Let’s face it, sticking to your budget can be hard. You have all these plans to be careful and not overspend, but then real life happens and you accidentally go over your limit again. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to make yourself stick to your budget? There is!
The Envelope Budgeting System
The Envelope System prevents you from overspending. It is a really easy system to implement. The way it works is you get cash out of the bank the next time you get paid. You place the cash in a couple different envelopes in amounts you plan to spend per budget category. Then, when you go to the store, you only pay with cash. You bring the preloaded cash envelope in your purse and only spend what is in it.
3 Easy Steps to the Envelope System with Free Printable
- Decide How Much You Will Spend in Each Category. For this step, you decide in advance how much you will allow yourself to spend each week. You can use my free printable cash envelopes and fill in the weekly limit at the top of the envelope. Also, add the budget category to the FREE printable envelopes. Common categories are groceries, clothes, supplies, and entertainment.
- Withdraw Cash When You Get Paid. When you get your next paycheck, simply withdraw the amount of cash from the bank that you need for the envelopes. Leave the cash for your mortgage and utilities and similar items in the bank. Only take cash out for things like shopping. Then place the correct amount for the week in each envelope.
- When You Go Shopping Only Bring Your Cash Envelope. Don’t bring your credit cards. Don’t bring your debit card. Just tuck your cash envelope in your purse and off you go. When you buy groceries, clothes, or other items that you have cash envelopes for, you will only be able to spend what is in the envelope. Thus, you will not be able to overspend.
The Envelope Method requires to you to use a little bit of discipline. You can only spend the grocery money on groceries, etc. You can’t take money out of one envelope and put it in a different envelope. You also can’t go to the bank and get more money to put in the envelope. Using cash envelopes will help you stick your budget and force you to stop overspending in certain categories.
Variations on the Envelope Method
There are 2 other ways that the Envelope Method can be implemented.
- Cashless Envelope System. In this method, you have to have a little more discipline because instead of cash, you use your debit card or checkbook. You only spend what is listed on the Cashless Envelope Card (also included in the printable). There is one for each category, but it is a card instead of an envelope. You bring the card to the store and use it as a guide to limit and track your spending. It helps to bring a calculator to the store so you don’t have to guess whether or not you went over.
- Electronic Envelope System. This system is pretty new. I just recently found out about it, but it sounds amazing. You set up an account with the Bank on this website. Then you download their app called ProActive Budget and set up your envelope categories. Then you transfer the money into the bank account and they provide you with a special debit card. The card is programmed to only allow you to spend what is in your envelope category. In order to change the limit, you have to go into the app and authorize it. The service comes with a small monthly fee, but their website offers plenty of testimonials from people who have tried it. It’s a great idea and you can get $5 off your subscription by entering the code MOMMA$ when you first sign up.
Other Uses For the Cash Envelopes
You can also set up an envelope for saving. If you want to set aside a few dollars every now and then, the envelope system can help. Just use one of the envelopes to put your savings in as you go. Or you can set up an envelope to save up for vacation or some other event like Christmas.
Take the Challenge
I challenge you to try out the envelope method and see if it helps you to stick to your budget. If you don’t have a budget, click here to set one up.
Below is a FREE set of envelope templates that will get you started. Typical categories are Groceries, Eating Out, Clothes – Adults, Clothes – Kids, Babysitter, Entertainment, Birthdays, Holidays, Car Repairs & Maintenance, Toiletries, Cosmetics & Haircare. There are also some Cashless Envelope Cards in case you want to try that version.
If you need help setting up a budget first, go here.
Get Your Free Cash Envelope System Today!
7 Page Workbook, 5 Stylish Cash Envelope Templates, 1 Cashless Template, and Easy to Follow Instructions. Made for You by a Professional Accountant, Entrepreneur, and University Instructor.