The Star Democrat

Budgeting by envelope

- MARY HUNT Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.everydaych­, “Ask Mary.”Tips can be submitted at tips.everydaych­

Years ago, I was a guest on “The Maury Povich Show,” something I’ve never been that proud of. Back then, the show was kind of raunchy, and I just now realized that, some 20 years later, Maury is still at it.

I also recall something Maury told me in response to the fact that

I was there to talk about my book, “DebtProof Living,” and would be telling my story and talking about my journey out of credit-card debt.

Maury said that people are far more willing to come on the show to talk about sex, infidelity and all kinds of scurrilous and shocking behavior than to talk about money and debt. People will talk about anything but money.

One of the best things you can do to stay on track with money is to create a plan for how you will spend your money before you spend it.

What I call the envelope method is old-fashioned but a super simple way to manage a budget that really works well. Withdraw the cash assigned to your day-to-day spending on food, gasoline, clothing — those expenses you do not pay through the mail. Yes, cash. Get some envelopes and label them accordingl­y.

Divide the cash between the envelopes, placing the money assigned to groceries into the envelope marked “Groceries,” gasoline into the one marked “Gas” and so on. Spend from these envelopes, not a debit card, credit card or checkbook.

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