I love cash. I am sure you have heard this before. I love the freedom and structure cash gives me. I love that I can plan my month (or week, or day) out and know how much money I have for that time.
There are way too many things that I am in charge of, and one less thing to worry about makes my life just a little easier. Cash makes my life easier.
There are many benefits and advantages to using cash (which we can talk about in a minute) but let’s face it. We want something beautiful to carry around all that cash, right? So what are the prettiest and best cash envelope wallets AND how can we make a wallet into our own custom cash envelope wallet.
What Is The Cash Envelope Wallet System?
Essentially, the cash wallet system is a system similar to using envelopes for your cash. Except there are no envelopes.
You still have the same categories for money minus a way to budget the proper amount of cash in each of the groups you might overspend in.
You would decide on an amount that you will spend, place it in an envelope (or something similar) and spend as needed.
However, when that is gone, it is gone — no whipping out the plastic or taking from another source.
You just have to wait for the next paycheck.
For example, groceries. I spend about $400 a month on groceries: $ 150 every two weeks and $100 a month at BJ’s.
My cash envelope wallet gets that amount of money each month.
If I have extra, it will go in the miscellaneous envelope to spend on whatever we might need it for.
Having the right system for using cash is essential.
Where To Keep Your Cash
Some people use actual envelopes. They will grab their grocery envelope when they are heading out to shop and just use that.
I have seen people who use a Filofax binder with zipper pouches to organize their cash.
There are others who will go to the Dollar Tree and grab a coupon organizer to keep with them as they need it. Everyone will find a system that works best for them.
I do not use envelopes in the most common sense of the word.
Even though it is based on the cash envelope theory, it just doesn’t work for me.
A few people have created these cash envelope wallets that are affordable and fantastic.
I have tried a few different cash envelope wallets over the years, and I have created one that works so well for me.
It allows me to use my favorite wallet that I got for Christmas a few years ago, and I know the possibilities are endless.
First, let’s go over the most popular cash envelope wallets.
My Top 5 Best Cash Wallets
The Savvy Cents Wallet was my first cash envelope wallet, and I loved it. When I got mine years ago, they had limited colors. Mine was a white and teal chevron. This pink is fantastic – I might need to order this one!
What I like most about these wallets are the slots they have in them and the plastic tabs to label your categories.
As far as price goes, it’s pretty affordable and will last. I found my tastes had changed and with a new Michael Kors wallet for Christmas, I wanted to switch it up.
The Bella Taylor Wallets are a cloth design that is quite adorable with the buckle hardware in the front. I did find the colors and designs to be quite limited, but the inside is bright and easy to get to.
There are little tabs to label each category, but they are a tad hard to read, in my opinion. When you are standing in line at Target, the last thing you want to be doing is fighting with your money.
I find the raised tab dividers easier to manage. But if you are looking to be subtle about it, you might enjoy this one!
The Savvy Spender Wallet by Divvy Up has one large compartment to house fabric nylon envelopes. These envelopes come with magnetic closures and labels.
For me, this does not appeal to me. One more moving part to get lost. I find as with the Bella Taylor; the names are more difficult to see.
I suppose once you get used to which color is assigned to which category it wouldn’t be as confusing.
For me, this seems awkward.
It has paper envelopes inside. You can order the replacement envelopes, which is excellent.
It comes in limited colors and styles, but it is very affordable.
It has a tracking notebook and envelopes as well as all the other important spots for receipts, change, cards, and a checkbook.
There is also a smaller black version for men or others who don’t care for something this size.
Dave Ramsey’s daughter Rachel came out with RC by Rachel Cruze Cash Envelope Wallet system that uses tiny binder clips inside the wallet to organize your categories.
The wallet comes with five small binder clips.
Honestly, you can save money and just use any clips for this. There is nothing super special about this system.
It is a very pretty wallet, but if you have something you already like or want to spend less than this (even though the price is reasonable), you could go to TJ MAXX or Target and get a nice wallet to do the same.
I find this wallet to be overpriced and think there are much better options!
I find these clips to be bulky and very inconvenient. I do not recommend them. I used paper clips for a while that had tabs on them.
They were labeled and that worked better than the binder clips.
But still, I felt like every time I went into my wallet, I was fumbling around.
How To Make A Cash Envelope System Wallet
As I mentioned, I tried all sorts of clips, and they all seemed awkward and bulky.
I found myself fumbling around trying to get the clips off and then trying to hold the wallet, clips and money felt clumsy.
So I needed to create a system similar to the Savvy Cents cash envelope wallet that had worked so well for me over the years.
I traced their dividers and created ones that fit perfectly into my new wallet.
Then I went through my stock of scrapbooking paper and found patterns that I loved.
I traced them, cut them out, used my label maker to create custom labels and then laminated them!
This is by far the best system I have ever had. It’s mainly a filing system for cash!
How Do You Start A Cash Envelope System?
Once you decide how much you need to fund each of the categories and what type of system you want to use (envelopes, wallet, coupon accordion file), then you just support your categories.
Remember, you don’t necessarily have to carry all the cash around with you all the time.
Once your category cash has been spent, DO NOT SPEND ANYMORE!!! You are finished until next paycheck or the next month, depending on how you budget.
You may NOT “borrow” from another category or use the debit card.
There is a relevant amount of discipline involved here. Don’t waiver. Stay strong.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Cash Divider Wallet?
Track Your Spending
It is so much easier to keep track of how much you are spending.
You know for sure that you will not pay any more than $400 per month on groceries because that is all you have!
Your fun money spending will not get out of hand if you only have $25 per week to spend.
Can’t spend more than $150 per season on new clothes if you just have $150 cash in your wallet!
You will not pay any interest to a third party when you use a cash wallet system.
You put the money in your wallet and take it out when you need to make a purchase.
No interest on that purchase. And no bill to pay (or not to pay) at the end of the month.
Yes, some credit cards will have zero percent interest for a time, but it won’t last forever and shuffling your money around constantly to avoid that interest hike doesn’t sound like fun.
Pay cash. So much easier.
Less Chance Of Stolen Identity And Theft
Yes, there is always a chance that someone will steal your purse and all the cash in it but those instances are probably rarer than someone hacking the TJ MAXX database and taking your information.
Also, you do not have to carry ALL your cash in your wallet all the time.
If I am going shopping, I know I need my grocery cash and maybe my clothing cash as I know that my youngest needs shorts for his school trip to Florida.
If someone gets ahold of all of your information through your credit card or even debit card, it will take a lot more work than replacing a few hundred dollars cash.
I am willing to take the risk.
Psychological Benefits For Using Cash
Cash (for most) is just harder to spend. You can see it, feel it, smell it and understand that it took you one hour of work to make that $30!
An hour of work that you may or may not love. But one hour of work out of your life.
Do you want to spend one hour of your life on that shirt?
If you have a hundred dollar bill, and you want to buy a cup of coffee, you may think twice about breaking that 100 dollar bill and just go home and make your coffee.
You may be apt to understand cash more if you are holding it in your hand.
Use Cash And Get A Deal
I have offered retailers cash and gotten a discount many times.
I got 20% off a couple of tuxedos for my oldest son’s wedding by paying in cash.
I rented a porta potty for a party and got money off. I have paid less for tv at a privately run electronics store by paying cash.
Purchasing a used car (or any other item) from an individual with cash in your hand would increase your probability of paying less.
They know it is a done deal and there is no bank or check involved.
I am all about saving money. And I am all about the Benjamins!
What Categories Are In My Cash Envelope Wallet?
Here are the categories that I have in my wallet. Like I mentioned above, I rarely if ever have cash in all of these at one time.
- Groceries. Self-explanatory. BJ’s money once a month would also sit here.
- Eggs. We get our eggs from a farm, so I like to have a separate spot for this. There is to place to get change, usually, so it helps to have the exact amount.
- Mine. Yup…all mine.
- Gas. Yes, I use cash for gas.
- Bella. This is our old lady pup, and this is for anything that pertains to her – spa days once per season, food, or vet.
- Date Night. Twice per month, we go out on a date night — nonnegotiable.
- Misc. Whatever we might need. Car parts, home repair money, DMV will all go in here with a proper sticky note if required.
- H & H. House and hygiene. So, Target. I head there once a month with a list.
- Gifts. This could be anything from a birthday to Valentine’s Day.
- Clothes/Hair/ Rx. Shopping, haircuts or prescriptions would get stuck in here. This would also have proper sticky notes if needed.
I can’t imagine not using cash. I owe everything to deciding on a cash system.
If you are part of the cash-only group, where do your Benjamin’s live?