Do you love the cash envelope system but hate lugging around actual envelopes? Are you tired of looking disorganized at the cash register, fumbling through several envelopes? Do you hate that your cash envelopes don’t fit in your wallet? If you said yes to any of these questions, you’re in the right place. These easy DIY cash envelopes can be made with items you probably already have.
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What are cash envelopes and why should I use them?
Cash envelopes are the easiest way to manage spending that usually trip you up like groceries, personal spending money, dining, and entertainment. You set a cash spending limit for the month, then stick that amount of cash in an envelope. Spend only from that envelope. When the money is gone, you’re done.
You’ll stop overspending, learn how to stay within a budget, and change your spending habits, all at the same time. Win/win. Right? If you’re still not convinced, let me tell you my story. When I decided to take control of my finances, I dove right in. I created my monthly budget and thought, “Okay, my budget is set. Just stick to the plan. Easy-peasy. I love math, so this should be a cinch. Just add my income and minus my expenses.” But, boy was I wrong!
I failed to factor in the emotional part of spending, especially for categories like groceries, dining out, and personal fun spending money. When you’re used to buying whatever you want without much thought, a budget will definitely give you a wake-up call. When I put myself on a budget, it wasn’t easy. In the past, if I saw money in my bank account, I would spend it. Having a set spending limit made me realize that I needed to set new spending habits, so I decided to try cash envelopes and have never looked back. Cash envelopes have taught me how to have self-control and discipline. Most importantly, it forced me to learn resourcefulness if I didn’t have enough money to buy something I really wanted.
I still use cash envelopes even though I’m debt-free now, after paying off $72,000 of school, car, and credit card debt. Cash envelopes have permanently changed my spending habits, and I know it can help you too. Read on to learn how to make your own cash envelopes that are easy to make and budget-friendly. I even have a free printable template that you can use over and over again. Click here If you would like to learn more about cash envelopes.
Why should you make your own cash envelopes?
- Quick and Easy
Making your own DIY cash envelopes is fast and easy. You don’t have to rush out and buy a fancy cash envelope wallet. Just use your own wallet and place them in. Make as many as you want since they’re quick and easy to make.
First of all, plain white envelopes are boring. When you make your own cash envelopes with the DIY tutorial that I walk you through later, you get to choose your own colors, patterns, and style. Use your imagination and make different styles to match your mood. Switch them out when you get bored of them.
I even made some for my hubby in the picture below. I used very thin paper, so it folds easily in his wallet. He used receipts to separate his cash envelopes before, so this is definitely an improvement!
If you’re on the fence about cash envelopes, you’re probably not willing to invest too much time or money on it in the beginning. I totally get it. I felt the same way too which is how I came up with this method to begin with. Even though I really wanted a cash envelope wallet like this Savvycents Wallet (which I own and love now by the way – read my review here), I didn’t want to buy a new wallet until I was convinced that the cash envelope system would work for me. Making these are cheap and the materials are easy to find.
Cash is easily accessible with these DIY cash envelopes. I didn’t like using actual envelopes. The actual envelope flaps are unnecessary. They add an extra step when you’re at the cash register trying to access your money. The DIY cash envelopes are open at the top, with a slot in the front, which makes it easier to pull your money out. Believe me, I tested them!
Instructions on Quick and Easy DIY Cash Envelopes
Cash Envelope Materials
- Cash envelope template. Fill out the box below to get it now.
- Cardstock or regular paper (Used to print or trace the template onto. Cardstock or stiff paper is highly recommended. You can also use regular paper and trace onto a manila folder or thin cardboard.)
- Decorative file folders or plastic school folders (Material used for cash envelope. Use patterned file folders or plastic school folders for extra durability. Choose patterns or styles that best suit your personality. Dollar Tree has excellent inexpensive choices too or you can click on the link for Amazon recommendations.)
- Thin paper (Material for cash envelope. Recommended for male wallets since they fold easily.)
- Plain, clear tape or washi tape (optional)
- Permanent marker
Cash Envelope Instructions
Download the free template. Sign up here to download.
Print and cut the template onto cardstock or stiff material.
- Print the template onto cardstock or heavy paper, and cut out the front and back templates.
- If you don’t have cardstock, print out the template onto regular paper. Then cut and trace out the pattern onto a manila folder or thin cardboard.
Trace the template onto the cash envelope material.
- If you’re using a manila or plastic folder, place the bottom of the back template on the fold. Trace out the template and cut out both the front and back at the same time. You’ll have less to cut out and tape together.
- If you’re using thin paper, make your own fold and lay the bottom of the back template onto the fold before cutting.
Cut out your DIY cash envelope.
- Cut out the back template through both layers, so you now have the front and back.
- Trace the front template on the front side of your envelope and cut.
- Make sure to cut the front side and not through both layers.
Tape the DIY cash envelope.
- Tape the sides together with clear tape first. Then, add washi tape for more decorative purposes.
- If you didn’t cut your template on the fold, tape the bottom with washi or clear tape.
Label your DIY cash envelope.
- Write out the category in the front