Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Filing systems and record keeping

When we got married a budget was essential.  I was a HS drop-out but my wife was a High School Grad. We tried several things, but ended up with a cigar box and little home-made envelopes labeled such as: FOOD, RENT, GAS, Clothes, ENTERTAINMENT and Miscellaneous. Our total pay in 1956 was $126 a month.

(pictures on the road do not relate to entry, just our life)


(Sherry driving our home on a road in Tennessee)

Each envelope was  allotted a share. We had very little paperwork coming in, bills etc., so they were placed in a drawer, no order. It was our ‘tub’ file.  Life was so simple then. When an envelope was empty, that was it until next payday. After a few months we had it down to a science what we would spend. Sherry was a stay at home wife then, and there was no eating out.

She fixed a good breakfast, packed my lunch and fixed supper. We never went hungry, and WE were the entertainment.


(That road in Tennessee)

We were able to buy a used 17” TV. B/W, there were no color TV’s. I was cheated on the TV, if you turned all the lights off at night you could make out a picture. LOL  TRUTH!

Each month we had about a $1 for entertainment. That was a banana split, between us and a round of Putt Putt Golf. Life was good!  Our love nest was a trailer, 8 ft. wide and 26 ft long. That is about 200 sq ft.  I don’t know many newly weds that would live in that now. But to us it was heaven on earth. We were together.


I started this about  filing systems. Of course I had filing cabinets in my office.  But here in the motor home for some reason we still have too many files. One two foot file rack PACKED, JAMMED! I ask myself WHY? We are just a traveling family now, why so many files?


Sherry’s Brother Johnny has his whole life’s collection on about ten sheets of paper. No files, no copies of last month’s bills etc. (“What else do I need?” he says. And I don’t have a good answer!)

I can’t get it down to two or three folders, but surely I can cut it by half.

Imma work on it. Thanks for listening to this drivel and if you have advice, I’m listening.

Nite Shipslog


We have moved up since being married, from 200 sq ft trailer and a cigar box to 320 sqft. Motor home and a packed filing basket, Over a 100 sqft increase in 57 years ain’t bad, huh? 


Neat car from Sonya Sonya sent me this one, I don’t remember what it is, but I like it.  I know it is early 30’s.


Louis la Vache said...

Well, that's a 33% increase in living space! :-)


«Louis» can't make out what that car is, either, Jack.
Given the wheels and the overall appearance, it is one of the more expensive makes, but «Louis» can't do any better than that...

Elizabeth said...

That envelope budget still works, my Mother used it and now I have started it!

Elizabeth said...

That envelope budget still works, my Mother used it and now I have started it!

Elizabeth said...

That envelope budget still works, my Mother used it and now I have started it!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I do stick to my budget, If I don't everything won't get paid so it's important to know where it goes. And as far as I'm concerned you are doing great on your filing. I have at least 5 packed gems staring at me here. I need to go through them and sort them out. Maybe I really don't need that receipt from the year 2000. No matter what I cannot ever find the one I'm looking for anyway. I should be able to do better, but it's one of those things I put on the back burner. So many other things to enjoy these days.

Sheila Y said...

I wouldn't be surprised to find something from when we first married. I know I have a box or boxes from each move. Its hard to take the time to go back through them...maybe one day I will. I keep the bill and paid receipt attached. I used to file paid bills by alphabet in the file cabinet, here I buy a separate file folder and file by month for a year. I think this year I will buy a large folder and just file them in order as paid for the year. Hopefully as the years pass I'll start throwing the older years out...don't get me started on store receipts...ha. Take care, Sheila

shirl72 said...

I have narrowed my files. When
I owned my homes, a lot and antique cars I had files. Now life is simple you helped me take care of that. I read an e'mail if we have a home, car, clothes,and food we are in 75% with rich people. You tell me to spend my money because you said you were not going to get a U-haul and tow it behind the hearse. So I am going to spend..There goes your inheritance.

Lucy said...

We budget in a way. We budget smaller things on my Soc. Sec. check which as you may guess is much smaller than Joe's. The rest is out of Joe's plus all of the insurance. When it is gone it is gone till my check comes in. We are pretty good at stretching money. Spunky never goes without. It is things like medical unexpected that I think is going to present a hardship, but we will deal with it. You and Sherry have a great life but you struggled also so you know both sides of the coin.

Paula said...

I've gotten better but when I first moved out here I still had Mel's income tax from before we were married. Do I have lots of receipts! This hoarding got us a new roof once. Had to prove we had insurance with a certain company when a hail storm came through our area in a certain year. Yes I keep them in order in a file cabinet. All new receipts to the back of the folder the way I was taught as a file clerk. lol


You are lucky to have whittled your files down to a manageable size. Ours go back for years.

betty said...

That was some budget you guys lived on, Jack and Sherry, when you first got married, but wise to get into the habit from the get go to only spend what was coming in. I need to go through our file cabinet soon and whittle down the stuff in there. Hubby still has his files from college in there from over 30 years ago, LOL. I think this time he might be ready to part with them :)


Rose said...

I remember that envelope budget! Times sure have changed.

Hugs to my favorite couple!

Chatty Crone said...

I have been clearing out my home Jack - it's hard, but once I started I am feeling better- trying to travel light.

Awe for the simpler of times. It was so easy back then.

The more money - the more complications.