Cash Envelope System

How to create your own cash envelope system.  Using a cash envelope system works well, even if you think you are already good with money.  It is a great idea if you go over each week, even if it is just by a little.  Only having cash can eliminate that, helping you save big in the longer term.

How to make a cash envelope system

If you are interested in why I went with the cash envelope system (and you should too) you can read about that here.  But the biggest reason I went cash is because I have a massive savings goal and so even though some of my ‘leaks’ were tiny I wanted to stop them quickly!

So first of all you need to decide you categories.  You can have as many as you like but I think more than 5 may make it a little tricky.  I use a mini folder from Kmart for my cash, but you can use envelopes, or clips to keep your money together.  I also have a coin purse for my coins.  You could use separate coin purses for each category if you want.  Whatever suits you.

My categories are – Groceries, petrol, entertainment, incidentals. Any leftover money goes towards savings. The goal is to keep your budget tight so you don’t have a heap left over so you can keep it in the bank and resist the temptation of spending!


Groceries this is pretty self explanatory.  All meat, groceries, fruit and vegetables plus cleaning products.

Petrol this category is fortnightly and obviously for me to put petrol in my car.  I put $50 a fortnight into my folder.

Entertainment is any for form entertainment or takeaway for the week. This is the only category that I carry over week to week if I don’t spend it all. At $50 it’s not enough to go out for a family dinner to a restaurant (we rarely do) so if we knew we had something coming up we would try and save previous weeks to help us out.

Incidentals this is our extra category.  It’s $50 a week.  Our incidentals are for expenses that come up with day to day life that don’t really have a category.  For us it could be another sippy cup, or contributing to a work colleagues gift.  I also put it towards ‘extras’ in the shopping if I find a great bargain that I can’t go past like reduced meat.  You could also have an incidentals category for lots of little sub categories like tuck shop money or parking money etc.

I also have a ‘medical’ category that is in the budget however I don’t take cash out for that.  Personally we are trying to have another baby so, the cost of going to the fertility doctor each month changes. Plus general doctors and sickness so while it is in budget, the amount can fluctuate wildly so I keep that in the bank and it is easier for the Medicare rebate as well.

On top of all these categories my husband and I are given an allowance. This goes directly into our separate accounts each week.  This is fun money! It is what ever we feel like, saving it for a new outfit or hair cuts etc.  It is also worth knowing this is also the first category that gets cut if we need to cut costs.

The rules

Once you have your categories and amounts sorted you then ready start you cash envelope system. The only rule is once you’re out of money – there is no more money until next week.  Don’t borrow money from the following week otherwise you will be always borrowing or chasing your tail.  If you must borrow money then you can borrow from another category – this is why having an incidental category is great.  It provides a buffer for expenses that can not be budgeted for.

It is up to you what you should do with your left over money.  You can leave it for the following money and still withdraw the full amount.  Or you can withdraw a reduced amount.  Or you can put it towards your saving goal – this is what we do.  I save the cash for a specific reason at the moment it is spending money for an upcoming mini holiday we are going on.

So far it has been great, on average I have been saving an extra $30 -50 per week.  Because I now second think every purchase.  Items like takeaway or incidentals, even though they are in my budget my spending has decreased.  I would love you to give cash envelopes a go and tell me if they make a difference in your spending and savings!

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How to get your Partner on board with a budget

Getting your partner on board with your budget or financial goals may seem impossible or unimportant but in reality the opposite is true.  I was the partner that wasn’t on board.  I regularly spent until I had nothing left.  How to get your partner on board with a budget or financial plan is actually a lot easier then you probably think.  I should know – I am now the driver of our budget.

How to persuade your partner to get on board with a financial plan and budget
How to persuade your partner that you need a budget
Identify why your partner is against a budget.

They may not think they will be able to do anything fun.  Or perhaps it’s they don’t want to be told what they should do with their money.  By knowing why your partner is hesitant to have a budget is the easiest way to break down the barrier and get them on board with having a budget.  Have the conversation and make them involved in building the budget so they can have their say!  You may also want to use treats.  After paying off the 3 credit cards, if you save up you can buy whatever car you want.  That in itself is a massive goal, but if that means they get a reward that might be all they need.  The rewards system  doesn’t need to be that big to work, a mini break paid in cash or an extra $50 spending money once the first 3 things are paid off etc.  All works wonder once you get the ball rolling, if your partner is like me then they will be so happy paying off their debt that they no longer want the ‘extras.’

Be prepared.

Have your statistics.  Using a graph projecting your current debt pay off date and how much sooner you could pay it off by adding extra money to your repayments.  You could use a site like like here. To make it easy and quick to show the benefits of paying off your loans or mortgage sooner.  Or how much a house repayment could be if you are saving for a house.  If you also come prepared with how much you could save if you no longer had a credit card/ car/furniture repayment.  Often those figures are impressive enough to put something else that truly matters – a family holiday, wedding etc.

I was personally shown a graph that my now husband had prepared of our debts (mainly my debt before we met).  That graph set me in motion to get another job and pay off A LOT of my debt within the following year.  You can read about that here.

Set Goals.

By setting your goals together you know exactly what you are working towards and what you want to achieve.  If it is something you both want – then it will keep you inspired and on track.  If one of you stray the other can put you back on track.  But only if its something you both want to achieve.


Set a review date – say 8 or 12 weeks.  If the budget isn’t working its an opportunity to adjust and make changes – not a time to give up.  The aim is that it is working.  This is enough time for you to show your partner how far you have come and the benefits of staying on track with your budget and plan.

Good luck! I hope that this works for you and inspired your partner to start looking after your financial future.  Please let me know how you go with getting your partner on board with a budget!

love budget mum

How to make a budget.

One of my most asked question is can you show me how to make a budget? Making a budget and following it is the first step in taking control of your finances.  

how to make a budget
Making a working budget

To make a budget you need to first understand your spending patterns. Look through old banking statements and tally up how much you spend on everything extra groceries, entertainment, clothing/extras. Generally these are the easiest areas to cut back on.
Once you understand your spending habits and hopefully have found the areas you are overspending in. I find the easiest way to run a budget is to end up with no money at the end of the week. This is called a zero budget – zero money left at the end of your pay cycle. I have my money set up so that my savings comes out first then I have enough money for all my expenses left in my account (or taken out in cash). I have two accounts for everything else one for yearly/ quarterly bills and the other is my savings. If there is any money left over at the end of a pay cycle this means I have spent less money on petrol/food etc I then roll that also into my savings account.
If budgeting is new to you – then paying yourself first is an important lesson. Paying yourself first means you have taken out your savings as your first transaction of your pay cycle. That way you are forced to stick to your budget more rigidly. And you’re taking growing your savings (and bettering your financial situation) seriously.
Setting up your budget is as easy as grabbing a pen and paper. Write down in one column all your expenses and in the other write down all you income. If they don’t match you have two options
1. Work out how to make more money (side hustles here.) OR
2. Spend less.

Budgeting is really that easy. You should always include in your expenses your savings goals. Otherwise you will never better your financial situation you will only be treading water. If you would like further help in sorting out your budget I have a three step series here, here and here. to help. But the most important lesson is to know that you need to be honest about all your expenses. Digging deep through your bank details, items such as pet insurance, netflix, tuck-shop for your child all little things can throw a budget out.
Good luck in budgeting and please if I haven’t covered everything you want to know in my 3 part series please ask!

2017 free planner

Here it is!  I have made 2017 free planner – I think you will love it!  Great to set and achieve your financial goals. It is a great place to keep all your info together and set yourself some goals for 2017! Who is with me??? Let’s make it sparkle!

Free financial and goal planner for 2017
Printable planner to set goals and make 2017 sparkle


I hope you love it!  I can’t wait to see it in use – use the hashtag #budgetmumblogplanner so I can see you use it too!

Budget Mum Blog

Saving for a BABY

Having a baby, is exciting but can be overwhelming in the finance department!  With the federal government constantly changing their minds about the Paid Parental Leave it leaves a lot of financial stress for the expecting parents.  This is how I prepared to become a stay at home mum – hopefully these steps will help you.

preparing your finances, family and budget for a new baby and possible loss of income
preparing your finances for a new baby and possible loss of income
  1. As soon as you find out your expecting (or start trying) – slash you spending.  Start living like you are on your post baby income.  So if one parent isn’t working you will need to start to live that way and save the rest.
  2. Start living like the baby is here – stop any excess entertainment etc. Any memberships or subscriptions that are no longer used cancel straight away, any changes you can make now will help save money but also help to adjust when the baby comes.
  3. Set a baby budget.  Be realistic but set a budget for expenses such as cot, prams and baby seats. Track your spending and stick to it, it is very very easy to get caught up in the excitement and go over board on the tiny onesies! Some hints are here.
  4. Pay off debt – if you have a credit card or car loan etc – now is the time to eliminate as much debt as possible.  That will free up money for when one you become a one income family.
  5. Start saving – if you don’t have an emergency fund or savings it is the time to save as much money as possible for just in case!  I always
  6. Declutter – make room for the baby in your life and house by decluttering.  Sell anything you no longer need or can not store and save the cash.
  7. Re – do the budget. Have a good understanding of how much money you may need to live comfortably on one income.  When we were on one income I knew I needed roughly $300 a week extra to be able to stay at home so I saved $300 for the amount of weeks I wanted off after my paid maternity leave ended. (I have a series of how to do a functioning budget starting here.)

I hope you enjoyed these tips and are excited to start saving for your beautiful baby!

Budget Mum Blog

The best tips to save money on groceries

I really spend a lot of my time wondering / researching and looking how I can make my grocery bill smaller. But this is honestly the simplest way to save money.  Here are the best tips to save money on groceries.

one tip to easily lower your grocery bill
lower your grocery bill with on easy tip

Ready – don’t shop in one store. That’s it! You need to accept that the major supermarkets are like all businesses and are about making money, BUT so are the small stores. So you need to shop around.

  1. The local fruit shop.  If you have a fruit shop in your local shopping centre you need to check it out.  If you think about how business works, it’s in the fruit shops best interest to be cheaper than the major supermarket otherwise who is shopping there?  They need to make rent and a profit so if they can’t beat the prices of the supermarket then they will go out of business. Not everything will be cheaper but it really is worth your while to know your prices and compare.  I generally check out the specials in the fruit shop, do my groceries – buy anything on my list that is cheaper in the supermarket (generally not a lot – but some specials are) then do the fruit and veg on the way out.  It takes an extra 5 mins and can save you A LOT of money – get in the habit and it’s easy.
  2. The big barn type fruit shop.  Generally it’s not attached to any shops and because of this is a TON cheaper than a supermarket.  The problem with this is that you may need to drive a little bit further around town to find the best.  It is worth your effort – once I found one with sales on things I regularly buy I sign up for their newsletter so I know what’s on sale before I make the trip.
  3. Bulk meat butchers – again knowing your prices is key here.  But I find once you have found a GOOD bulk butcher you will never want to leave them.  All it takes on your behalf is a marking pen, a couple of freezer bags and a freezer and you can buy a months work of meat for around $100 – $150 depending on how many you are feeding.  For a family of 4 trying to buy a weeks worth of meat at a supermarket for $25 but at the bulk butchers EASY.  Buying in bulk is what gets you the discount but don’t think you need to buy 10 kg of chicken breast to benefit, you just won’t be able to buy 500 gram pre packed trays and you will need to break them up into portion sizes when you get home.
  4. Large chemist type shops – obviously great for cheap prescription drugs but also great for personal hygiene and cleaning products.  The standard price in our chemist for my husbands deodorant is cheaper then the supermarkets buy $1, not on special just cheaper all day everyday.

If shopping around seems like too much effort, then break it up into days – know that there is a fruit barn near your Aunt’s house your going on the weekend – drop by and check it out. Once you get into the habit you will really love spending less money and A LOT less time in the supermarket.  Signing up for the newsletters or even better the rewards programs (if they have them) is a great way of planning you groceries.  Some weeks you won’t even need to step into a supermarket.  I hope you love these tips to save money on your groceries.

Budget Mum Blog

Frugal Frittata

Delicious and easy this frittata is the perfect meal for lunch or dinner.  An easy ‘bring a plate’ meal.  Totally flexible and totally delicious!  This recipe is a must have for every frugal family!

recipe of pumpkin, spinach and fetta frittata
Recipe for frugal frittata


250g frozen spinach

400 grams pumpkin cubed and roasted

3 mushrooms

300 mls cream or milk

6 eggs

100 grams fetta cheese

handful of grated cheese to sprinkle on top


Lightly saute spinach and sliced mushrooms.

Whisk together eggs and milk (or cream). Add in vegetables.

Pour into greased baking tray or pyrex dish, sprinkle grated cheese on top.

Back for 45 – 50 mins.  Allow to cool in tin, slice and serve warm or cold.

Can be frozen, perfect for a easy lunch!

frittata recipe
Pumpkin, spinach and fetta frittata

Let me know what your favourite frittata combinations are – I love this pumpkin, spinach and fetta! What is your favourite

Budget Mum Blog

Budget friendly scone recipe

Budget friendly scone recipe – simple and delicious.  An easy recipe for morning tea!  Light and fluffy scones perfect with jam and cream.

delicious scone recipe
scone recipe


3 cups SR Flour + extra for rolling

1/2 cup castor sugar

pinch salt

100 grams butter

1 1/4 cups milk


Preheat oven to 240 degrees

In a large bowl sift in the flour and salt.  Using only your finger tips rub in the butter into the flour until all butter is rubbed and it looks like tiny crumbs.

Add sugar, stir in and make a hole in the middle of the mixture.  Pour all milk into the hole and mix in using a butter knife (so the mixture doesn’t stick as easily).  Mix until you have a combined ball with no flour left around the sides of the bowl or the bottom.

Sprinkle the extra flour onto your bench and gently knead out the dough until it is 2-3 cm high.  Using a scone cutter or a glass, dust rim in flour and cut out scone.  Place cut scones on a baking tray touching each other.

Roll your dough off cuts together and cut out more scones until all dough is used.  Should make 12 large scones or 8 jumbo!  Dust scones with extra flour.

Turn the oven down to 210 degrees and bake scones for about 18 mins until nice and browned.

Serve as fresh as possible with whipped cream and raspberry jam and you will be in love!

I hope you love these scones as much as I do, these are truly super simple and delicious everytime – the perfect go to for anytime someone pops over!

Budget Mum Blog

Cheap simple piklets

Pikelets – the easy and simple response to breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.  A simple recipe that has basic ingredients and cheap on the pocket but doesn’t make them any less delicious! This is my grandmothers recipe, and every time we visited her when we were little she always had Milky Ways in the freezer for us and pikelets freshly made! And we loved them, even towards the end when there was more egg shell than egg, we still loved them!… So here is my grandmothers simple, cheap pikelet recipe. I hope you enjoy!

pikelet, piklet recipe


2 cups self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
5 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup milk with 2 teaspoons vinegar
2 eggs
2 heaped dessert spoons of melted butter

Sift together flour and bicarbonate soda
Add sugar, eggs, milk and mix
Fold in the melted butter
Spoon onto greased frying pan, once lots of bubbles appear flip over and cook on the other side.
Eat warm with jam and cream or serve as a dessert with ice cream and topping!


I hope you enjoy this simple and budget friendly pikelet recipe – it always hits the spot at our house!

Budget Mum Blog

Getting back on financial track

If you follow me on Instagram you would know that recently I have been struggling.  Struggling to keep my head above water with what feels like every aspect of life – not just our financial track.  The baby has been sick for weeks, both me and Hubby have been sick. I think winter is just bringing me down. I don’t want to cook, clean or organise anything and normally it is the budget that takes the brunt of my bad mood.  And then I fall off track! But there are a couple of things I have been doing to keep myself and finances on track.  So if you are like me this is for you.  Getting back on financial track.

how to get your finances back on track
How to get on track financially
  1. Treat yo self! Seriously, this is why you should have a “fun money” section in your budget.  I’m not talking about buying a new car.  I’m talking about doing something for you.  For me the other day, it was a trip to the local cafe while the bub was asleep to indulge in a BLT and a coke. $20 that I could of felt guilty about BUT I didn’t.  I needed some ‘me’ time.  Sure I could of come home and made myself a sandwich but it’s not the same and we both know it.  A little treat every now and again is not something to feel guilty about.  As long as your are NOT going into debt for it and you have a little ‘fun’ money in your budget.
  2. Remind yourself why you are doing this.   Make a mood board, write a goals list (you can use these cute ones.) and set them up in a place you see them all the time.  If the fridge is too exposed for you – put it on the inside of the pantry so you still see if regularly but guests are less likely too.  Put it on the back of your en-suite door but make sure you see it.  As your phone screen saver is my favourite.  If its a list of goals or a physical reminder – a picture of a new car, kitchen, holiday etc saved as your screen saver is the easiest way to go.  I find I need to put my goals ‘out there’ so I have accountability  – my goals are here.
  3. Get some inspiration!  On Instagram I have found soooo many people with the same goals as me and they are so willing to help and share tips and hints.  Search hash tags like #budgetmum to find like minded people that will inspire you.  The same with pinterest there are so many people sharing their story on pinterest that will give you the extra push you need to keep going!
  4. Set your goals BUT also come up with a plan.  What is your goal this month, this year, next 3 years to reach your ultimate goal.  By coming up with a plan you will feel more in control and calmer about why you are working so hard on your goal.

Did I miss anything?  Anything else that you do to keep yourself on track?  I hope this helps you getting back on financial track.


how to fix your finances and get back on track
how to get back on track financially

love budget mum