Chris Cookley

Do you budget app or budget envelope?

It might seem crazy in this technology enabled world that anyone would choose to use envelopes to manage their money, but there’s a certain simplicity to the practice. An app can be fudged, but when an envelope is empty, it’s empty.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say envelope, I mean using envelopes as your budgeting system. Each envelope is assigned a category, and then cash is literally put inside each envelope. Going out to eat? Take the restaurant envelope, etc. You are only allowed to spend the cash in the envelope on that envelopes purpose. Money in the grocery envelope gets spent on groceries. When you run out of grocery money, you better hope you have a lot of food at the house, or the end of the month is near. See? Simple.

Personally, I use an app. YNAB, actually. I do this mostly because it’s easier for my wife and I to track our finances together. If I was single, I would seriously consider envelopes. There’s nothing that says “you don’t have the money for this” as an empty envelope.

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