23 May, 2019

Get Creative With Coloured Envelopes

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be forever rummaging around the house looking for an envelope to return those endless school trip permission forms or the odd pound or two for the latest charity day or PTA fundraiser.

The husband keeps a stock of business envelopes in his executive officer (or our loft as it’s otherwise known) and guards them jealously.

Personally, after 20 years in the corporate world I prefer my stationery to have a little more pizzazz and enjoy putting a more personal stamp on the things I send out.  Coloured envelopes are a great way to do that – plus you can use them for other things too.

Envelope budgeting

Around this time of year, I like to revisit the family budget to see that we are on track for the second half of the year.

We’ve all got our preferred methods but a simple way of budgeting is to list all the categories of expenditure or big bills you need to budget for and create an envelope for each one. You can colour-code each category with a different coloured envelope.

Basically, you write the name and average cost per month of a bill on the front of an envelope. Then, either once a month or when you get paid, you put the amount for that bill in cash in the envelope. When the bill is due, the money is taken out to pay for that bill.

The idea is that this prevents you from taking money out of your bank account or purse because the cash has already been allocated to the bill.

Whilst most of us will stay pay our major bills (mortgage, insurance, loans etc) online, you could use this system for incidentals or things like clothes, kids items, travel, gifts and going out.

As the kids don’t have bank accounts yet, we put any Christmas money or gift cards in a separate coloured envelope for them.  We just need to remember to take out the money from their individual pots when they collar us for something they just have to have (Caitlin usually wants clothes from H&M and Ieuan wants Robux or a new Fortnite skin).

Comping

Ah, comping (entering competitions) – still a favourite hobby of mine.  These days, of course, many competitions are online.  If you are Facebook friends with a ‘comper’ you can expect your timeline to be wall-to-wall shared Advent competition posts from the 1st of December.  (Tip, don’t unfriend them – just unfollow them until December is done)!

You can win some truly amazing prizes and, in my time, I’ve amassed prizes worth thousands of pounds.  There are still companies who prefer the old-fashioned postal competition which you enter either via a postcard or by paper and envelope.

One trick recommended by full-time compers is to make sure you use a brightly coloured envelope in the hope that yours will stand out in that bag of plain white ones. I’ve even heard of compers further embellishing their coloured envelopes with glitter, stick on flowers and diamante. Or how about some envelopes made out of metallic foil?  It might seem nuts but when the prize is two weeks in the Caribbean?  Not so much.

If you’re intrigued by the world of comping, a great place to start is professional comper Di Coke’s website – https://superlucky.me.

Filing

Lastly, you could jazz up your home filing system by using A4 coloured envelopes for important paperwork.  You never know it might make pulling out those forms from HMRC a bit more exciting.  And if you need to retain receipts to keep the taxman happy popping them in one place should reduce the amount of flapping and frantic searching come January.

I still like to submit my tax form by paper copy in time for 31st October each year.  There’s something about tax and Halloween that goes together, don’t you think?

There is a wealth of things that can be jazzed up with a coloured envelope, whether you are a crafter who loves making handmade Christmas and birthday cards or just a hopeless romantic who likes to leave little love notes for your significant other.

So much nicer than a text, don’t you think?

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