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Discover how easy it is to set up your own cash envelope system. Download and print all of these free printable cash envelopes.
Have you heard of the cash envelope system? It’s a fantastic way to budget that completely transformed my family’s finances.
What Is The Cash Envelope System
The cash envelope system is a way to take control of your spending habits. It’s so easy to overspend when you use a credit or debit card. All it takes is a swipe and the money disappears without you seeing it.
The best way to control how much you spend and stay within your budget is to put a specific amount of cash in each envelope and only spend that much each month. You see how much you have left to spend and make smarter decisions.
Here’s how the cash envelope system works.
Go through your budget and decide how much you are going to spend in each category. Then, put that much cash in each envelope.
You can also use this method to save up for future expenses, too (read more about saving money with sinking funds).
If this sounds easy, that’s because it is easy! Now all you need are the envelopes.
Sure, you can use letter envelopes, but if you want something fun, use these free printable cash envelopes. They are all free to download and will help you keep everything sorted.
Free Printable Cash Envelopes
I have some free printable cash envelopes for you that are already created with the best categories. All you have to do is print them out and start using them.
To get your FREE cash envelopes sent straight to your inbox, sign up for my FREE Budgeting Basics Email Course below. Simply print them at home on cardstock and start using them today!
Not only will you receive printable cash envelopes, but you’ll get access to my Free Resource Library where you’ll find other budgeting and finance printables.
10 Creative Cash Envelope Prints
Creative Cajun Mama has 10 super cute prints to choose from. To save you ink, she even made the transparency lighter.
When you download these envelopes, you just have to fold them and then fill them with your cash. I love the tracking area on the front so you can see where all your money went.
Colorful Cash Envelopes
The best thing about these cash envelopes from Somewhat Simple is their bold and bright colors. You can use the colors to coordinate with categories in your budget.
Do you want your cash envelopes to have classy and glamorous print? These from Thinking Closet are so fun! They will use a ton of ink, so print them out at your local office supply store instead.
Horizontal Or Vertical Envelopes
Choose your layout when you print envelopes from My Stay At Home Adventures. They also come in a variety of fresh prints so your envelope system is cheery and fun!
Strawberry Lemonade Prints
Pink and yellow go perfectly together, don’t they? This set of envelopes from Food Life Design even has a register on the front so you can track your transactions.
Floral Cash Envelopes
Are you someone who loves flowers? Then download these pretty envelopes from The Housewife Modern. They are so chic and lovely.
Simple Cash Envelopes
These simple and clean cash envelopes from True Bliss Design are budget-friendly because they don’t use much ink. They are also really easy to read, they are some of my favorite ones in this list.
10 Categories of Envelopes
This batch of printable cash envelopes from Sheri Graham comes with 10 pre-made categories on them. This is a really fantastic idea if you are having a tough time deciding which categories to use.
Large Text Labels
If you are looking for something basic and easy to use, these envelopes from the Queen of Free are perfect. They come in the popular categories and are easy to read.
Blank Cash Envelope Template
Sometimes, the most simple designs are truly the best ones. These envelopes from Maple Planners are not pre-labled, so you can write in whatever category you want.
Trackable Expenses on Cash Envelopes
These vertical cash envelopes from Live Rich Spend Simply are the ideal envelopes if you want to avoid flashy designs. They are simple, easy to customize, and even easier to use.
Printable Envelope Tracker
Instead of printing, cutting, folding, and gluing, Carrie Elle created a printable label that you can glue to regular envelopes. This turns normal letter envelopes into cash envelopes with an easy-to-use register on the front.
Tips For Using Cash Envelopes
If you are new to cash envelope budgeting, start with my cash envelope guide. It will answer all of your questions.
Here are a few of my favorite must-know tips that will help you get the most out of your new cash envelopes.
How Often To Withdraw Cash
You should withdraw cash and fill up the envelopes every time you are paid.
This is because the envelopes go right along with your budget. How often does your budget refresh? If you budge once-a-month, even if you are paid bi-weekly, fill up your envelopes once a month.
Use Envelopes For Impulse-Buy Categories
Handling the cash and seeing how much money you have left in your categories is the biggest benefit of this system.
You don’t have to use cash to pay for every single thing. Instead, use this as a way to control impulse buys. It’s perfect for things like clothes shopping, beauty shopping, entertainment, and even gas.
Shop Online With Cash Envelopes
These days it is so much easier to shop online for everything, even groceries. How do you shop online with cash envelopes?
This is what I suggest. Create an “online shopping” envelope. It should be empty at the start of the month.
Then, fill all your envelopes with cash like you normally would. When you buy groceries online, (for example) move the cash you spent from the grocery envelope to the “online shopping” envelope.
You can either choose to take the online shopping envelope back to the bank or you can keep that cash on-hand and use it next month to fill up the next round of envelopes.
Use Cash Envelopes For Things You Can Pay For With Cash
Some people actually section their budgets into two categories – online payments and cash payments.
There are some bills that will give you a discount for paying online (and it’s just easier to do it that way too). Keep those things in your budget, just don’t put them in cash envelopes.
The cash envelopes should be for eating out, buying clothes, groceries, and other things that are really easy to overspend on.
What To Do If You Run Out of Money
Unless you are a psychic, it’s pretty darned tough to predict exactly how much cash you need each month for each category.
Running out of cash happens to the best of us – yes, even my family. When you run out of cash, you realize that either you didn’t plan for enough in your budget or you need to spend less.
I challenge you to use those times when you run out of cash as a lesson. Don’t just grab money from another envelope. Put things back and go without, if you can.
Then, next month, add more cash to the envelope or make a plan for how you are going to spend less.
Give Spouses Their Own Envelopes
I think it’s best if each spouse has their own “fun money” envelope. Unless you somehow spend every single second together, each person needs the freedom to be able to spend cash when they are apart.
This will help each person in the relationship control their spending. For example, my husband and I have $50 “allowance” each month.
Want to really make this system work with a spouse? Check out my guide about how to use cash envelopes with a spouse.
If this is your first time using cash to spend, start with just two cash envelopes. It can be tough to keep track of 10 different envelopes all at once if you aren’t used to it.
The more comfortable you become using this system, start adding more and more categories to it. Look at other places that you want to cut back and save in and make those cash-only. You’ll see the rewards!
Cash Envelopes Help You Budget
The best thing about these cash envelopes is that they enhance your budget.
If you are just starting out with a new budget, I’ve got the perfect guide for you. Head on over to The Easiest Way To Write A Budget to learn how to write a budget that actually makes sense!
Sign Up For FREE Cash Envelopes
I have a bunch of free printable cash envelopes just for you! Not only are they envelopes, but they have inspirational quotes on them that will motivate you to keep saving.
Snag these freebies by signing up for the Budgeting Basics Email Course below. The course also includes information on how to budget, save money, and pay off debt. This awesome freebie also includes access to my ENTIRE LIBRARY of free resources (seriously, you’ll love it).