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 Make A Super Easy Custom Cash Envelope System!
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7577 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7577 Posts

Posted - Jan 04 2015 :  3:52:26 PM  Show Profile
Hi girls!

I’m just so exited – I have to share! More than ever, this year my husband and I are committed to using only cash for our purchases. We have faithfully used the Dave Ramsey system over the past couple of years, which really has helped us get out of debt and get our spending under control. But when we keep hearing about all these credit card system hacks (and having been victims of a couple of them!), we’re going “green.” Bills will be paid online, and we do have a few things we purchase with our debit card or checks, but other than those, cash is keen for all our other purchases. That being the case, I have been going crazy trying to find a really good budget cash envelope wallet/system, but nothing online really suited my needs. I have a Dave Ramsey wallet kind of thing, but it just doesn’t have enough pockets. I like the idea of the fabric wallets, but, again, there weren’t enough pockets, and the zippers make them really bulky. I also found another zip-around kind of wallet, but STILL not enough pockets, and it looked so plastic to me (not to mention previous buyers were complaining about the smell!). And to be honest, I really LIKE my personal wallet – I really only needed something with lots of envelopes with which to allocate and organize our spending cash. I finally found this really neat system on Etsy, but the lady was charging anywhere from $35 - $40 for it, and I just couldn’t bring myself to spend that kind of money for something made pretty much out of paper. After studying it a little bit, I realized that I had all the components and tools here at home to make it myself! A couple of hours later – Voila! The PERFECT envelope system for us! (If you’d like to make one, but don't have a Cinch tool, you can still make this system, and even more simply than I did. I’ll explain below.)

First, I made the envelopes. I used this free download http://kelleighratzlaff.com/featured/free-envelope-template-and-a-tutorial/ and printed the template onto white 8 ½ x 11 heavy cardstock, which I always keep on hand. I cut out several envelope forms, glued the bottom and sides accordingly, then printed out labels for the different budget categories I needed, and centered them (somewhat) on the upper flaps of each envelope. If you don’t want to go to all that trouble, you can definitely use regular letter envelopes. I just wanted the heavy cardstock, figuring it would be more durable and last longer. Next, I used the Cash Envelope Register Template on this page: http://www.dimplicity.com/2012/12/cash-envelope-system-printable.html to create a ledger sheet to place inside each envelope, in order to help track our spending. (I could have made my own with more appropriate wording, but this one works just fine!)

For the front and back covers, I cut out cardboard that came with my Cinch machine to fit approximately ¼ inch larger than the envelopes on all sides. Then I covered the cardboard with some scrapbook paper I had on hand, and used black cardstock to cover the insides of each cover. If you prefer, you can just use heavy duty cardstock or a cardstock decorative paper to make your covers. Again, I just wanted something heavy duty.

Once all the envelopes and covers were ready, I centered them on the Cinch and punched the holes. The covers were larger than the envelopes, but I didn’t think it was important to run the binding wire all the way down their length. Once everything was punched, I put all the envelopes in alphabetical order (You can put them in any order you want!) then used a 1 ½” wire to bind the whole system. Have no fear! If you do not have a Cinch machine, you could definitely punch holes in your cover and envelopes, then use a 1” binder clip rings or ribbon to hold yours together.

Finally, I tied a ribbon to the 6th ring on the binding then tied both ends around to secure the whole thing!

When all was said and done, I am sure my envelope system took me less than two hours to make, and didn’t even cost me $4 (probably closer to $3), including cardstock, decorative paper, cardboard, adhesive, binding and ribbon (based on prices online – as I said, I already had everything I needed here in my craft stash). Here's the finished product:

















I am THRILLED with my new envelope system! Woo hoo!! If I can figure out how to add a secure place for my driver’s license, as well as a few slots for my debit card, health insurance card and a few gift cards, and a place for my checkbook, I just may make this my new wallet!

Yay creativity! Yay making do with what you have! Yay getting exactly what you want by SAVING MONEY and doing it yourself!!!

Happy, Happy Day!

Hugs -

Nini


Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!


Edited by - Ninibini on Jan 04 2015 4:04:59 PM

YellowRose
True Blue Farmgirl

6055 Posts

Sara
Paris TX
USA
6055 Posts

Posted - Jan 04 2015 :  4:00:02 PM  Show Profile
Nini, I'm impressed. Well Done.

Sara
Walk in Peace - Live with Joy
FarmGirl Sister #6034 Aug 25, 2014
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7577 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7577 Posts

Posted - Jan 04 2015 :  4:06:18 PM  Show Profile
Thanks, Sara! It was soooo easy! I think I might make some as gifts this year! :) Hugs - Nini

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

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Calicogirl
True Blue Farmgirl

5216 Posts

Sharon
Bruce Crossing Michigan
USA
5216 Posts

Posted - Jan 04 2015 :  5:05:26 PM  Show Profile
Nini, that is wonderful! We haven't delved into Dave Ramsey's system yet but are looking forward to it this year. I don't think that I could make that envelope system though, I am not much of a paper crafter.

Farmgirl Sister #5392

By His Grace, For His Glory
~Sharon

http://amerryheartjournal.blogspot.com/
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7577 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7577 Posts

Posted - Jan 06 2015 :  3:27:56 PM  Show Profile
Tell you what, Sharon - just let me know when you start and I'll make you one! My gift to help you on your way! It's so worth it, just you wait and see! :) Hugs - Nini

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

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danyel
True Blue Farmgirl

349 Posts

Danyel
Robertsdale PA
USA
349 Posts

Posted - Jan 08 2015 :  10:32:31 AM  Show Profile
Nini, thank you for sharing, after another one of our local stores had there system hacked after Christmas I decided to try to go to using cash only. I really like your idea and will give it a try! I also pay as many bills by computer but now I am not to sure that the way to go as I thought I was just updating a system file and ended up with viruses. I just cannot understand why people set around dreaming up ways to steal. I don't even want to carry a debit or credit card any more because of the rise in scanning them. Your envelope system looks a lot nicer then any idea I have had yet.

Danyel
farmgirl sister 4202
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7577 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7577 Posts

Posted - Jan 08 2015 :  12:00:00 PM  Show Profile
You know, Danyel... I'm with you. If these thieves spent half the time that they do on figuring out how to steal on how to use their creativity and talents to MAKE money instead, I bet they'd be incredible businessmen and women, and make even more money that way! And LEGALLY!

I don't like using the internet to pay our bills, either; but I rarely pay using a card at the provider's website anymore. I feel much more secure about scheduling and paying them directly online through our bank. At least they are a direct wire from account to account. Having said that, though, even opening my bank information online bugs me. Who knows who is really watching? Not that we have much <they'd probably have a good laugh, actually>; but I sure don't want anyone accessing my accounts and personal information!

And to be honest, I'm even leery of carrying cash! If you think about it, when a thief steals your wallet, the cash is gone - forever. There is no recovery. But when your cards are stolen, at least there are some safeties in place to replace any loss due to fraudulent use. And cards can be canceled the minute you report them lost or stolen, so at least their use can be somewhat curtailed, if not prevented all together.

Thing is, though, credit and plastic are truly slippery slopes. They're so easy to use. You're not feeling the pain or wincing as you would if it were cold hard cash passing through your grip. Using cash really does make me think my purchases through a lot harder than I would if I just popped out a pretty piece of plastic. Even using a debit card gives you that false sense that a purchase isn't going to hurt, but at least then it's coming directly out of available funds and not adding any interest and fees along the way. And what if the power goes out for a few days? If you don't have cash on hand... you're sorely out of luck if you need milk and toilet paper!

All things considered, what makes the most sense to give us financial peace of mind is this: cash on hand allocated for daily and regular expenses that we incur between pay periods, money in checking for bills and emergencies (with a debit card and single duplicate check at the ready in the wallet!), and money in savings for future needs as well as big emergencies. And we try to live by the motto, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." By so doing, not only do we become less wasteful, we are also forced to really to tap into and express our creativity! It's kind of fun, actually! I love it! :)

Hugs -

Nini

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

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nubidane
True Blue Farmgirl

2743 Posts

Lisa
Georgetown OH
2743 Posts

Posted - Jan 08 2015 :  12:34:28 PM  Show Profile
Zander Insurance Fraud Protection.
Covers all accts, identity theft, social security fraud + much more. $145 for a family per year. $12 a month for piece of mind.
Those are SOO cute Nini!
I could never do that.


"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” – R.R.
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7577 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7577 Posts

Posted - Jan 09 2015 :  08:15:10 AM  Show Profile
I will have to check that out, Lisa! Thanks for letting us know! :) And you KNOW I will GLADLY make you one, if you'd like! I'd be happy to!

Girls - if any of you would like me to make you one, please just email me. Not a problem at all! But honest, they're super easy to make! You'd be so surprised! Don't hesitate to give it a try! :)

Hugs -

Nini

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

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rough start farmgirl
True Blue Farmgirl

3331 Posts

marianne
The Beautiful Pacific NW Washington State
USA
3331 Posts

Posted - Jan 21 2015 :  3:13:18 PM  Show Profile
Nini, that is so pretty. You should proudly carry it as your wallet. I have had some success in sewing freezer bags into sections. Maybe you could attach one to your ring and use it for your ID. Your system looks secure for everyday use! And congratulations on making a change in your finances and taking control of your future. You did the hard work, you'll enjoy the benefits for the rest of your life.

Marianne
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7577 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7577 Posts

Posted - Jan 22 2015 :  11:46:06 AM  Show Profile
Thanks, Marianne! On all counts! It was SO worth the effort - you're absolutely right!

I'm still trying to figure out what to do about my ID... I like your idea, but am just not sure that the freezer bag would survive my purse! It's a hot mess jungle in there! LOL! I was thinking about making some sort of credit-card type compartment on the inside of one of the covers, but, again, I have to find some seriously sturdy material to make it last. Maybe covered cardboard from a cereal box would work.... And I can make a little frame out of cardboard and cover it with paper, too, to make a special slot on front for my driver's license. That might be neat, if I can ensure it will stay secure!

Hugs -

Nini


Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

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TexasGran
True Blue Farmgirl

4894 Posts

Marilyn
Stephenville Texas
USA
4894 Posts

Posted - Jun 02 2015 :  6:59:41 PM  Show Profile
I am not familiar with the Ramsey method. What labels did you use on your envelopes?

TexasGran
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levisgrammy
True Blue Farmgirl

8403 Posts

Denise
Beavercreek Ohio
USA
8403 Posts

Posted - Jun 03 2015 :  12:49:36 PM  Show Profile
Nini, That is an awesome system. We do cash too but I have never figured out how to organize it all. You are very creative.

~Denise~
Farmgirl Sister #43

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105

http://www.ladybugsandlilacs.blogspot.com/
http://www.torisgram.etsy.com
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7577 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7577 Posts

Posted - Jun 03 2015 :  12:58:10 PM  Show Profile
Hi girls!

Marilyn, we just label the envelopes according to which expenses we prefer to pay with cash, like "Groceries," "Gas & Oil," "Miscellaneous Expense" (for newspapers, etc.). Whatever budgeting system you use, even if it's one of your own creation, this helps you separate your funds so you don't overspend. It hurts a lot more to spend cash than to pay with a check or credit card, so any time we can make purchases with cash works for us! The harder it is to part with the green, the easier it is not to spend, and, therefore, save!!! :) Let me know if I can help you with anything. If you visit DaveRamsey.com, you will find a free budget planner to help you get started. His system is very helpful for us, to be sure!

Denise! If you'd like me to make one for you, I'd be happy to do that! I can make one for anyone who wants one! Not a problem at all! Just email me with your address, let me know how many envelopes you'd like inside, and I'll start working on them asap! :) REALLY! Just please bear with me - my son's graduating next week... It might take me a little longer than usual to make them due to time constraints, that's all! :)

Hugs -

Nini

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

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levisgrammy
True Blue Farmgirl

8403 Posts

Denise
Beavercreek Ohio
USA
8403 Posts

Posted - Jun 04 2015 :  5:42:49 PM  Show Profile
Nini,
I was thinking maybe you could attach something like one of those luggage tags to the inside or a photo pocket to hold your ID.

~Denise~
Farmgirl Sister #43

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105

http://www.ladybugsandlilacs.blogspot.com/
http://www.torisgram.etsy.com
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ceridwen
True Blue Farmgirl

844 Posts

Carole
New York
USA
844 Posts

Posted - Jun 05 2015 :  07:49:42 AM  Show Profile
Nini, love your system. It sure makes a lot of sense. I too have started paying cash for most things. For one thing, it is much easier on small business. They pay lots of fees every time a customer uses a credit or debit card. But mainly because it makes me conscious of what I'm spending.

Thank you for sharing your system.

Carole
Farmgirl Sister 3610 - Nov 7/2011
http://www.carolesquiltingetc.com
http://www.fibrejunction.com
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7577 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7577 Posts

Posted - Jun 06 2015 :  07:07:25 AM  Show Profile
I love that idea, Denise!!! I will have to see what I can do! COOL! Thank you!

Thanks, Carole! I'm glad you like it! I just had to try making one myself! The whole point is frugality and saving money, after all! :) I'd be happy to make one for you, too, if you'd like one! :)

I think the best thing about an envelope system is that once you start, you spend a lot less (you'd be amazed!), and then suddenly one day, you find money in there you've completely forgotten about! 'Feels like winning the lottery! :)

Have a great day, girls!

Hugs -

Nini





Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

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