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!





Picture of 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

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!


Picture of 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

The Perfect Cash Envelope Wallet

I found it again, the perfect cash envelope wallet! I am always on the look out for a “GOOD” wallet to use with my cash envelope tabs. I love this system and if you are interested in saving money and getting your finances under control, you will love it too. This is the key in Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover Plan, and it works.

Are you a cash envelope user or want to be, but you can’t seem to find a wallet that works? Or are you still carrying around two wallets in your purse? One for your checkbook, debit card and coins and the other for your envelope system? I don’t know about you, but I don’t have room in my purse for that. It’s all about ONE SYSTEM, ONE WALLET and not overspending! When the money is gone, the money is gone.

This is what I love about my wallet and tabs

● No more bulky paper envelopes, that shred and rip.
● Quick easy access at the checkout. (No more fumbling through your purse finding the right wallet, or zipping through a bunch of separate zipped pouches).
● Saves you money. (You don’t have to buy a separate cash envelope wallet).
● Snap closure
● Includes 12 credit card slots and 2 bill slip pockets
● Exterior features a zippered coin pocket

I get a lot of people asking me where I got my wallet. I have had it for several years. It has held up great, and has plenty of room for everything.

cash envelope wallet

The problem is, is that I couldn’t remember where I got it. I would love to be able to know where to send people or at least give them a link of some kind.  Well, NOW I DO!

The brand is Mundi and this type of wallet is a FILEMASTER. They range anywhere from $25-$40. I found them at the store the other day and bought all they had (which was only a few.) I also found them in a few places online. I am so excited.

If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person, like me, you can get the download to print and cut out your own HERE.

Some of my other posts that relate to the Cash Envelope System can be found here.


Picture of 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

The Latest

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!