Today I’m going to show you how to use an envelope wallet system to organize your money and your budget. In fact, I used an envelope wallet system to help get myself out of debt. Let me show you some stylish wallets that are easy to use.
What is the Cash Envelope System?
It is a system designed to help you take control of your spending. The idea is to pay with cash instead of using credit cards and appoint a certain amount of money for different categories of expenses.
Thanks to the system you can train yourself to stick to your budget.
Don’t have a budget yet? The easiest way to create one is by using a smartphone app. Check the 6 best budget apps to track your money.
How Does the Cash Envelope System Work
In contrast to paying by credit cards, paying with cash makes it easier to set limits. When you swipe the credit card you don’t see how the money disappears from your account and how much you have left.
Paying by credit card is easy and pain-free.
But if you pay by cash, you can feel the pain of parting with your hard-earned money. You look into your wallet and can clearly see the difference: how much money you have spent and how much is still there.
How to Start a Cash Envelope System?
You need to decide on what categories are you going to pay in cash. Are there areas where you still overspend?
Do you spend too much money on entertainment, cosmetics or clothes? These problematic fields could be your cash-only categories.
Let’s say you waste too much money on groceries. You love fancy snacks and good drinks. How will the envelope system help you here?
To take control, you allocate, let’s say, $120 in your budget for groceries in the forthcoming week. You withdraw $120 and put it in the envelope labeled “groceries.”
During the week, you collect all the recipes or note down each amount of money you’ve spent on food. When the money’s gone from the envelope, there’s no more grocery shopping this week.
The same happens with money for other cash-only categories: you withdraw the amount you need and put it into their assigned envelopes.
The Benefits of the Cash Envelope System:
- easier to track your spending
- it impels you to spend your money in an intentional way
- curbs overspending
- it helps you be more accountable
- it is a visual representation of what you have
- helps you build new, healthy spending habits
- it lets you feel the pain of spending money
- your identity is protected.
The cash envelope system enabled many people to pay off debt and stay within their budget.
What Categories Should be Included in the Envelope System
The categories you should choose for the envelope system depend mainly on where your weak points are. The areas in which you tend to overspend could become labels in your envelope wallet system.
For example, there could be such categories as:
- Eating out
- Car maintenance
Where to Buy a Cash Envelope Wallet
When choosing a cash envelope wallet it’s good to have a possibility to compare all the different options and decide which model suits you best. In brick-and-mortar shops, there are usually not too many options to choose from and searching there could be cumbersome.
It’s a good idea to search online and assess how different systems fit your lifestyle and needs before you decide to buy.
To make the task easier for you, below there’s a list of the best wallets for the cash envelope system.
The Best Cash Envelope Wallets
A wallet designed to hold everything you need. Thought to serve specifically for the cash envelope system. It has 8 envelopes for cash management, slots for credit cards, pouches for coins, coupons, and receipts.
You’ll also find here a place for your checkbook and check register holders.
A faux leather wallet with a poly satin lining and a zipper closure. The Thirty One wallet contains twelve credit card slots and two slots for bills as well as an ID window.
Practical and stylish. Various compartments will easily fit all your cash from different categories. A stretchy snap secures all the cash pockets.
There are slots for your credit cards, coupons, discount cards, driver’s license and so on. A convenient zipper closes the whole wallet together. Coins can be thrown into a zipper pocket in the back.
This cash system wallet is made of genuine leather. Inside, there are 2 huge compartments where you can easily fit in several envelopes with cash.
There’s one large zippered pocket for all your change, 17 card slots, and a pen loop. This huge wallet will even hold your passport, checkbook, or your iPhone.
Thanks to RFID protection, all your data stored on RFID chips will be safe. It also has a wristlet, which can be very handy, especially when your hands are full.
If you like the luxurious feel of pebbled leather, this wallet is for you. The advantage of this kind of texture is that it looks even better with time.
Thanks to a detachable wristlet strap you can carry it around without a bag. Its 17 credit card slots, 3 big currency pockets, and a pen loop make it very functional.
You can throw in there your iPhone, a checkbook, your passport, and a pen. Of course, there’s also an appropriate place for change – the zipper pocket inside will hold it safe. This wallet is also RFID protected.
This cash system wallet has a really cute, inviting design. Two large compartments are ideal for envelopes with cash.
The wallet is big enough to hold your mobile phone. The premium quality zipper opens an closes smoothly and is very durable.
What makes this wallet stand out is a binder note which can hold pre-punched envelopes and budget sheets (there are 12 of each in the set).
What’s more, at the bottom of the sheets you can find a website address, where you can get new sheets to print. With one smooth pulling, you can zipper up all your cards, coupons, envelopes and coins.
This capacious envelope system wallet will hold them all.
The material of this cash system wallet, Ole’flex fabric, not only makes it unique but also smooth and light-weight. The best thing about the material is that it’s water-resistant.
Though after opening the wallet unfolds like an accordion, it’s very slim and netty when you close it. As a bonus, you will receive 4 Budget Keeper cash envelopes with this wallet.
This functional envelope system wallet is available in 4 different colors: blue, black, brown and purple.
This durable wallet made from quality leather is ideal for cash budgeting. It has 2 large compartments, 1 zipper pouch, 12 card slots, and even a binder note. It also comes with 12 patterned envelopes.
This is a set of 48 cash envelopes and a purse organizer. The enjoyable colors of the envelopes allow you to easily identify the categories of your expenses.
The great thing about it is that you can write on the envelopes. That’s very convenient because you don’t have to wait until you come home to make an update on your budget.
A set of 15 envelopes that have many benefits. They are made of plastic, so waterproof and durable, easy to close, lightweight and they will fit in most standard wallets. With them, you get 30 budget sheets and 30 stickers.
A set of 12 Wallet Budget Cash Envelopes made of 250g thick laminated paper. They are sure to be long-lasting.
The design allows them to fit in your budget wallet or monthly budget planner. Tabs on the envelopes make the whole system user-friendly.
Thanks to 12 double-sided budget sheets and sticker labels included in the set, you can track the cash flow for each envelope.
Thanks to their large capacity, those envelopes will hold a good amount of cash. Labels and budget tracking sheets make this set a great aid in your journey to financial freedom.
The simple and friendly design of the envelopes allows us to differentiate them easily.
Sturdy, waterproof and cute envelopes. Each envelope has a budget tracker and a sticker label. Convenient size, good to carry them around in your purse or wallet.
There’s a bit different tool to help you manage your personal finance – a bill organizer with pockets. Size good enough to fit in your bag.
It allows you to see clearly where your money goes each month and track your spending day after day. It has 13 long-lasting card pockets for receipts, monthly budget worksheets, and a magnetic closure.
Bella Taylor is a really well-thought-out envelope system wallet. Apart from cash, it will allow you to organize your cards in 6 card slots, fit in your checkbook, pen, and whatever you wish to have in two window ID slots.
But the biggest spice of this wallet is a large and secure zippered compartment with 8 envelope slots. Each of them has a customizable label insert.
Such a file organizer is great when you need to manage multiple sections. This accordion plastic wallet has thirteen pockets.
Colored tabs help you to reference quickly. Made of high-quality, non-toxic plastic. The dividers of those large-capacity pockets are non-removable. The convenient A6 size is suitable for daily use and carrying around.
This wallet will delight the lovers of vintage style. Made of 100% genuine leather, it could also serve as your clutch on an evening out.
On the outside, there’s a smaller flap compartment that can hold your coins. Snap open the wallet and there are 12 credit card slots and 2 capacious bill compartments as well as 2 zipper pockets. The lining is 100% cotton.
The most masculine wallet in this collection. Outside and inside the wallet is made of Italian full-grain calfskin. Flawless leather and precise stitching.
Four huge compartments are ideal for dealing with a lot of envelopes. It will also fit all of your credit cards and your checkbook. You can slide the wallet in your shirt or vest pocket.
The Coach Signature wallet is made of canvas and has a cross-grain leather trim. With twelve multifunction pockets and a coin pocket that zips, you’ll easily keep your money organized.
Tips for Choosing a Cash Envelope Wallet
The basic question that appears when choosing a cash envelope wallet is: How many envelopes should you have?
People are usually most comfortable with using 5-7 cash envelopes. Under 5 is usually not enough to include all the categories that cause you problems. On the other hand, having more than 7 categories may lead to chaos.
You should also bear in mind that always having all of your money on you is not safe. You may lose your wallet or it might get stolen and you are with no cash. If that bothers you, choose a cash system wallet with detachable categories. In the morning take with you only the categories you are going to use that day.
Focus on the size of the wallet. When it turns out too bulky it will quickly discourage you from using the whole system.
Pay attention to the closure of the wallet. For some people, a stylish folding type of wallet is secure enough, others might want a zipper to be sure nothing falls out. You may want to have a zipper pocket inside to hold all your coins. But be careful: too many zippers may cause your wallet to be too bulky.
Take Control Over Your Spending
Things don’t have magical power. Having an envelope system wallet won’t give you control over your spending. But having one that matches your needs and using it correctly can make a big change in your financial life.
If you want to be sure that the cash envelope system is something for you, try to use regular mailing envelopes for a month or so.
After you get convinced the tool is helpful and you gain an idea of how you want to use it, go through the list of wallets from this post and choose the one that suits your character and lifestyle.
Month after month you will be better at budgeting and you’ll see how nice is the feeling of having control over your finances. You’ll be on your way to pay off debt, reach your financial goals and make your dreams come true.