Thursday, May 23, 2024

Sorting Your Money

by Terry Rigg
Terry Rigg Terry Rigg is the editor of the Budget Stretcher Newsletter. The Budget Stretcher Newsletter is published monthly and is loaded with information that will save you time and money everyday. Go to for more information.

For anyone that is familiar with The Complete Budget and Bill Organizer, you already know that I recommend that you use your checking account to pay bills and cash to cover your household expenses.

With all of the different items that the average individual or family spends money on, it can be difficult to keep it separated. You have to have money for groceries, car gas, school lunches, dining out and entertainment just to name a few.

You could buy a box of envelopes each payday, sort the money, and stuff it in an envelope until you need it. Of course, then you would have to have a safe place to keep it.

If you like the envelope method, then by all means use it. However, the entire purpose of The Complete Budget and Bill Organizer is to simplify things. Sitting down at the kitchen table each payday and sorting cash is far from simple.

It would be much better to try storing it in your wallet or purse. You would have the money when and where you need it. There is an element of risk that the money could be lost or stolen. If you don’t feel comfortable with having that much cash in your wallet and don’t have problems handling your checking account, you could deposit the money for groceries in your account and write a check for your normal grocery shopping. I wouldn’t write a check for just a milk and bread run.

For a family, a budget keeper should be assigned to sort the money. They would be responsible to distribute the money to other members of the family. To do this you will have to clearly define who in the family is responsible for what expenses. Let me give you an example:

A family with a working dad and a stay-at-home mom with three teenage kids may distribute their money like this:

Household Income after money for bills is deposited in checking: $500

Mom is assigned as budget keeper and keeps $355. Out of this money she is responsible for buying the groceries, health items, cleaning supplies, the families clothing, school lunches, pay the paper boy and other expenses around the house. Mom takes $50 out of this money for herself that she doesn’t have to account to anyone else in the family for.

Mom gives dad $100 of which he is responsible for paying for his expenses to get back and forth to work including car gas. Dad can use $50 of his money that he doesn’t have to account to anyone else in the family for.

Mom gives each of the three kids an allowance of $15. This money can be used any way they choose.

By sorting your money this way, each member in the family can keep the money in their wallet and all of the responsibilities are covered. No, you won’t know exactly how much you spend each month on groceries, car gas, etc. The main point of a simple budget is to make sure you have the money to pay everything without the hassles like sorting your money into envelopes and accounting for every penny.

Mom, as budget keeper, would also be responsible for keeping the budget, paying the bills and depositing money in their savings. This does seem like a lot of responsibility for just one person in the family but, to ensure that their finances are organized and everything is covered, it is absolutely necessary. It is also important to make sure dad knows how mom is handling things so that he can step in if the need arises.

While developing your budget using the Budget Worksheet you will know what your household expenses are. Simply take that list and assign it to a member of the family along with the money to cover it. If you run into problems and some things aren’t being paid, you will probably have to review your budget and reassign these responsibilities.