DIY Cash Envelope Wallet System: Get a Grip on Your Spending

Diy cash envelope system
Diy cash envelope system

Do you find yourself with not enough money? Are you overspending? Do you have a budget? It’s time to get a grip on your spending with the cash envelope wallet system!

Have you ever heard of Dave Ramsey? He is the guy who is crazy and passionate about getting out of debt. One of the main things he teaches about is using CASH ONLY! How does using cash only help things?  When the money is gone it is gone! If you can’t use a credit card, you can’t overspend.

Create a budget

The first step in getting control of your money is to make a budget. Dave gives some great tips on how to do this. Yes, creating a budget can seem very overwhelming, but it is NECESSARY! You gotta take a look at where your money is going.

On Dave’s site, you can get step-by-step help with a free app that is available. This app will help you set up your budget the easy way. You can access it from your computer, iPhone, or Android device. You can locate it HERE.

I love this quote.

“A budget is telling your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went.” John Maxwell


A great way to learn more about getting out of debt is to take Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University Course. You can take it online or join a group. My husband and I have taken his Financial Peace University Class. It cost us about $129.00 and it was the best money we ever spent! Once you take the class, you and your family can go back and retake it at any time.

We have attended it a few times, just to keep refreshed and motivated. The second time we went, we took our teenage and young adult kids to a few of the main classes. It was good for them. I wish I would have known and done things differently when I was their age!

The classes run for nine weeks. You can go to this site and find a class near you, or take the course online. I highly recommend it!

What is the cash envelope system?

This is how the system works.

  • You take the categories from your budget and decide how much you have to spend on each. It’s a good idea to use the envelope system for items that tend to bust your budget. Think of things like groceries, restaurants, entertainment, gas, and clothing.
  • Assign an envelope or tab to each category.
  • Then you take out cash from the bank and place that allowed amount in the assigned envelopes. It works like this: Let’s say you’ve budgeted $260 for the pay period for groceries. When you get your paycheck, take out $260 from your bank account and put the cash in the corresponding envelope (file). When you get your second paycheck, do the same thing again. Simple, right?
  • You can see exactly how much money you have left in a budget category just by taking a quick peek at your envelope or tab.

How easy is that?

Now Dave is a Nazi about not borrowing from other envelopes, I am not so much. Just depends on how strict you want to be with this. However, the more strict you are, the better you are going to follow the plan.

Dave’s theory: No money—and I mean zero money—comes out of that Groceries envelope except to pay for food at the grocery store. Make sure you take enough money with you to cover your groceries for that trip. If you take $150 cash and your total comes to $160, take some things out of the cart and put them back. I know, I know—it’s hard! But it’s better than going over in your grocery category and busting your whole budget for the month! And make sure you put any change you get back in the envelope.


Grandma’s way to handle money still works. People used to always use cash envelopes to control their monthly spending, but very few do in today’s card-swiping culture. The envelope system is a key component of getting out of debt because it works! All it takes is setting up a simple system.

How to set up your cash envelope system

  • Create a budget
  • Choose different spending accounts (envelopes)
  • Fill each envelope with the money allotted for it in your budget.

For example, if you allow $100 for clothing, put $100 in cash in your clothing envelope. This can be for 2 weeks or a month, depending on your budget.

  • When the money is gone, it is gone.
  • No more putting things on credit if you are serious about getting out of debt!

***However, we do it a little differently. We do have a few credit cards for several reasons.

  1. My husband travels frequently and having a wad of cash is not always really convenient.
  2. We pay off our credit cards automatically every month. This makes the online system really easy to use with the convenience of a credit card. I am sure Dave would not agree, but it works for us.

What kind of wallet or system is best?

There are many ways to set up your envelope system. I have tried a few of them. The first one I used was a wallet that came with the class. It was a nice leather wallet but had paper envelopes.

As you can see, after only a few months of using this, the paper envelopes were trashed. Another thing I did not like, is that I had to carry ANOTHER wallet in my purse. SERIOUSLY, WHO HAS ROOM FOR ANOTHER WALLET?

TWO wallets? NOPE!

Make your own wallet? There are patterns out there to make your own. Just make sure that it will carry everything you need so you are not needing two wallets. If you don’t sew, this isn’t an option.

Personally, I don’t like using actual envelopes. Fumbling through a bunch of envelopes at the checkout can be stressful and takes too much time. Half the time I would be in such a hurry that I would just end up grabbing cash from a random envelope and have to figure things out later. Not really productive. Also, the people behind you in the checkout line are not really thrilled to sit and watch you manage your cash.

The answer

I thought long and hard and finally came up with a system that REALLY WORKS!

Ta-dah! I designed these simple tabs that you can place in your already existing wallet. The tabs separate your cash into categories. No more fumbling through a bunch of envelopes! They are the BEST!

How do you get these tabs?

For you DIY folks, you can purchase the PDF download in my shop or my Etsy shop and make your own. The ALTERABLE PDF file, allows you to type in whatever categories you want and print out as many as you want.

  • and put it in your wallet!

*****You may print out as many times as you want for your own personal use. These make great COUPON TABS as well. You may NOT print to sell these tabs from this PDF file.

What kind of wallet works best?

You can buy a normal wallet and place the tabs in it. Make sure the wallet has a pleated section and is wide enough for tabs.

So, there you have it, a SIMPLE, DIY, INEXPENSIVE, and very PRACTICAL way to go about organizing your cash.

I get excited on payday when I go to the bank, get cash, and fund my envelopes. It’s like a game. It has really helped me see where I’m spending my money, and I am saving money.

Knowing that I am staying within my means, makes me feel empowered and in control of money, instead of money controlling me.


Related posts

Do you have limiting beliefs that are keeping you stuck, blocked, and broke?

You may be interested in this post.

What is your relationship with money?

These programs in your head may be affecting how much money you have. Learn more about it here.

Give it a whirl!  Let me know if you have any questions, or if you have some great cash-handling tips.

Happy budgeting!





Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

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Declutter Your Wallet – Dave Ramsey Style

Is your wallet full of old receipts, unused gift cards, and uncashed checks?

Does it feel like you are packing around a mini suitcase in your purse?

Perhaps it’s time to declutter your wallet!

Whether it’s clutter on your dining room table, magazine rack, or wallet, it is doing the same thing…….draining your energy.

The negative effects of clutter don’t just affect your energy, it can also affect your health.

There is an interesting article on the Huffington Post that lists five ways clutter can hurt your health. It is quite exciting and something you may want to check out.

I love the saying, “The way you do something is the way you do everything.” 

If you have an issue with clutter somewhere else in your life, you most likely have an issue with your wallet. If you do have some clutter in your wallet, no worries.

I will share a few tips on decluttering your wallet and making it more efficient, Dave Ramsey style.

Who’s Dave Ramsey?

Dave Ramsey is the guy known for helping people get out of debt and how to manage money. I respect what he teaches and have taken his Financial Peace University Class. You can find more about it here.

I am about making things simple, doing things to improve health, and getting out of debt. Who would have thought that decluttering your wallet had anything to do with these? Ironically, they do.


Here are a few simple tips on how to declutter your wallet:

1-    Get rid of old receipts, grocery lists, and other paper items that are not needed

2-    Go through your wallet and see if there are any gift cards that you have forgotten about. If there are, USE THEM!


3-    Keep your debit, reward, and membership cards that you use frequently in a handy place.

Place a rubber band around the ones you don’t use often. If you have room in your wallet, you can put them in a different place. I like to store them outside of my purse for less bulk.

4-    Chuck old business cards that you are no longer interested in. File the ones you MAY be interested in.

5-    Get rid of all unnecessary credit cards. Dave Ramsey would have you get rid of ALL of them. I have one connected to my COSTCO membership and another one for my business. We track them with an online mvelopes system. I don’t know what I would do without envelopes. It’s like an envelope system, but online. I pay no interest, and is paid off automatically every month.

6-   Have emergency information where it can be seen, especially if you have a severe health condition.


7-    Keep a complete set of MONEY FRIENDS available in your wallet. Read more about it here.


8-    Use some cash tab system inside of your wallet instead of having a separate cash envelope wallet. I love my cash tabs. You can learn more about them here.

9-    If you have had the same wallet for a long time, switch it up for something new and fun. 

I really like the Mundi wallets. They work really well with the tabs. 

There you have it: simplicity, less stress, and hopefully, some motivation to get out of debt.

Life can be chaotic enough; your experience at the checkout stand does not have to be stressful.

Unclutter your wallet and see how it unclutters your life. Remember, the way you do something, is the way you do everything.

So what’s next………… your sock drawer, or your closet?

AHHHHH, it feels so good to let some things go. LET IT GO!


Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

Painters Tape: 6 Handy Household Uses

painter's tape

Although painter’s tape is mainly used to mask off areas that should not be painted, I have found 6 other handy ways to use it around the house.

Painters tape is a type of pressure-sensitive tape made of thin and easy-to-tear paper that has an easily released pressure-sensitive adhesive.

It is available in various widths and can be found in blue or green, depending on what brand it is.

I use it all the time and I keep a roll in my kitchen utility drawer for easy access.

My husband knows not to mess with my roll of tape.

I told him to get his own or to be sure to return it. Just a little frustrating when I go to use it and it’s not there.

Now I am sure there are many other ways to use this beautiful blue strip of stickiness, but here are some handy ways I use it.

1- Dating and labeling food storage containers

Have you ever put leftovers in the freezer and a week later wondered what the heck it is?

You seriously think you will remember, but when food freezes, it takes on a new look. Right?

I rip off a little blue tape, grab my Sharpie marker, and write on it.

I write what it is and sometimes I write the date.

Not only is it good to know what it is, but it comes in handy to know how long this food item has been hanging out in the freezer or fridge.

2- As a chip bag clip

If you don’t down a bag of chips in one sitting, a little strip of blue tape actually works really well to close it back up.

I will admit I was a little doubtful about whether it would work or not, but it does.

The same tape will keep working even after opening and closing it multiple times—no more need for all those random chip clips.

I used to use a close pin, but this works better.

3- Label plastic bins and tubs

If you are not picky about how your storage tubs are labeled, painter’s tape is a great quick way to tell you what’s inside.

I use this method when I am organizing. If it is a bin that I will be keeping long-term, I go back and make a more professional label.

Using the tape makes it easy to peel off if I use the bin for something else.

4- Sewing guide

For those of you who sew, painter’s tape will now be your new friend.

When the seam allowance is much broader than your sewing machine guide displays is a great time to rip off a piece of painter’s tape.

Simply measure the width and apply it to the sewing machine arm.

Works like a charm.

It works really well to mark where you need to topstitch.

Instead of using chalk or a fabric pen, you can mark the fabric nicely where you need to sew.

You can also mark on the tape where you need to apply elastic or buttons.

5- Sticky note replacement

Instead of using a sticky note pad, grab a piece of blue tape.

Leave a little message to someone you love, or leave a little reminder for yourself of something you need to do.

What I love about this tape is that it doesn’t leave any residue, and it can be moved and used again.

You can even use it on paper without tearing it when you remove it.

6- Household product dating

You may be wondering why you need to put a date on your household products.

Well, this is something that I have been doing for many years.

  • It helps you know how long it takes to go through something.
  • You don’t overstock your storage. Have any of you kept buying a particular item in fear of running out, only to find out you only go through it six months or even yearly? I have. Not only do you get stuck with a bunch of product, you have wasted money.
  • Awareness. It may be very enlightening for you to see how long items last.
  • Helps with budgeting.
  • You won’t have to go without something you need.

I am all about having good food storage and items on hand.

However, I have lightened up a bit because I was overbuying and, in many cases, waiting for food and products.

This method of dating products has helped.-

You can apply a strip of painter’s tape to the box or container or write the date on the package with a marker.

I hope this has given you a few ideas on how to be a little more organized and thrifty by using painter’s tape.

Enjoy your day!




Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

Money Friends – Rekindle Your Relationship With Money

money friends

What is your relationship with money?

  • Do you always have enough cash on hand?
  • Would you like to have MORE MONEY?
  • Do you just shove cash in your wallet?
  • Do you hate it or love it?

Several years ago I was introduced to Kirk Duncan from 3 Key Elements and have done several trainings with him. One of the things he teaches is that if you want to have more money, then it is up to you to sort out, clean out, clean up, and put in order all your thoughts and emotions about money.

He teaches a system called MONEY FRIENDS. I love it and want to share it with you.

In a previous post, I shared 5 steps to help clear limiting beliefs about money. They are:

  1. Be Aware

  2. Change Your Thoughts

  3. Change Your Talk

  4. Change Your Beliefs

  5. Reprogram Your Brain

If you have any LACK MENTALITY PROGRAMS running in your head, these programs are going to keep you from having money. Do you ever catch yourself thinking, or heaven forbid saying out loud “I don’t have enough money?” If you are thinking these thoughts or speaking these words out loud, that is exactly what you are going to experience, NOT ENOUGH MONEY. It’s time to get rid of those negative beliefs and rekindle your relationship with money. Having a set of MONEY FRIENDS in your wallet will help you take all 5 of these steps in clearing these limiting beliefs. That is why I love them!

money friends

What Are Money Friends?

Money friends are a little set of bills that you keep tucked in your wallet. The set includes one of each bill. A ONE, a TWO, a FIVE, a TEN, a TWENTY, a FIFTY, and a HUNDRED dollar bill. Now you don’t have to have a complete set right away, so just relax. That is something you can work up to if needs be.

How Do I Use Money Friends?

I started using this idea years ago with just a twenty dollar bill. In one of my sessions with Carol Tuttle, many years ago, she recommended I get a high value bill and keep it in my wallet. I wasn’t to spend it, unless I really needed it. It was there for me to KNOW, FEEL be able to say that I HAD MONEY. If I wanted something, I would know that if I really wanted it, I had enough to buy it. When I spent it, I would quickly replace it. I was very faithful about having that twenty or fifty dollar bill at hand. It really did help me be able to start feeling what it was like to HAVE  ENOUGH money. It really did help me change out of that pattern of lack mentality. I switched my thinking to “I always have money.”

Like Carol Tuttle’s recommendation, Kirk has you keep cash in your wallet but just a little more. Now I know some of you may be thinking that is a lot of cash to keep in your wallet, I know I did. I was worried about it getting stolen or lost. I have never had a problem with it and feel more secure having it in there than not.

Other Benefits

Besides the comfort of knowing I always have money, there is another benefit that I love about having some extra cash in my wallet, I always have cash to give to SOMEONE ELSE in need. I have had several opportunities when I saw a need and was able to reach into my wallet and slip someone a few bills, or even a BIG one.  How fun is that? Something I couldn’t have done before.

Another benefit of having a little extra cash on hand, is for those times when your debit card isn’t working or you forgot the checkbook. No need to panic, MONEY FRIENDS to the rescue!
You use the cash and replace it as soon as possible. It becomes like a little game.

money friends

Here are a few little tips:

  • Start with a dollar bill, if that is all the extra cash you have, and build up to a full set as soon as possible.
  • Neatly stack the bills in order and face the same way.
  • Fold the stack in half with the dollar bill on the outside. (That way it won’t be so obvious to those peering into your wallet that you are loaded).
  • Use a paper clip to keep them folded and secure.
  • I like to keep my stash behind my envelope tabs in the back of my wallet. Find a place in your wallet that is separate from all the other cash you have in your wallet. (Hopefully, you are using the cash envelope system)!
  • These guys are your FRIENDS. Touch them, look at them, take care of them. (Don’t just shove them in your wallet somewhere).
  • Use it when needed, then quickly replace it as soon as you can.
  • When you do use your money friends to help someone else, you will be amazed at how fast that money shows up again.

Check out Kirk Duncan’s Audio CD .

Check out all the rest of Kirk Duncan’s audio library here. He is very inspiring.

money friends

Get a paper clip, a few bills and let the magic happen!


Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

Printable Cash Envelope Tabs

Do you know what the Cash Envelope System is?

The envelope system is nothing new, it’s been around for decades. It is a method of keeping track of your money (managing your budget). These cash envelope tabs are the best! Dave Ramsey teaches this method in his training. I LOVE IT!

With the envelope system you use cash for different categories of your budget, and you keep that cash tucked away in envelopes. You can see exactly how much money you have left in a budget category just by taking a quick peek in your envelope. How easy is that?

Well it just became a lot easier.

I used to use actual envelopes and had a separate wallet for my cash. It was bulky, my envelopes wore out quickly, and there was a lot of fumbling around my wallet at the cash register. I got thinking, there has got to be a better way! So I designed these tabs and my life is much better, especially when it comes to spending.

These tabs fit right inside your existing wallet (unless you have a very small wallet). There is no need to have TWO wallets! Who has room for that?

The tabs can be purchased from my Etsy shop already made, but for those of you who like to Do It Yourself, why not just make them yourself? That way you can customize and print out as often as needed.

Where can you get the printable download?

These printable and editable cash envelope tabs are available  in my Etsy shop.

Where do you find a good wallet?

When looking for a suitable wallet, look for one that has a roomy area for a lot of cash. Make sure it is at least 7 1/2 – 8 1/2 inches wide. I like these Mundi wallets. You can find them in most retail stores or here on Amazon.
Check out this post to find out a little more about saving money using the CASH ENVELOPE SYSTEM.
This is a no brainer, easy way to get control of your spending. Download and print as many time as you want.

Let me know how this system is working for you, and if you have any other comments or suggestions regarding budgeting or saving.

Happy Budgeting!