Monday, May 7, 2012

Budgeting Envelopes

Update: Welcome to all of the readers who found this post via Pinterest!  It has been a hugely popular post on my blog!  If you are new to envelope budgeting and are looking for some how-to tips on 1) envelope budgeting  2) how to get started or 3) types of categories to consider, please check out my post (and all similar post links) HERE.  You can also find my series on the "15 changes that save our family over $13,000 per year" HERE.  Enjoy!

A couple years ago, I was introduced to the financial guru Dave Ramsey.  One of Dave's staying on budget tips is to go to cash-only.  When Ben and I first started paying for everything with cash about 1 1/2 years ago, we quickly realized just how much money we had been spending on unnecessary stuff.  At the end of our first cash-only month, we were able to save $300!!!  Why?  Well, since we were more aware of what we were spending, the line between "need" and "want" became much more clear to us.  We were able to refrain from the "need" stuff much better when we had to physically hand over our cash vs. swiping our debit card.  

Over the last 6 months or so, I have seriously slacked in the cash-only department.  One of this weeks goals was to pull out our cash and begin using this system again.  And so, thanks to Pinterest, I found these awesome envelopes!  I pulled out my scrap fabrics and got to sewing today! 

You can find the tutorial for these beauties HERE.  To thicken my envelopes, I just used a layer of decorator fabric (the thick stuff) that I had left over from an apron project.  I also sewed in a ribbon and button to be able to close the above envelope.

 Aren't they great?  I totally love them.  I think I need to make a few more for some of my other categories, but these 5 will help me to start getting more organized and to pay better attention to how much I'm spending at the grocery store.  I used fabric paint to label some of the envelopes, but a blank sticker would work, too (and make it easier to change the envelope's purpose).

Looking for some how-to tips on 1) envelope budgeting  2) how to get started or 3) types of categories to consider?  Check out my post HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!  I'd love to hear your envelope budgeting tips, successes, or challenges!  Share your thoughts below!


  1. This is so what we need!! And I have everything for it. This is my next project! I am frightened to see how much money we spend without realizing it.

  2. It's definitely a wake up call as to how much money you spend without thought.

    When I told Ben that I was making these, he said "don't we still have white envelopes?" haha. These are so much cooler.

  3. I shake my head at that boy and offer a demeaning head pat. Doesn't he WANT you to be as excited as possible to use your cash? PS. I had this conversation with Eli yesterday out of the blue-Eli: mamma, what is the number one reason Pastor Ben decided to leave Hillside and start his own church? ME: God ELI: oh. OK then.

  4. Stumbled onto your blog via Pinterest. Love it! Thanks for posting this idea; I'm just now getting into Dave Ramsey, and I could totally see using these as part of my journey - they're so cute! (And much better than white envelopes...)

    1. Hi Carey! I hope they are helpful to you as you begin! And, yes, so much better than white envelopes. My husband doesn't understand why I love them so much, but then again, I'm the one who does all the money stuff and has to dig through those ugly white envelopes! And, seriously, I've had far too many paper cuts from them! Best of luck to you!



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