Society is not cashless. We choose to use plastic and checks over cash because?? It's easier to overspend that way! When one has a hand full of dollars that you have to count out at the cash register it really causes one to consider if it is REALLY needed or not.
My dh gets paid once a month and I get paid 2x monthly. We fund all our expenses with dh's pay minus X dollars. The X dollars plus my 2 part time paychecks are dedicated to maintaing a $1000 emergency plus agrressive debt repayment. Once we are debt free the $ will than be dedicated to savings.
It isn't an easy way to live but we keep other other focused on the end result--NO DEBTS.
We use the envelopes in this way:
Our monthly bills: truck payment, vehicle insurance, utilities, housing and the total needed stays in the checking account. We then pay these online.
The rest of the $$ comes out in the form of cash and we have envelopes we fund with the budgeted monthly amount:
Tithe, Food, Household (salt for softener, TP, dish soap, etc.), Toiletries, Gasoline/Oil, Emergency Fund, Sinking Fund (such as moving expenses, license tabs, holiday $, or other expenses looming but not a regular bill), His n Her BLOW money
Our sinking fund $ amount is figured based upon the cost of tabs, the X for holiday/birthday gifts, etc./ by X months. I know some people have an envelope for each category. We have one envelope and the total $ needed for each category written on the envelope.
If we overspend in a category, say Food, then that is it for the month. Or we have to borrow from another envelope which starts the domino effect. So we just stick to the budget.
We also sell a variety of items not needed anymore OR sell the treasures we have gleaned from other's roadside offerings. It is amazing what people throw away! The $ earned from this endeavor goes into an envelope labeled SHOVEL. When it reaches $50 we apply it to the debt we are currently agressively paying down. (SHOVEL as in shoveling our way out of debt.)
It is very empowering to know WE are in control of the $$ due to adhering to our written budget.