Well, you should be because it’s going SPLENDIDLY. Splendidly, I tell you. We stayed under budget for both the test run and the full 2 week cycle. In fact, in all 3 weeks, we came $30 under in groceries, my most feared category, EACH week.
I can’t tell you how nice it is to open my Mint.com account and only see 2 red lines (thanks to extra Charity (yay) and pharmacy (boo)). Usually by mid-month, the budget was shot and it was difficult to find a green line. I mean, seriously, all the rumors are true…we finally know where our money is going instead of where it went! It’s amazing! We already have money set aside for our car taxes next spring for crying out loud. It’s fantastic!
All of that to say it hasn’t been complete smooth-sailing. There have been a few times we’ve been caught out without our cash and then we’re left juggling cash around envelopes after using our debit card. Scott is more of the spender than me (really) and he’s stomped his foot and lowered his bottom lip a few times when I’ve had to say, it’s not really in the budget. I can’t say I haven’t been disappointed just in the last two weeks not being able to spend like I want (fingernail polish or fall decorations, anyone?) but in hindsight it feels really good to have stuck to my guns.
We have made a few changes. There are a few categories that Dave recommends we use for envelopes like gas or vacation that is just too inconvenient or silly to keep in envelopes. So far, I’ve kept other things super divided. Food is our sore spot so I have separate envelopes for groceries, fast food, sit-down restaurants and coffee. I know it seems like a lot but knowing ahead of time it is our weakness, we are better able to keep an eye on how many times we’re eating Taco Bell and how many times we’ve gotten coffee etc. with it like this.
Speaking of food, I still haven’t mastered weekly meal planning. I’m at the grocery store constantly, only thinking of dinner a day or two ahead of time but you know, we’re literally 3 minutes from the store and it’s just hasn’t been a big deal. It’s the only way I don’t completely stress over the whole thing. And you know they say the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. So I’m tackling this dinner thing bite by bite…or something like that.
So all in all, I really can not imagine not having this even just a few weeks in. All our needs are met, our wants are managed and we have flexibility to help others. Win, win, win!