At this point you might have already heard of cash envelope templates.
Or rather, the cash envelope method as a whole. It’s a pretty simple way to keep better track of your finances and tracking where each and every one of your dollars go if you want to get THAT technical and specific.
I had been meaning to create a post with a FREE cash envelope template for people who are looking to get a quick start with their cash envelope budgeting. Now, while its true that you can use a plain old envelope to keep your budgeted money in, I find its a lot better to create and personalize my own templates.
This way you’re more invested in keeping up with them and you stick to your cash envelope habits better. Using cash also makes sure that you aren’t spending money that you aren’t seeing or that you don’t have. You are less prone to overspending because of this, which I think is a pretty cool life hack and keeps you disciplined.
These are some of the most popular questions when it comes to creating a cash envelope budgeting system that works for you, your financial needs, and your household.
Read on to find out what the cash envelope system is all about!
What is the cash envelope system?
The cash envelope system is a better visual way to keep track of your budget and not overspend. It makes you use actual cash and separate it into corresponding envelopes. This helps make sure you aren’t tempted to overspend, you set budget boundaries, and you stay with your budget month after month.
How do you organize cash envelopes?
Cash envelopes are organizers in and of themselves. You just need to make sure that you keep them in a safe place where you know you can always get to them easily. Once you print out each envelope and put it together, you want to make sure that you label each envelope with the category that it will be designated to.
Some categories that you might want to use a cash envelope for are:
- Fun money
- Travel Plans
- Electric bill
How do you start a cash envelope system?
If you already have a budget in place. It’s a good idea to start your cash envelope system at the end of your budget cycle. That way you can take inventory of how much cash you have, what you’ll designate to each category, and then start the month from there.
How do you use the cash envelope system?
Once you have an expense come up, all you have to do is take the money out of the designated envelope, write down you much you’re withdrawing, and the new remaining balance.
This is why I included a cash envelope label to go along with the template. So you can either cut it out and glue it to your envelope or print out the simple cash envelope template with the tracking section already attached.
At the end of the budget month all you have to do is take inventory of your cash envelopes, see what you spent on, and see whats left (if anything) to roll it over to your next budgeting cycle (or save that money).
Totally up to you!
Cash Envelope Categories
Lots of people get caught up in their cash envelope categories because they don’t know how to keep them in order.
All you’re really doing is taking the budget you already have, and making them into ‘cash envelopes’ that you can physically put money in so you always know where it’s going.
Remember that its easier to spend money when you aren’t seeing it e.g. through credit and debit cards, which is what makes using a cash envelope template so effective!
For example, if you have a bills category, you’d make an envelope for the electric bill, another one for the water bill, another one for the cell phone bill, and yet another for the mortgage payment.
If you have a car expenses category, you’d make a cash envelope for ‘gas money’ another one for ‘insurance’ money, etc.
It’s about making a system that works for you. There are no hard and fast rules here, as long as you’re using a physical cash envelope to track where your money is going for the month so you can then see where you’re at financially each month, and start over again.
Cash envelopes help you develop more of an accountability mindset, which makes them so darn effective.
How to put together your cash envelopes
This part is pretty straight forward. But it helps to have directions anyway if you aren’t good with templates.
First, you want to make sure you print out your envelope on sturdy card stock so they last you. You don’t want to come up with cash envelopes that are going to fall apart a week into using them.
If you really want to get fancy you can even laminate them for good measure.
First you want to:
- Print out your preferred cash template below
- Then you want to cut them out, as many as you’ll need
- Then you want to make sure you take a glue stick and run it up and down the seams where it says ‘fold and glue’
- Once you fold your cash envelope along the lines, make sure you go the flaps to the opposite square and flatten with a heavy book to make sure it sticks
- Once your glue is dry, you can fold down the flap and start using your cash envelope templates
- Congrats, you made your very own cash envelopes!
Now tell me, what will you use your cash envelope template for? Were these templates helpful to you? Let me know in the comments below!