Cash Envelope System

Cash Envelope System

A few days ago I shared that my husband and I are currently taking the Financial Peace University classes at our church. Part of Dave Ramsey’s system is to start using cash for as much as you can, at least during the beginning. At first I saw it only has a major inconvenience. However, I will say that it really does make sense and it really does work. People tend to have more of an emotional connection to cash and it makes it harder to part with. It hurts! Our first time eating out using cash was a new experience for sure. After the kids and my husband figured out what they wanted, I was calculating how much I could spend for my meal and still have money to cover taxes and tip. But that wasn’t the only thing that hurt. The food was mediocre at best and the service was even worse. It REALLY hurt to hand over our hard earned cash for that. It left an impression for sure.

Grocery Cash Envelope System

Now the FPU class includes a Dave Ramsey cash envelope system, but I tend to be quite girly at times. I’ve found that I use things more often when they’re girly and pretty. I got the inspiration for this system from Mom Needs a Clone over on YouTube. I followed her instructions on how to make these really nice cash envelopes and it couldn’t have been easier. You can watch her video on that here. She also sells these envelopes in her Etsy shop for those who don’t have the time or desire to make their own. I already had most of the material on hand so I decided to make my own.

Hair Cash Envelope System

I took a dry erase marker and wrote the amount for each envelope on the back. You can use permanent marker if you like; it will wipe off with a cleaner. I chose a dry erase marker for now because I’m still working on some of the amounts. Cash Envelope System

Here’s a quick look at several of the envelopes I have. My husband thinks that I have too many options, but that’s just the type of person I am. Some people only do envelopes for the big items like groceries and eating out. I’m a type A person that likes to be overly organized. It’s one of my strengths, and weaknesses. I have all of my envelopes in my binder for now, but some will be moved to our safe later. These sinking funds will start adding up and I don’t want to carry around all of that cash. Here’s a list of my many envelopes:

Meals Out
Date Night
Family Night
Kids Allowance
Hair Cuts
Dry Cleaning
Tags & Registration
Oil Changes
Auto Maintenance
Household Items

I don’t have an envelope for our blow money (or allowance) or our tithing. We keep our blow money in our wallets and I shared a few days ago that I keep our tithes in my spiritual binder.

Date Night Cash Envelopes

Have you done the cash envelope system for your family? If so, what are some of your tips and tricks that helped you stay on track and on budget??

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Financial Peace University

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Spiritual Binder

Spiritual Binder

Spiritual Binder

Spiritual Binder

These last few years as I’ve been growing deeper in my faith I’ve been looking for tools and resources that will help me along my journey. I heard about the idea of a spiritual binder from YouTube. I modeled my personal binder after the one that Christine Pearson showed on her channel. You can see that video here. I’ve been making small changes here and there as I use it to make it work better for me. I placed some simple yet pretty scrapbook paper in the front, spine, and back of the binder to spruce it up a bit. Spiritual Binder

I like using this Avery Protect & Store Mini 3 Ring binder. I keep prayer cards, tithing cards, and my family picture in the plastic pouch. The night before church I’ll fill out my cards and check. That way I have it all ready for church the next morning. I also like having my family picture in there because it’s a constant reminder of everything I have to be thankful for.

Here’s a glance at my first set of tabs: Bible Study, Verses, Gratitude, Prayer, and Sermon. The Bible Study and Sermon are where I jot down notes of what stood out or spoke to me. As I find a scripture verse that resonates with me, I write it with my favorite verses. I don’t use the gratitude and prayer as much as I would like to. I started off writing in there daily, but now it’s mostly weekly.

Spiritual Binder

And here’s my second set of tabs: Worship, Sites, Inspire, Read/Listen, and Tithing. My worship tab is kind of a work in process. It’s for lyrics and poems that may resonate with you, but I’ve been using it as more of a resource page. I have power tools, positive projects, study tips, etc. For the sites, I write down any websites that I hear about during sermons or bible studies that I may want to look up later. Next I write down all of my favorite inspirational quotes and then any books I want to read. And lastly I keep track of all of my tithes and check numbers.

Spiritual Binder

In the back of my binder I just keep some of my daily affirmations and verses I’ve been working on memorizing.

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Financial Peace University

Financial Peace University

My husband and I have been taking classes since the beginning of April for the Financial Peace University. For those not familiar with FPU it is a 9 week course designed by Dave Ramsey. Dave built a million dollar business in his early 20s and then lost it all. Since then he has built another million dollar company teaching people how to not follow in his earlier footsteps. He takes you step by step on how to get rid of your debt and build your wealth, all without any get rich quick schemes. I have read his Total Money Makeover book before and was familiar with his 7 Baby Steps before signing up for the class.

The Total Money Makover

However, I was skeptical to take the class at first. I was curious to see if it would teach me anything new about his process that his book didn’t already cover. I can say that it definitely does. But more importantly, it was good to get my husband in the class and participating. The group discussions are extremely beneficial since they help show you how everyone has tackled their financial situations differently. The class is Scripture based, but I really would recommend it for anyone and everyone. If you’re not religious, there’s still a lot of useful take aways. Since taking this class, my husband and I are feeling optimistic and peaceful about our financial futures. It’s amazing to be able to pay for any emergencies that pop up and recently we paid cash in full for my husband’s car. It’s an amazing feeling!!

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Second Time Around

Second Time Around

One of my goals this year has been to read more. I have four different book cases overflowing with books and I haven’t read half of them. It’s quite pitiful. And that’s not including all of the books that I have downloaded on my Kindle. So I have been challenging myself to read one paper book and one Kindle book a month, as well as a new Bible study every quarter. So one of the last books I finished was one of my Kindle books: Second Time Around by Joann Durgin.

This book follows a newlywed as he tries to win over his bride again after she has a terrible accident that leaves her with amnesia. It was definitely different than most books I read, but I did enjoy it. There were a few parts that I thought were kind of silly. However, I did enjoy the moments when the main character has conversations with his mentor. It allowed me to reflect on aspects of my life from a different viewpoint. Which in my opinion is always a great part of any good book. Overall I would give it a 4 out of 5 and would recommend it to some of my Christian friends.



Children of the Day Bible Study

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The Magnolia Story


It’s been awhile since I finished this book, but I still wanted to write a short review on it. I have been a fan of Chip and Joanna’s for many years. I can’t say how many times I’ve rewatched Fixer Upper on Netflix. I also have a few issues of their Magnolia Journal. With that said, I really enjoyed this book. It was nice reading about how their journey began and as a Christian myself, it was refreshing to see how much they walk with their faith. It’s so easy to talk about one’s faith, whatever it may be; but not a lot of people thoroughly live out their faith.

I was a little shocked though to read about all of the times that Chip made life altering decisions without talking to Joanna first. My husband would say it’s my SheRa attitude, but that type of relationship wouldn’t have worked for me. I’m glad it worked ok for them so don’t get me wrong. I guess it just shocked me because I always had the impression that they worked together on everything. I would have thought that making large purchases and moving to a different house would be a decision they made together. But I suppose it’s really about balance. They seem to work well together and balance each other. And that can be really hard to find these days.


Raspberries and Vinegar


A few nights ago I finished reading Raspberries and Vinegar by Valerie Comer. I’ve had it downloaded to my Kindle for a while now; longer than I care to admit actually, so I decided it was about time to cross it off my To Read list.

For the most part I did enjoy the book. It was a nice change to read a more modest love story and as a health coach, I did enjoy the story line about nutrition and sourcing our food locally. However, my main issue with the book also falls into that story line.

The main character was so strict and uptight about locally grown food and optimal nutrition, that she let it become a barrier in her relationships with people. And this is a common issue today as well. Nutritionists, vegans, and even health coaches get this bad reputation that if we see you eating a bacon cheeseburger that we’re going to come slap it out of your hands. And this example is even used in the book as she literally tries to take a burger from someone while they’re trying to eat. Not only is that bad for our industry, that’s just bad manners.

Once I was able to ignore the common misconception though, I was able to thoroughly enjoy the book. I do like many of the ideas mentioned in the book and could relate to some of the struggles the characters had. All in all, while I know this book isn’t for some people, I would recommend it.

A New Journey for a New Year

Another chapter has closed in our lives and we are bracing ourselves for the new adventures ahead in the upcoming year. My family ended 2016 with many changes around us, but perhaps the biggest change was my husband’s promotion and transfer at work. Last month, my family moved from Ohio to Charlottesville, Virginia.

Charlottesville Virginia

With this move, we’ve encountered many challenges. The first challenge was finding a tenant for our home in Ohio….in three months….during the holidays. Needless to say, this is still an ongoing challenge. This also caused another challenge in our life. Due to the financial strain of paying rent and a mortgage, we decided to downsize once we got to Virginia. This hasn’t been so much a hardship challenge because I’ve been slowly becoming more drawn to a minimalist lifestyle. However, my husband is a pack rat who apparently has an emotional attachment to everything he has ever own. And I mean EVERYTHING! It’s a slow process, but we’re getting there.

Another obstacle that we ran into was the preschool system here in Virginia. In Ohio, my youngest was going to preschool four days a week at minimal cost to us. However, the public preschools here are only for children with learning disabilities, while the private preschools cost an arm and two legs! I knew my daughter was going to be crushed. She loved being a big girl and going to school with her big brother every day. So after a lot of thinking and praying on the matter, I’ve decided to home school her. I’ll be sure to share my struggles and mishaps with that journey as we go along.


Possibly the biggest challenge I’ve faced personally with our move, is having to transfer my new personal training business. When I started IMT Fit Life I had the notion that we would be staying in Ohio for several more years so I was planting my roots, so to speak. I was training a few clients, working on programs for several different organizations, and making new connections daily. And then I had to walk away from it all. It was definitely disheartening to say the least.

But when one door closes, another door opens. That’s how the saying goes. We’ve closed the door to 2016 and our lives in Ohio. We have begun our new adventures here in Virginia and what a better time for new adventures than the New Year. And I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to share as we continue through these challenges and great adventures!


Shenandoah National Park