Ok, so how it works:

Simple is actually pretty simple (lol). They have a website or phone app you can use, and you set up your “goals” which are essentially envelopes. When money is deposited in your account, you can “transfer” funds into your goal (envelopes) and then as you spend money you tell Simple which envelope you’re spending from. Although no funds actually leave your account to go into different envelope accounts, it is all just a construct to help you budget, the first balance you see is called “Safe to Spend” and that amount is your balance less any money in the goals. Beneath it is your actual, full balance (but it’s purposefully very small compared to the STS amount so at a glance you know what funds you have to spend after your goals are fulfilled). And since it’s all in there if you make a budgeting mistake, the funds just pull from your total balance and the amount in each goal envelope will automatically adjust accordingly. You can go in and switch stuff around whenever you want too, It sounds more complicated here than it is, I promise lol! You can make an EF goal and have 1,000 in there to pull from! So DR friendly! They do everything else a bank does like allow you to pay bills from your account and send you a free debit card.

You can also set goals for long term to help establish savings habits. I put a goal up to save $20,000 in 5 years and now it automatically pulls a small amount each day into that goal. If I dont have the funds for whatever is supposed to come out that day, Simple just waits until I do to continue the process (and adjusts the daily amount accordinly based on the time frame remaining). No fees, no overdrafting. If I get behind I can “pause” the goal, or if I get a windfall I can allocate funds into the goal at any point.

The only downside would be if your income was cash-based because they’re online only. So my paychecks are direct deposited, and they have a nationwide network of free ATMS which their app will locate for you automatically with a press of a button (the common ones in gas stations and Walmarts are almost alwasy fee free). However, If you want to deposit CASH you have to buy a money order and take a photo with your phone to deposit it. I think you can also give someone cash and have them write you a check to photo deposit, but thats a lot to ask of someone regularly. I am not in that situation, but just wanted to note in case someone likes the way this sounds but makes cash income (tips, babysitting, odd jobs etc).

Found an online bank that does electronic “envelopes”!

Just wanted to share that I recently started banking with an online-only bank called “Simple.” What I really love about them is they allow you to use the envelope system electronically. If anyone is struggling with that, you should look into this bank. Well I guess more rightly they are an interface that somehow gets the bank they represent (which differs by area) to act the opposite of a bank haha. I dont know how they do it, but I am loving it! No minimum balances, no way to overdraft, no NSF fees… it acts like a combo of a credit card and a bank, but you put the funds in there so it is NOT a credit card and does not offer a line of credit or anything. All FDIC insured and all that jazz. They even pay YOU a small return for putting your money in their bank. It is really small, like 2% or something but hey it’s better than 0 or a bunch of fees. If you try to spend money that isn’t there it will just decline your transaction, there is no NSF fee and they won’t loan you anything. No money = cannot spend or try fastest cash loans. Also your transactions always post in chronological order. Nothing is reorganized by value or some other wacky method. And by God, everything posts almost instantaneously! I know this because it alerts my phone each time I spend. So if I don’t get an alert (which hasn’t happened), I know it didnt post. Not like my credit union or any banks I have used where stuff will sometimes not show for a few days because the merchant hasn’t batched or something. If a merchant communicates with Simple to approve a transaction, it shows up! It may pend for a few days until finalized, but it’s there and deducted from my balance so I don’t make a mistake.

Although dh has been retired for a month now we had not been able to leave town between repairmen

concern for my brother in law and our own health issues (we all 3 caught that super crud that has been going around.)
We have been at sixes and sevens about leaving town ever since dbil slipped into a vegetative state, but the doctors now say he may linger for months, or he could go at any minute. Either way he is on hospice and they don’t ever expect him to truly regain consciousness. They said we should all be prepared for “the phone call” but to go on with our lives.
So after much deliberation dh and I decided to hit the road sort of. Because of various appointments with my doctors and the VA for dh we will have to return home for a week in June, and then a few days again in July. Instead of rushing our northwest trip we’ve decided to do these two one month stints a day’s drive from home. That way if dbil passes we could get home quickly, plus be able to return home for the appointments fairly easily. Then in July we will start the northwest trip.
So Friday, we left Oklahoma for Arkansas. We have set up a strict budget for traveling and are eating more meals out of the camper than we have eaten at home in the last few months due to all that was going on at home.
I know to some the idea of travel sounds very expensive, but we’ve done our homework and have had years of experience on traveling on a shoestring. Right now our camping costs us $10 a night because we are staying at Corps of Engineer (COE) parks using our senior’s American the Beautiful National Park pass. That includes our utilities. For $300 a month we are all bills paid in our own camper. In about nine days we will move over to Branson and go to the Blue Grass festival at Silver Dollar City.

We will purchase Senior’s annual passes that will get us in as much as we want for the rest of the year for under $80 each. With the discounts offered with this pass we will also save more than that on any foods we buy there before the year is over. So it will be basically free entertainment.
Because there are often many free or near free things to do in or near the campgrounds our other entertainment is cheap also. Plus dh and I enjoy just hanging around the camper and decompressing. In fact that is what we’ve been doing since Friday. Sleeping late, eating home cooked meals from my dried food storage (we have been eating so good you wouldn’t believe), taking long walks, watching the red headed woodpeckers. Enjoying the antics of the nearby camper’s one year old triplets (thank God it is them and not us!—It was like herding cats for them to keep an eye on all 3 at once).
Peace and quiet are big too. You see we have no wi-fi, our phones are on roaming, (luckily our roaming is free), we’ve not even tried pulling in any tv or radio stations preferring to watch dvds in the evening and listen to music on our computers. When we truly need to get on the internet to research something we can go to the visitor center and use free wi-fi. It is about a 10 minute drive from here. Sure beats paying for a wi-fi hot spot. Between visits to the visitor center we can write up emails, like this one, and prep them for sending, prepare blog and vlog posts and then do the uploads once there. Free is good.
Today, Monday, it has been a steady rain all day. We had planned on going out to a visitor’s center on the dam near where we are and over to do some grocery shopping. Since neither was pressing we choose instead to stay in, read, compose blogs, tidy the camper and cook some great homemade cream of soups. Potato for him, broccoli cheddar for me. All made from dehydrated foods and oh so perfect for the cold rainy day. Then for dessert we had freeze dried chocolate chip ice cream bars. Very good.
So stay tuned, lots of blogs and vlogs ahead, we are traveling finally!

After spending 12 days in Lakeview, AR we moved to Branson, MO last Wednesday

It was rainy and cold until Saturday. Then we went from 59 to 80 degrees and bright sunshine. We took advantage of it to go back into AR both Saturday and Sunday to the site where the amusement park Dogpatch USA was. It has recently been purchased and the new owner is working on revitalizing it. We approached him about being able to go down in the park to fly the quad over it.

He was thrilled because he wanted an aerial view of it. So we went both days, flew it twice, gave him a copy of the raw footage of it and dh is now editing it to put it up on you tube later today. I will let you know when it is up.

We really enjoyed doing it, especially since our first trip as a family was to Dogpatch and then over to Silver Dollar City and now 40 years later our first trip as a retired couple are the same to places.

We are doing real well on not eating out. When we do we have used coupons or gift cards to do so.

Oh one other thing. You know how DR talks about the well to do who live below their means. The owner of dp is the inventor of the Buddy bowl, a spill proof pet water bowl. He invited us into his home, the ski lodge on the property. While the building is impressive it is very basic in its furnishings for him and his HUGE wolf/dog hybrid. He dresses in very simple well worn clothes and is very interesting to chat with. We both liked him.