Cash Envelope Budgeting With A FREE Budgeting Download
I get so many questions about how we do the Cash Envelope Budgeting Method, and what all we do for our family budgeting system. So, I am writing this post to help answer those questions and share our simple budgeting system. I hope this helps some other people struggling to find a budgeting method that works for them!
The Cash System Wallet has seriously been a GAME CHANGER for us with our Cash Envelope Budgeting method! I am going to chat about our simple budgeting system and everything we do first, then I will tell you all about this wallet and why it has been a huge bonus for us! PLUS GIVE YOU A 15% OFF COUPON CODE FOR the wallet!!!
BRIEF BACK STORY
About a year in a half ago we decided to do something drastic!!! I woke up one morning and had this grand idea … I get crazy big ideas often … haha. I called my husband, Ryan, and asked him if we could sell our house and downsize houses … plus sell his truck and buy him a cheap car in cash. I wanted to use the equity we had to pay everything else off and lower our mortgage. I wanted to work toward getting our house completely paid off and saving up for our dreams … lots of land and a farmhouse!
“IF YOU LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE, LATER YOU CAN LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE” – Dave Ramsey
He originally said NO WAY, but by that night he was on board. The next day I took pictures of our house, posted it on Facebook marketplace, and within a month or two we sold our house!! Side Note – we have sold three houses on our own on Facebook Marketplace … maybe that is a post for another day!!
We paid everything off except our house. We were so stinking excited! We had zero debt except our mortgage, and we were planning to start paying way more toward our new lower mortgage to get it paid off as quickly as we could.
BUT THEN … We should of had a better game plan going into it all. We should of set a budget and stuck with it, but we didn’t. One year later we had credit card debt again, from not paying attention to what we were spending our money on.
We had a budgeting date (and have had many since then) and figured out a system that would work for us! We tried the apps and other programs with no success at sticking to them. So we sat down and brainstormed what would work well for us. That is when we landed on doing the Cash Envelope Budgeting Method with our Excel File Budgeting System we were already using.
CASH ENVELOPE BUDGETING METHOD WITH OUR EXCEL BUDGETING SYSTEM
Here is what we do now that is working so stinking well for us.
The night before the 1st and the 15th we sit down with our computer and our Excel file and budget out the next two weeks. We have had the most success by doing it twice a month instead of the entire month all at once! It is also easier for carrying the cash around with the cash envelope budgeting method.
Ryan made a mock version of our Excel File for you all to download and edit to fit your personal budgeting needs! Not good with Excel?!?!? Me either!!!! You can download this and print, then write everything out if that is what you need to do to make it work for you.
I just threw some random numbers in real quick to give you a visual idea of what we do.
OUR BUDGETING SYSTEM STEPS
- We have all bills and tithing scheduled to come out automatically the first half and second half of the month. We try to split them equally. But it definitely isn’t perfect. We have way more cash flow the second half of the month (so this is when we schedule our debt pay off portion).
- We input our income for that two weeks we are about to budget for (we set our budget dates according to when we get paid). If you have an unusual or not consistent pay schedule I am going to cover that at the bottom!
- So after all bills are deducted out we see what we have left to spend. We then budget our cash items for our cash envelope budgeting like groceries, gas, clothing, toiletries, kids, activities, eating out, giving, other, school, and anything else we may need to pay for. We add up the cash portion so we know exactly what amount to get out.
- I go to the bank on the first and the 15th (if it falls on a Sunday we try not to spend anything that Sunday or use extra left over cash) to pull out the exact amount of cash we need.
- Then we divide the cash out into the sections in our ‘The Cash System Wallet’. I don’t always have enough sections for everything. So for things like paying for Mother’s Day Out, or other set expenses we are paying in cash, I fold a piece of paper over the amount of cash … write what it is for … and put all of those bundles in the back of my wallet.
- I give Ryan his gas money and if he needed spending money that month. The rest we keep in our one Cash Wallet because I do most of the shopping and spending. If he is going to get the groceries he just takes money out of the wallet from the grocery section and puts the left over money back in.
PAYING OFF DEBT WITH THE CASH ENVELOPE METHOD
We have a separate Excel File with our debts in order from smallest to largest (our house). We do the Dave Ramsey Snowball Method here. So we put all extra money (after you have $1000 in savings for a rainy day fund) toward the smallest debt (not including paying the minimum bills on the others that comes out of the bills section we chatted about in number one above).
We budget for debt payoff in the second half of our month. So after budgeting everything else we see what is left and that money goes toward the debt. If we sell anything or don’t spend all of our cash by the end of the month that extra money also goes toward the debts.
A FEW FAQ’S ABOUT THE CASH ENVELOPE BUDGETING METHOD
- What do you do if you want to use discount cards … like the Target Red Card … to save money? – For us it was way easier to not worry about that small savings the first few months while we got in the hang of this new system and worked out any kinks. Now we will occassionally use our discount debit card at Target and then add the cash back into the bank.
- What do you do for gas if you don’t want to get the kiddos out and go in to pay cash? – I just get gas when the little kiddos are not with me or when the 15 year old is in the car to stay with them. Another option is take your cash you budgeted with and buy a gas card for the gas station you use the most.
- What happens when you spent more than you budgeted in a section? – This will probably happen a few times until you get the hang of it and a handle on your spending. This is why we now have an Other Cash Section … we ended up having random things that would come up that we didn’t budget for … like school field trips or other random things. ALSO, I pull from one category to cover another occasionally as needed.
- I am terrified I will loose the money! – This is why I love this wallet … it is way easier for me to keep track of than envelopes where. Also I add my keys to the zipper in the back of this wallet. This helps me really focus on not loosing the wallet.
- What do you do with all of the left over change? Do you add the change back into the sections of the category? – I just add it to the change part of the wallet and use it as needed.
- What do you do if you don’t get paid regularly or you have a weird pay schedule? – I would try really hard to save up one months income … if you can, and then use that to budget for the next month. During that month save up all the income into a savings and then use that on the following month … and so on and so forth. If that is not an option yet … you could maybe just budget a few days at a time or a week at a time … whatever you can make work for your pay schedule.
TIP: It will take some adjusting to, modifying to what works for you, and working out kinks … Just keep going and it gets easier.
I get asked a lot if we followed the Dave Ramsey system or any system, and we personally did not follow a full system. We took parts of what would work for us and implemented them. I am by no means an expert on budgeting and paying off debt. Just wanted to share what is working really well for us … in hopes that it can work well for someone else.
THE CASH SYSTEM WALLET
I personally have the Bella Taylor Cash System Wallet and we have absolutely loved this wallet for the cash envelope budgeting method! It’s a regular wallet on the front with accordion style cash envelopes on the back! I reached out the them and they were crazy generous to give you guys a discount code for 15% OFF that ends JANUARY 31ST. The Code is ourfarmhousedream15 !!!