A couple of years ago when I started getting serious about money, I read a few personal finance books. One of my favorites was The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. He had some very basic ideas about money that I agreed with, and I have tried to follow his baby steps to become financially secure.
One of the things that Dave talks about that made a lot of sense to me was paying for things with cash. Specifically, he advocates for an envelope system, with each envelope for a different budget item: food, transportation, haircuts, kids clothes, etc. You put cash in the envelopes on payday, and when you’re spending the money, it’s gone when it’s gone. It’s an easy budgeting hack, and it mitigates the need for credit cards.
I’ve been doing this sort of half heartedly, and it never really worked for me. (Surprise.) But yesterday, I got motivated to finally put together a serious envelope system that would be easy to use, easy to carry, and keep me on track with my budget and financial goals.
So what you’ve been waiting for, pictures of my brand new, fancy schmancy envelope system:
I am so happy with how it turned out! I printed out these templates onto plain white cardstock, folded and taped them into envelopes, and then bound them with a machine at work. (The labels are from the same link as the envelope template. Super helpful!)
I only have a few categories, but now I can keep them straight. It’s so much easier than trying to remember why I was saving that random $20 in my wallet!
It’s thin too so it doesn’t take up a lot of room in my bag. Win/win/win!
Do you have any easy tips or tricks for staying on budget? Do you use a cash-based system? Share!