The cash envelope system is a great budgeting tool to learn that will help control your spending habits. In order to implement a cash envelope system successfully, you need a great cash envelope system wallet. Here is an overview on the cash envelope system and my recommendation for the best cash envelope system wallets.
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- What is the cash envelope system?
- What is a cash system wallet or envelope system wallet?
- What are the best cash envelope system wallets?
What is the cash envelope system?
A cash envelope system, is quite literally, a system that uses envelopes of cash to track spending and make sure you stay in budget.
Before you establish a cash envelope system, it is important to create a monthly budget.
Once you have established a monthly budget, you will want to outline the categories where spending is not fixed month-to-month.
For example, your rent/mortgage is a fixed bill every month that can be set up on autopay from your account.
Grocery spending is not fixed, as you can walk into a store and spend $50 on groceries or $500.
For all categories in your budget that are not fixed, you will want to create an “envelope”. You can also further divide your categories to create multiple envelopes.
For example, you may have 20% of your budget allocated to personal and recreational spending which can include a wide array of expenses such as your cell phone bill, gym membership, eating out, and shopping.
Your cell phone bill and gym membership should be a relatively fixed expense, so you don’t need an envelope for it but rather just set up automatic payments.
But you should probably have separate envelopes for eating out and shopping, and determine what amount of the 20% you want to allocate for each.
At the end of the day, your envelopes will likely include the following:
- eating out
- grooming (e.g. hair, makeup)
- entertainment (e.g. movies, shows)
You can also include a “misc” category if you have part of your budget left over.
The goal is that you will ONLY spend the amount allocated to the envelope per month.
Once you’ve created your envelopes and allocated a monthly budget to each, I recommend you split the monthly budget of each category to a weekly envelope (evenly).
This way, it will be easier to make sure you don’t overspend at the beginning of the month and scrambling to fit into your grocery budget at the end of the month. Fill up your envelopes at the end of each week.
Now, you go out and use your envelopes!
Using a cash envelope system will make you much more aware of your spending. This is why I highly recommend it for individuals who have had difficulty sticking to a budget in the past and are unable to use credit cards wisely.
In my opinion, I think a cash envelope system should be an intermediary tool for you to use. The ultimate goal should be to understand your spending habits, which this system will teach you, and learn how to use credit cards wisely.
How long this takes is very individual.
Credit cards are not only more convenient, but they will help you build your credit for the long term. But that is only IF you use them correctly.
So if you are still struggling to stay to a budget and live within your means, a cash envelope system is for you.
What is a cash system wallet or envelope system wallet?
A cash system wallet or envelope system wallet is simply a wallet that helps you organize your “envelopes”.
Instead of quite literally carrying around multiple envelopes full of cash, an envelope system wallet will have compartments where you can keep your money in one place.
Many envelope system wallets also have systems (e.g. notepads) to actually keep track of where you spent money from each envelope.
If you will be following a cash envelope system, I highly recommend getting an envelope system wallet.
They will make using the system more practical and overall an easier experience. And you can get an cash envelope system wallet for relatively cheap.
What are the best cash envelope system wallets?
So, what are the best cash envelope system wallets?
Here are my recommendations!
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1. SavvyCents Wallet
The SavvyCents Wallet tops a lot of lists, and for good reason. It is a stylish and well thought out cash envelope wallet that is reasonably priced. It has an accordion-style file system inside, which is perfect to house your envelope categories. Each file has a tab that can be labeled for the category that money as attributed to.
The SavvyCents wallet also has a zip-around closure, to make sure all of your cash is housed safely. It also comes in a variety of colors.
Unlike some other cash envelope system wallets on this list, it is not a “planner-style” wallet which will allow you to meticulously document how you spend your cash. So if that is a feature you are looking for, read on.
Overall though, I think this is one of the best options for a cash envelope system wallet.
2. Saveyon Budget Planner Organizer Wallet
The Saveyon Budget Planner Organizer Wallet is a planner style wallet that allows you to not only organize your cash envelopes, but to also keep track of spending in each of the categories.
It includes a binder style organization system with tabbed folders. There is a pen holder as well as pre-printed budget sheets provided.
Although planner style wallets are on the bulkier side, they really contain all the tools you need in one spot to keep track of your cash envelopes.
If you don’t mind a larger style wallet, this is a great cash envelope system wallet to consider.
3. rnairni Cash Envelope Wallet
The rnairni Cash Envelope Wallet is very similar to the Saveyon in that it is a planner style wallet that includes all the the tools you need to store and track your cash envelopes.
The rnairni comes in a fun periwinkle faux leather. So if you like the tools that the Saveyon provides but want something a little more fun, the rnairni is a great choice.
Additionally, the envelopes in the rnairni are a more true envelope design in that it has a folded closing.
4. Bella Taylor Microfiber Cash System Wallet
The Bella Taylor Cash System Wallet is another popular choice for an envelope system users. Similar to the SavvyCents, it is an accordion style organization system.
The Bella Taylor has 8 compartments for your categories, with tabs that can be labeled. What I like about their labeling feature is that the tab sits on the inside of the compartment rather than sticking out. This allows the wallet to be slightly smaller.
The Bella Taylor has a twisting lock, rather than a zipper.
It has a soft-touch microfiber exterior. If you don’t like the feel of leather, this is a good alternative. Beware though, it is harder to keep clean.
5. AOLeatherGoods Cash Envelope Wallet
The AOLeatherGoods Cash Envelope Wallet is a no-frills planner style wallet, but I absolutely love the minimalistic look of this wallet.
It is made of genuine leather and comes in two colors: black and pink. You can even get a personalized label on it.
It has a two-button closure system and a pretty simple interior.
It comes with 6 envelopes, but you can contact the seller to request more if you need. Although the interior is simple, it allows you to customize it more.
It is also crafted by hand!
6. GrandmasLittleLily Cash Envelope Wallet
If you are worried about the security of your envelopes, the GrandmasLittleLily Cash Envelope Wallet is for you.
The unique feature of this wallet is that it comes with individually zippered envelopes, for that extra security.
You can also customize the number of envelopes the wallet has, which is really cool!
It can be made with up to 10 envelopes. Keep in mind, the more envelopes the bulkier the wallet will feel.
It can be made in many, many different fabrics available at the store. So you can really customize this wallet to what you need. Keep in mind though, fabric is harder to keep clean than leather materials.
7. Manghammade Cash Wallet
The Manghammade Cash Wallet is a very simple, cute design. It is also one of the most affordable wallets on the list.
This cash system envelope wallet has an upper lemon-print fabric and a lower leather. I like this as you get a fun print, but a lot of the surface area is an easy to clean leather.
The interior of the wallet is very simple, it is essentially just a pouch.
So if you don’t need a more organization, and just need a place to store your envelopes, this is a really functional and cute option for a cash system wallet.
8. Dave Ramsey Starter Envelope System
Dave Ramsey is famous for touting the envelope system, and his Starter Envelope System is an inexpensive way to get started with the cash envelope system.
This cash system wallet is great because it is very inconspicuous. It looks like a check book and it provides just the basics: an accordion system of 8 envelopes, a place to track your expenses, and a simple guide on the cash envelope system.
Keep in mind the Dave Ramsey Starter Envelope System does not have a place to house your driver’s license, gift cards, etc. You will need a separate card case for that.
Overall, if you are new to the cash envelope system and are looking for an inexpensive means to get started the Dave Ramsey Starter Envelope System is the way to go.
9. Expanded Horizons Cash Envelope Wallet
The Expanded Horizons Cash Envelope Wallet is another solid choice for an accordion-style cash system wallet.
This wallet comes with 10 dividers inside and 20 labels. It has storage for your drivers license and any other cards you might need to carry (but it better not be credit cards!).
The dividers are behind a zipper, so plenty of security for your cash.
10. DivvyUp Cash System Wallet
The DivvyUp Cash System Wallet is one of the more compact options on the list.
It comes with 5 cash envelopes in different colors, so you can easily tell them apart. Each envelope has a separate magnetized closure, and the wallet itself has a zipper. Your cash won’t go anywhere!
You can also buy more magnetic cash envelopes separately, in case 5 is not enough to cover all of your categories.
It also has a zippered pocket for your change and plenty of storage for cards. I particularly like this option because it looks like a regular wallet.
So those are my picks! Have you tried the cash envelope system?
Let me know about your experience below!