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Envelope Budgeting

April 27, 2008

Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. (Proverbs 27:23)

This proverb tells us how to take care of our money. Of course, paper money is not mentioned here, but the current trading commodities are.  In the Bible a man’s wealth was often measured by the number of his flocks. Think of Job right here.  So, if we are going to obey this proverb, we will know the state of our money and we will watch where it goes.

There is no better way to obey this Scripture than to use an old-fashioned paper envelope system.  I grew up watching my father move money around his envelopes and when I established my own home, I thought that I would not have to do that.  I had a mathematical mind and was technologically “savvy.”

I learned the HARD way — my way.

Now, I have helped many people set up their own envelope system.  And I want to give a few pointers.  Already some of you are saying, “This is JackHammer, where’s all the Scriptures?”  I reply that they’re at the top of the post.  An obedient Christian will know where his money is, where it has gone, and where it is going to go.  He will control every dollar that he has been made the steward of.

  • Determine your monthly income.  You get your bills monthly. (If you are paid weekly, multiply your weekly check by 52, then divide by twelve.)
  • Gather your monthly expenses. (house, car, utilities, insurance, etc.)
  • Determine your montly expenditures. (tithe, food, groceries, supplies, etc. – any consistent expenditure should be noted like haircuts and newspapers)
  • List your monthly bills.  Most people have these because they have not been using an envelope budget. (credit cards, consolidation loans, personal loans, etc.)
  • Designate how much of each check should go into each envelope.
  • Do not use cards (debit or credit) until you’ve learned the discipline of the envelopes (as short as 3-4 checks for some, as long as a year for others)

Buy an expanding envelope thingy from Wal-mart (or somewhere else) and label the several slots.  When you cash your check put the dollars in the proper places.  Only spend cash that is there.  If you must use more money than what’s in a particular slot, you must note it and pay it back from the borrowing slot with the next paycheck. After just a few months of controlling your money, rather than having it control you, you will be amazed at the amount of money that will be collecting in the different envelopes.

This is not a comprehensive presentation, but it should be enough to get you started.  If you’ve done this and you can testify to its usefulness, give me a comment.  If you have questions, ask in the comments area.  I look forward to helping more Christians obey the Scriptures.

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Categories: money, Voegtlin Tags: , ,
  1. Travis Burke
    May 19, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    It works…I have used it for 2 years and it changed my home, my church, my attitude, my wife and I’s fellowship, my savings, my future…you get the picture.
    On our church’s website there is also a budget link. The categories with an (*) next to them we use for envelopes. Just thought I would chime in.

  2. May 20, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Thanks for chiming in.

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