Once I got on track with my envelope system, I decided to make myself stick to them no matter what, because once Cliff retires I won't have a choice; I figure I may as well train myself for lean times.
If I need or want a grocery item, and that includes paper goods and other non-edible items on my list, I pay for it from the grocery envelope. If there's no money in the envelope, I don't buy it; that hasn't happened yet, though. I've stayed well below my $70 weekly allotment for groceries.
If I want to eat out (it's always me that wants to, not Cliff), it comes either out of the grocery envelope or the entertainment envelope. I know I should make up my mind and stick with one or the other, but this gives me more options.
Cliff gets $120 a week for pocket money; he pays the guy with whom he rides to work $30 weekly ($7.50 daily), but the rest is not accounted for. He buys gasoline with a credit card and we pay that monthly. That bill isn't too outrageous because Cliff doesn't have to drive to work. Up until six months ago, Cliff's "allowance" was $100 week a week, but he seemed to be running out of money all the time, so I increased it.
Here's what would happen before: I'd get a yen for pizza or Olive Garden or Subway, and Cliff would pull out his billfold. Or we'd go into Orscheln's and buy a sack of sweet feed for Bonnie, and Cliff would pull out his billfold. You get the picture.
Now you'd be hard pressed to see me wanting to eat out, because it comes out of my envelope!!!!! No way am I going to fritter away my grocery or entertainment money on such stuff, when I have plenty of cheap (or free) food at home. If Bonnie is out of sweet feed, there's money in my "pets" envelope for such purposes.
So Cliff ends up with about $80 left over each week. He told me once to stop getting him so much money, but I told him to enjoy it while he's still working and just put it in his tractor fund. When he retires he'll be able to buy paint and parts for his projects.
Now, I know Dave Ramsey would rather have me putting that money in savings. But I haven't taken his course, so I make up a few rules of my own.
Besides, we already have our emergency fund built up.