Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Money Saving Craft Project!

Like countless other families we are struggling with debt issues...we live paycheque to paycheque and there is no room in our lives for when things go wrong, (and when they do...like the time our car just refused to start...we panic).  I've decided that I need to get a good solid handle on our finances.  I am starting to tackle our debt one debt at a time.   Part of this plan of mine means that I need to set limits on our spending...it means that I need to set an amount that we can afford to spend on gas, groceries and fun money.  The problem with using your debit card is that unless you keep meticulous records, you have no idea how much money you're spending.  I need to get control...so I came up with a craft that can help me!


These are my new money wallets.  I made one for "groceries" one for "gas" and one for "spending"...the "spending" one is basically whatever we want that doesn't fall beneath the other 2 catagories...magazines, movies, books, yarn, etc...  As soon as we get paid I'm going to fill these with what we've decided we can afford...and when the moneys gone...well, so be it!  Livin' on cash baby!!!!

Now...I'm going to give a brief tutorial on how I made these, but I am not the worlds best sewer...I am not the ideal person to teach you how to install a zipper!  There are other wonderful sewers out there who have tutorials on how to do such things...if you need  the extra help, google can be your best friend!  You could also run out to the dollar store and buy some plain pencil cases and embellish to your hearts delight, (but since we're trying to save money here, and you probably already have fabric, zippers, thread, etc...here's the DIY)!


First I got some lovely prints out of my stash...I wanted each wallet to have a different print.  Then using a business envelope, I traced a rectangle onto the fabric.  Taking an iron I pressed down a 1/2 inch seam at the top.  Then I pinned on the zipper...like so.  You will need to use a zipper foot on your sewing machine to sew on the zipper.  Good luck!!!


Next I got out some plain white ribbon from my stash as well as my alphabet stamps.  I stamped onto the ribbon the words, "groceries", "gas" and "spending".  Of course you can stamp on whatever works for your family.


Then I blanket stitched each one onto the wallet.


Sew up the side seams and bottom, I'm sure you can do it straighter than me!


And your fancy new "wallets" are ready to use!  I plan on keeping mine in my purse, as I'm the main shopper in the house.  I plan on giving Keith my debit card too, so there will be no impulse buying going on, (oh, and the credit cards will be chillin' on ice)!  I would love to start a discussion on how to curb personal debt...I know I'm not alone in this! 

Spending in moderation
xo maureen



23 comments:

  1. These are great! I was in a similar position a few years back and the best thing I did was stop using the debit cards. I took money out of the bank and divided it envelopes into weeks (we got paid monthly) and could not open the next envelope until the following Monday. It really makes you think about what you are spending when you have to hand over 'real' money rather than the plastic. Lots of luck with your plan.
    Kandi x

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  2. my husband and i began living on cash when the children were small ... it changed our lives-- we managed our debt in 2 years -- and continue to benefit from this practice ! good for you ! We learned this "on cash' thing from "till debt do us part" which we just happened upon on day --- her book has even more ideas ! good luck !

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  3. Don't forget one where you can save for emergencies - it's called - you'll never guess - an Emergency Fund!! Ha ha ha I know, I think I'm funnier than other people do. :P

    Anyway, try to build it up to a thousand - but, let's say you only have $300 saved, and your starter goes out on the car. No need to panic, you already have the $$ saved. Just replenish what you take out and build your way slowly up 1K. And set aside $$ - maybe $20 every week or two - that you can specifically just spend on anything. Then you don't have to feel guilty about it. Good luck!

    And I love this idea for envelopes - it's a lot prettier than what I'm using now!

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  4. Cute and practical! I've never tried the envelope method, though, I know I should. It's so easy to overspend when it's all together.

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  5. I love the "Money Map" from Crown Ministries. They have a helpful website. It's a Christian-based organization, but there principles about personal finances go beyond faith. They often suggest an "envelope system" like you're doing!

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  6. We're in the same spot right now, I love the cute bags though...at least they make being frugal more fun! ;) thanks for the great idea...and know you are Definitely not alone!

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  7. Oh, you are SO not alone! We're trying to wrangle our finances too, and starting with the cash only plan as well. I love those little wallets!!!

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  8. What a great idea! We just started living on a cash (envelope) stystem this month as a way to manage our debt and expenses as well!

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  9. Wow, what a great idea. I shall start doing these right now.

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  10. The wallets are a great idea. We are on a weekly cash system for groceries and extras, and it just seems the money all gets mashed together and (surprise! surprise!) we often come up short on grocery money, and end up turning to the debit card anyway. You are definitely on to something!! I guess I'd better get sewing. :)

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  11. A great idea! January is a great time to take stock and sort out finances -- I'm doing the same exact thing. But I'm using a spreadsheet instead of cool zippered pouches.

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  12. Autumn Mama...I LOVE "Til Debt do you Part" and I've read her book too!
    Building a Better Life...I really do need to set up an emergency fund...and I like the idea of doing a smaller amount every week...it will add up fast and then we won't freak out when things inevitably fall apart and break down!
    EricaG...thanks for the suggestion...I'm going to check out that site now!
    Everyone else...nice to know that I'm not alone in this...and nice to hear that others have managed their own debt load. Really it's all about quality of life isn't it...being able to work a bit less...have fewer bills...and have time to enjoy this life of ours!
    xo maureen

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  13. I too am planning on putting us on the envelope system. Not so much to get rid of deb (luckily we have little, but to save up for things we want like a vacation and retirement. Great idea with the fabric envelopes.

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  14. These are cute Maureen! I've seen these before I think, by that woman who writes the blog "Beauty That Moves". One of the best books on frugal living that I've read is called "How to Survive Without a Salary". Since that was our reality for many years (since you can't exactly call a stipend a salary), we gleamed so many great words of wisdom from it. Happy frugal living my dear. It is not easy at times, but it is so worth it!

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  15. We work on a system that's kind of like this too- and we've been able to get out of a LOT of debt....like a WHOLE LOT. You'll be able to do it as long as you and your DH are working toward the same goal. We recently got to the point where we've got an emergency fund AND have paid off our debt and our lives are IMMEASURABLY BETTER. Forgoing the 'little crap' that we've always been so willing to spend our money on and focusing on getting out of debt has really helped us grow together and just feel better about our whole lives. Good luck, mama!!

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  16. Good idea, how has your shop and craft markets gone? cheers Marie

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  17. I remember doing the credit cards in ice thing when i was on a very strict budget many moons ago...I literally put the card in a glass of water and put it in the freezer. If i really wanted to use it, there was a very long wait for it to defrost (those were the days, no home computer, so no internet banking..none of the too easy to spend mod cons!)
    I wish you many days with some coins still jingling in your purses.. notes although much handier don't have the same musical notes!

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  18. Love these!
    We don't have a single credit card anymore - part of our journey - it was necessary to live work toward our dreams.
    These would still work great for us to manage our weekly cash flow.
    Warm wishes on your journey,
    Tonya

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  19. What a great idea! My family has been using mint.come and that has truly helped us figure out a budget and see where we are spending too much money.

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  20. Hi Maureen
    Blooming terrific!! I too am on a scrooge year... trying to rid us of cc debt. These little purses are great for controlling the outgoings, aren't they.
    Happy New Year! Amber (MamaMoontime)

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  21. Love those money wallets. It is a really great idea. We use Mint.com for our finances and about a year ago I started tracking everything and could believe the amount I spent on groceries! I learned a lot about how to manage my food so I didn't have stuff wasting in the fridge and we were able to put a lot more into savings. I also found very helpful hints at thefrugalgirl.com. Its a great blog with great recipes and also talking about how she lives on less.

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  22. I love this idea! Always such inspiration going on in these parts!! xo m.

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  23. Love, love, love this idea! We've been trying to do more with cash and less with plastic for about two years now. These lovelies would make it all the more joyful!

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