Restoring the Lost Petal

MTFW Disclaimer

Why I Haven’t Balanced My Checkbook In 3 Years

Envelopes Budgeting Without Balancing Your Checkbook

It’s okay. I’m used to gasps and blank stares. It seems whenever I tell someone I haven’t balanced my checkbook in three years (going on four) I am met with a response that must be similar to the ones a mother with five kids under five years gets at the grocery store. It’s that, “I’m not positive you’re crazy but I’m pretty sure you’re nuts,” look.

It is true. I do not balance my checkbook. I don’t even keep a paper register anymore. Instead, I reconcile my bank statement with my online budgeting program. By using Mvelopes to track all of our expenses and income and reconcile our bank statements the bulk of our finances are paperless. With just a few key strokes I can reconcile my statement against my transactions. Easy Peasy!

Here’s an example of what the reconcile feature looks like in Mvelopes:

reconcile transactions in Mvelopes

 

Not balancing your checkbook is just a small benefit of envelopes budgeting. There’s so much more.

Why Envelopes Budgeting?

Using an envelope-style budgeting system is not a new thing. Your parents or grandparents likely know about this concept even if they didn’t use it. Paper envelopes were often used as a way to take the weekly paycheck and divide it up into spending categories (aka paper envelopes). In today’s world, most people don’t carry cash but the same tried and true money management principles apply: Spend from your budget categories not your checking account balance. When you allocate funds for a purpose and spend only those funds on that purpose you are on your way to sound financial management.

Envelope budgeting online means you can have the best of both worlds: the technology to access your budget and envelopes from your computer, tablet or smart phone and a method that has worked for several decades. It is such a simple concept but the benefits are multi-faceted. Our choice for envelopes budgeting was Money4Life Center and the Mvelopes program. We needed the accountability and guidance of a well-trained coach to help us change our habits and be good stewards. Plus, neither one of us had ever really done envelopes budgeting before so the coaching was great. Since using Mvelopes we have been able to:

  • Paid off over $20,000 in debt (in just under 3 years)
  • Stopped living paycheck to paycheck
  • Eliminate dependence on credit cards
  • Paid cash for vacations and Christmas (last three years)
  • Build a solid plan for our finances when I was laid off
  • Practice biblical stewardship in a practical way
  • Reduce stressful arguments about money (we have moments but it doesn’t overshadow our marriage like it did before)

 

I would not trade envelope-style budgeting for anything. We have had such peace and focus that we never had before. And, I don’t have to balance my checkbook!

 

How to manage your finances without balancing your checkbook

*I was in no way compensated for this post. I am a Money4Life Budgeting Coach however I am only compensated for session coached.

 

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