Expanding Envelope: Every Mom's BFF for Money Matters - BlogPh.net

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Expanding Envelope: Every Mom's BFF for Money Matters

Every new mother has had concerns about budgeting and experienced stretching out the family income so any trick that could work is worth the try. Since I got married, budgeting has been really a challenge. On the other hand, the need to save has become more and more vital. I've tried all sorts of budget and saving tips or tricks I've found online but nothing seems to really work for me. I ended up picking out an amount out of our savings and of course, find myself disappointed. 

Until one blessed night, over a year ago at a financial seminar in church, my friend and mentor introduced me to the paperbill-sized expanding envelop and since then, spending, saving and all family money matters has been a lot less stressful and a lot more managable. This expanding envelope has been an answered prayer to me. And it's a blessing I dare not keep to myself. As I share the advantages of the expanding envelope, I pray that it will also work for you the way it has made my life a little more convenient.

expanding envelope
Make the most out of partitions

The expanding envelope has these partitions that provide you a space for names or titles for which that pocket is allotted for. Make sure to chronologically name each pocket in order of importance to your family lifestyle. When I open mine, tithes (10 percent of my income is God's money) is the first section I'll see and I'm instantly reminded that I'm blessed to even have income. Next to that, are pockets named savings, insurance, vitamins, grocery, utility bills,  house help salary, recreation, and contingency. Allot enough for each section to make sure that all your family needs are met.


My savings is usually the same as my tithes. I immediately deposit that to an assigned savings account that is dedicated for savings alone. It's important to save money while the kids are still toddlers--albeit it is a challenge, but it will be a lot more difficult to save once they're going to school. So really take advantage of their non-school years [which is really just a short window] to save and save and save. Sometimes, just building the habit is a good start. Once you're used to it, it'll be as automatic as breathing. Having the expanding envelope has really helped me to build that discipline of saving. 


Next is insurance. Having insurance nowadays is wisdom. It's better than money in the bank. Although it's not as good as cash that you can spend on luxury, tying-up with a stable insurance company will give you good returns in the most uncomfortable times. Yes, it's another expense but insurance is an investment. You can invest on your child's future or make sure that your family's life is secure even after you're gone. 


Vitamins! They may be a little expensive for my budget but I would rather buy vitamins than medicine. Medicine is way more expensive! It comes with doctor's fee's, hospital bills, and the costly dose of health you and your family will pay thousands for when you don't have it. You may think that it's money in the trash can but it's investing on your family's good health.

Necessities and Guilty Pleasures

Don't forget to put enough money on food, toiletries, cleaning tools and other necessities you regularly use at home. It's important to keep your tummies full but it's also important to maintain a clean and safe environment for the family. I drop a bar of dark chocolate in the grocery basked once in a while, but that one's for myself. Guilty pleasures that don't hurt the budget are okay but make sure that you don't cross the line.


Keep the house running by making sure all the bills are up to date. Missing due dates of bills actually cost you more because of the extra fees they charge. If the bill hasn't arrived yet, make a rough estimate of your usual consumption so that you already have the payment on hand. It's easier to pay the bills through an online bank transfer. It saves you fare or gas and the effort to fall in line at the counter. If there's an option to pay bills online, opt for that.


As a working mom, I won't be able to make any work done without a house help. If you have one, make sure she's well compensated because she takes care of your food, clothes, house and the kids. I even give her incentives when she is able to complete the month with no absences to motivate her.

Bonding Time

It's important for a family to have bonding time outside of the house. Eating outside with a few activity options that you all will enjoy will not only create a break from your usual activity but will also bring you and your family closer. It'll give you a chance to talk and really communicate with your family and deeply delve into what's really happening in their hearts and minds.

Contingency Allowance

Have a contingency allowance so you don't accidentally pick out money from other sections and run out when you need it the most. If you didn't touch your contingency plan, it's up to you to decide if you'll bring home a surprise treat or save it for something you would like to buy. The latter is a better option because you'll resist spending it if it's really not important and save it for something better.

Stick to the plan

Plan your budget and be strict with it. Don't live beyond your means. Live with what you have but make it a goal to save. It's important to have savings especially if you have no insurance. My illustration is just an example of how to use it effectively but it's still up to you to discipline yourself to really make it work. For me, it's a worthy budget assistant but the decision is still all mine. If this has helped you, don't hesitate to share it to someone who might need it, too.

Contributed by Jehan Tandingan-Gesta

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