 2006

    […] As you may recall, I posted about a new online budgeting tool that uses the envelope system. The envelope system, if you recall, is a cash-based budgeting system that consists of creating literal envelopes in which you place the cash you have budgeted for the month. That way, each time you pull out $10 for this or $5 for that, you will be able to see with depressing accuracy, just how much money is leaving your “bank.” The system is in stark contrast to the debit and credit card age where we merely pay for everything with “magic” money. […]

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