Trying out the Sobre System on budgeting family expenses

Posted on - in Family, Money Matters

Why am I not making time to blog? Argh. So much for my resolution.

Anyhoo, so it’s been a few days since Valentine’s Day. Not much of a romantic occasion because it was more of a family day (it was Sunday). Hubby, the kids, and I just went to church, then ate out, then went to the arcade and toy store, and that was it. At least we went out as a family and the kids were happy, that’s fine by me.


So, on to the topic: I’m a mom who tries to fit the family budget month in and month out. And even with hubby and me having a regular day job, we’re having quite a challenge sticking to our monthly budget. With a school-age kid and a 1-year-old in the family, spending is inevitable. So aside from getting jobs on the side to augment our income, I’m also looking for ways on how to manage and control the family expenses.

I recently read a post by Mommy Pehpot about financial tips to stay on track with your budget. The blog post contained 5 tips, one of which I started to follow this month: the Sobre (Envelope) System. This entails segregating the money based on the budget or expenses list.

This was one thing I haven’t done yet. I’ve tried her other tips like listing down our spendings and making a shopping list (the cutting down expenses thing is still hard to do as of the moment — the baby has much needs and my eldest requires materials for school projects from time to time). So I chose the Sobre System.

Of course, I had to buy an envelope where I can put the money. I thought of buying one of those plastic envelopes that had multiple pockets.

Envelope System
I bought this plastic envelope at National Bookstore for around PHP 80. These also come in other designs and sizes, and the prices would range from PHP 80 to around 120.

And then I labeled each tab with the expenses we regularly have for the month.

Envelope System
Utilities (split into 2 paydays), grocery, and other stuff. Yes, I have this much expenses.

I started using it during the January end-of-month payday. You know what I realized? I need to have more rakets! LOL! Seriously, we have pretty large expenses. Thing is, I can’t find a way to lower them down right now. Utilities, food, bills. There’s also my eldest’s insurance plan that hubby does not want to let go of.

Whew. Now this is quite a challenge. But this is our reality, so we have to work on and around it. For now, doing Mommy Pehpot’s 4th tip (planning our indulgence) may have to wait a while. Cutting down expenses it is!

Hopefully there will come a time when the simple equation of INCOME – SAVINGS = EXPENSES would yield a positive result. Time to re-prioritize our spending so that we can do more saving.


  1. MommyPehpot

    That’s the good thing about the sobre system.. meron ka hard proof on where your money goes.. and it helps you to know kung saan ka sobra at saan ka dapat magbawas 🙂

    6 years ago
    • Michelle Roldan

      Yep, my challenge now is to reduce those expenses. Ang hirap, haha! Pero I’ll try pa rin. Thanks for your post! 🙂

      6 years ago

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