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Real Life On A Budget

How To Shop Online With the Clip System

Cyber Monday is almost here, and you might be thinking about finding some deals online. So if you’re currently using the envelope or clip system, how do you manage online shopping?

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  • Crystal

    You can also re-deposit the cashed out money into your account.

  • Kelli Hogg

    I agree with Crystal, just re-deposit the cash. I actually got an American Express SERVE Debit card that I load and I use that for just this very thing. I don’t have the extra money to spend and then deduct from next month, lol.

  • Ashley

    you can also go to a coinstar machine, or a grocery store and buy an amazon gift card (or one for various other stores that you can also use online)

  • Patti

    My husband & I ran into this problem with our allowance money. We ended up buying more online (thanks Amazon prime and Jane.com), than we were in actual stores. So, we only take out half of our allowance in cash. This way, I can still make my Starbucks and target runs…but I also know that I have some in the account should I come across something online. We have a bank that has little to no locations, so we can’t redeposit our cash…otherwise we’d do that.

  • Jessica

    We re-deposit the money. We actually have a special envelope for this. When you spend the money, you have to put it in that envelope and then we take it to the bank every so often. That way you already know you’ve spent the money and you can’t spend it again. And we don’t have to keep track of anything from month to month.

    • Bonnie Stoltzfoos

      We do almost the same thing! I have a hard time keeping track of money if we don’t automatically set it aside/put it in the “to be deposited” envelope with every purchase.nThis was a great question! A good reminder to not let those compromises slip in 😉

    • April

      That makes the most sense to me, Jessica. I have to do that, too. For instance…. my daughter wants a pair of boots for Christmas and I have found them on sale online for $50 and in the stores they are $100. So I will be buying them online…. and I’ll put the money back in our account that was meant for part of her Christmas gifts…

    • Sami

      I do the same. If I spend money online I take the money from the category it belongs in, such as toiletries, and deposit it in my checking.

  • If I have the cash for it, I will buy online with my debit card and then deposit the amount in cash to my bank account.

  • Leslie Fairman

    In this scenario we will buy it online before taking that paycheck’s cash out. Then we take the personal cash we have in hand, and pay it into another category like groceries. Then, when we take the cash out we deduct that amount we added to the grocery envelope from what we had budgeted for groceries which covers the online purchase. Not sure if this makes sense, essentially it’s what Rachel suggested about taking it out of next month, but doing it now so we don’t have to keep track and “borrow from ourselves”. For us personally, we found that borrowing from our next month would encourage the behavior of living off credit (to ourselves instead of a bank) so it’s just better for us this way.

  • Jennifer Cainas

    We re-deposit the money too, usually. For Christmas we have two line items – some left in the account for online purchases, and some we took out in cash for Black Friday shopping!

  • Linda Babb Roberts

    Rachel, take the money out of your envelope, deposit it into the bank and use your debit card.

  • Anne

    Echoing what the others have said, we have a special envelope for this. We call it our “Back to the Bank” envelope. I pay online using a debit card then immediately transfer the money from one envelope into Back to the Bank. (We round up to the nearest dollar to make it easier). If my husband made the purchase, he’ll immediately send me a text saying something like, “Would you transfer xxx dollars from the Textbooks envelope to Back to the Bank?” I always send a text/email confirming that it happened. And if I forget, he’ll come home and do it himself, then verbally confirm that it happened that way instead. Except for this interchange, we don’t have to keep track of amounts.nnThis is also the envelope that we use whenever we get paid for commission work or lessons, which are often paid via check (all extra money is currently going toward our emergency fund). We endorse all checks before putting them into the envelope. My husband deposits the contents of the envelope– redeposited money, checks, tutoring cash, or whatever– on his way to work. nnThe “Back to the Bank” envelope made the entire clip system practical for our family.