a new way to budget

girls
Ever heard of the envelope system? I was a big fan of it before I was married and living overseas. Since then, we've tried a few different sytems for budgeting and tracking our expenses, including Principal Plan and Mvelopes. Both were electronic envelope systems. They worked well enough, but both required a lot of maintenance. I want to simplify, so I made a little cash carrier for my new plan.

Here's how it's going to work. All of our discretionary spending will be funded once a month into envelopes. We've agreed upon categories: the girls, our personal allowances, home/gifts and eating out. Once the money is gone, we won't spend out of that category until the next month. Alternatively, we could borrow out of another envelope if we wanted to. There's no need to track this spending because it tracks itself. We can physically see if we have the money or not.

eatingout

I took five envelopes and glued them together with scrapbook paper to make a binding.
sideview

Then, I glued all the flaps inside except for the outer envleope which I glued extra paper to in order to make a larger flap. After adding a button with some ribbon for the closure, I mod-podged the front and backsides to make them a bit more sturdy. Thus, the glossy look.

budget
So, how do you budget? What's your best tip or system?