Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Envelope Observation

We made it. For fun, we spent the last month going back to using the envelope system to help stay on budget. The theory is that having a personal relationship with each dollar spent increases the likelihood that you will not pithier it away.

I had been in the habit of charging at least three coffees a day against my next month’s payroll check. Running between meetings, it easy to have the barista swipe my staff ID badge to keep caffeinated. This habit comes to $8.00/day or $160.00/month or $1,920/year.  Think of what I could do with an extra $2,000?

Having to draw the dollar bills out of my envelope and slide them across the counter was much more painful than I thought it would be. Many times, my previous cup of coffee was not yet empty, just cold. For two bucks, I’m ok with nuking it for 30 seconds.  When drawing your spending money out of an envelope, there is much more a sense that money is a finite resource, not an endless stream. It now feels very irresponsible to throw out cold coffee.

Waste not. Want not. Thank you envelope.

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