Cash Envelope Budgeting + 13 Best Cash Wallet Systems

Using the cash envelope budgeting system can be a great way to manage your money.

If you don’t know how it works or what exactly it is, we’ll talk about that first, then we can get into all the fun cash envelope wallet systems.

Want to get straight to the wallet options? Just click here!

Mini-Guide to Cash Envelope Budgeting

If you want to get your budget under control (or if you’re a Dave Ramsey fan), you may want to give cash envelopes a try.

Cash envelopes can help you stay organized and can help you manage your money better.

If you’re interested in learning more about envelopes including how to set it up, what categories there are, and what cash envelope to get, this is the article for you.

What is the cash envelope system?

The cash envelope system is a way to budget and categorize your money using envelopes.

Before you start filling up your envelopes you decide what categories you’re going to have and how much you will put in each envelope (category).

Because you use cash, when the envelope is empty for a certain category you have to either stop spending, or take it from a different envelope – this means you won’t overdraft and you can only spend the money that you have.

It forces you to stick to a budget.

Benefits of Using a Cash Envelope System

The thought of using a cash envelope may sound a bit strange and even daunting, but the benefits can outweigh the cons.

Here are some of the benefits:

Easier To Track Spending

Since you pick your categories / envelopes, fill them, and THEN start using them, you will always know exactly where you’re spending money, and using envelopes makes things super easy to track.

No Interest

This might be my favorite reason to use cash envelopes! Think about it, when you use cash, you don’t need to use credit cards so that means no interest!

And no need to remember to pay a credit card bill at the end of the month.

No Overdraft Fees

Okay.. Maybe this is actually my favorite reason..


Since you can only spend what you have in your envelopes it’s impossible to overdraft! Goodbye $36 fees.

Psychological Benefits

I’d say for most people using cash makes it a bit more difficult to spend, lots of people don’t really want to part with cash or “break up” a bill.

You can use this feeling to your advantage and use it to save more money when you start using the cash envelope system.

How to Start A Cash Envelope System

Okay now that I’ve sold you on trying out the cash envelope system, it’s time to start!

First thing you need is your regular budget. If you haven’t made a budget yet, read this How To Budget post first, then I’ll meet you back here.

We good to go? Great!

Once you have your budget handy it’s time to figure out which categories you’ll use for cash. Here are some great options:

Cash Envelope Categories

Here are some of the categories you may have when using cash envelopes:

  • Groceries
  • Dining Out / Restaurants
  • Gas
  • Entertainment
  • Doctor / Dentist / Healthcare
  • Clothing
  • Gifts
  • Pets
  • Household Goods

Example Budget

Here’s the example cash categories we’ll use:

  • Groceries – $400
  • Fun – $100
  • Gifts – $50

We’ll fill our envelopes with $550 each month.

Figure Out How Much Cash You Need

Think about how you often you get paid. Is it monthly? Bi-weekly? Weekly? This is how often you should fill your envelopes.

Using this information, you’ll find out how much cash you need.

If you get paid every two weeks, and your monthly envelope budget is $550, we know that you’ll need $275 every two weeks!

Example Bi-Weekly Cash Budget

  • Groceries – $200
  • Fun – $50
  • Gifts – $25
    Total needed per pay period: $275

If you want to break it down even more, you can figure out how many bills you will want for each category.

  • Groceries – $200 – You can get four $500 bills, ten $20 bills.
  • Fun – $50 – You can get one $50 bill, or two $20 bills and one $10 bill
  • Gifts – $25 – You can get one $20 bill and one $5 bill, or two $10 bills and one $5 bill.

It’s really up to you!

Withdraw Your Cash

Once you have your budget figured out, and you know how much cash you want to withdraw, it’s time to actually go to the bank and take out your cash.

Once you have your cash you can fill your envelopes and start spending!

Are You Ready For A Cash Envelope System?

Woah there tiger, before you spend money on a cash envelope system, make sure you’ve actually tried out the system yourself.

You can use regular envelopes or a coupon organizer to hold your cash.

Once you get the hang of the cash envelope budgeting system (and you like it), THEN you should feel comfortable investing in a cash envelope system / wallet.

What to Look For In A Cash Envelope System

Now that you know you actually want a cash envelope wallet system (for real this time), it’s time to figure out exactly what you want in a system.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Space For Envelopes / Categories – How many envelopes do you want to be able to carry at once? Just one or two? Maybe more? Five? Think about what envelopes you use on a daily / weekly basis.
  • What Else You Carry – Do you just want wallet system that holds your envelopes only? Or do you want to carry cards or other things with you?
  • Size – Do you want something thin and delicate? Or do you need a monster wallet that can hold the entire contents of your office?
  • Price – How much would you like to spend on a cash envelope system?

Here Are Our Top 3 Choices:

Best Cash Envelope System Wallets

Now the moment you’ve been waiting for! Here are the best cash envelope system wallets:

Dave Ramsey Envelope System

This cash envelope wallet system is from Dave Ramsey (the guy who made cash envelopes trendy).

The envelope system comes with 8 envelopes, debit card slots, and pouches for your coins, coupons, and receipts.

Savvy Cents Wallet

The Savvy Cents Wallet is a popular choice for people who use the envelope system.

The wallet uses an accordion file system to hold your cash, and there’s tabs where you can label things. There’s also room for 6+ cards, your ID, and receipts.

The wallet also comes in 10 fun colors like black, blush pink, red and plaid!

Bella Taylor Cash System Wallet from The BitLoom Co.

The Bella Taylor Cash Wallet System is a stylish choice for people looking for an understated solution for their cash envelopes.

The wallets have 8 cash envelope slots, 6 card slots, 2 window ID slots, a pocket for your checkbook, a pen loop, and one extra pocket.

There’s even RFID blocking to keep your information safe.

Divvy Up The Savvy

The Divvy Up The Savvy wallet is a great choice for the serious cash budgeter who likes to carry around multiple envelopes at a time.

This large capacity wallet comes with FIVE magnetic envelopes (and the wallet holds them all)! The wallet also has room for your phone, checkbook, has 12 card slots, a zippered pouch for coins, and has 2 large pockets.

Rnairni Cash Envelopes Wallet

The Rnairni Cash Envelope Wallet comes bundled with a bunch of bonuses which makes this wallet perfect for gift-giving or treating yourself!

The wallet bundle comes with the wallet, a removable wrist strap, a binder, 12 budget envelopes, 12 budget sheets, 5 dividers, 14 sticker labels, a ruler, a calendar, a 14-month budget insert, and a 54 week to-do insert.

Tyvek Cash Wallet

The Tyvek Cash Wallets are perfect for anyone looking for a budget-friendly option (you can usually find them for under $15).

The wallets are water and stain-resistant, and have 5 slots to place your cash envelopes.

Budget-Friendly DIY Options

If you’re just starting out using cash envelopes or if you just aren’t ready to spend money on an entire cash envelope wallet yet, here are some great DIY options!

  • Regular Mailing Envelopes – You can just mailing envelopes that you’d use for your normal mail. You can keep track of the balance inside the envelope by writing on the front.
  • Bank Envelope – You can use the envelopes that you get from the bank when you withdraw cash.
  • Binder Clips – I’ve seen some people on instagram and on youtube use binder clips for their cash. They use a separate clip for each category.
  • Coupon Organizer – You can use a cheap organizer! Just use a different slot for each category.

Printable Cash Envelopes

If you want something a bit prettier (but still budget-friendly) you can use printable cash envelopes! Here’s where you can find some printable cash envelopes:

Digital Cash Envelopes

If you don’t use cash at all, there are actually digital cash envelope apps you can use! Here are a few you can try:

How Others Use The Cash Envelope Wallet System

If you’re interested in seeing the cash envelope in action, here are three people who regularly use the cash envelope system.

They share info like their exact wallets and what categories they have. Enjoy!

Cash Envelope FAQs

How do you make a money wallet system?

You can roll the money over to your next month’s budget, you can add it to a savings goal, or you can treat it as spending money.

What cash envelopes do you have?

Here are some of the categories you may have when using cash envelopes:
Dining Out / Restaurants
Doctor / Dentist / Healthcare
Household Goods

What can I do with leftover cash from cash envelopes?

You can roll the money over to your next month’s budget, you can add it to a savings goal, or you can treat it as spending money.

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