How to Manage Your Finances Using a Cash Envelope System

Open cash envelope planner with money inside.
Tina Thelen, Photographer for NOTIQ​​

A Cash Envelope System is a great way to budget your money and keep track of your spending habits. If you worry about overspending or need a clear visual of the flow of your money, this system is a great option for managing your finances. 


The idea is to set aside paper cash for your expenses and savings into separate physical envelopes. This way you can clearly see how much money you are setting aside and how much you are actually spending. This system is great for a myriad of reasons, like keeping expense money separate from lifestyle money or limiting impulsive purchases.


For example, if you know you have rent or utilities due next month, take out the exact amount in cash and keep it in its designated envelope. That way you don’t accidentally spend it and can rest assured that your bills are covered. Another example of using this system includes saving up for personal goals like a vacation or starting an emergency fund. Think of it as the more sophisticated version of a piggy bank.

Two black vegan leather croco finance books.
Tina Thelen, Photographer for NOTIQ​​

Interested in trying out a cash envelope system? Here are some helpful tips and ideas to help you get started:

  • Label each envelope with the name of the expense or goal

  • Only spend what is in each envelope and do not tempt yourself by reaching into your bank account for more

  • Keep an envelope for spare change- it adds up!

  • Reward yourself for sticking to your budget by having a ‘Reward’ envelope. Keep inside a pair of prepaid movie tickets or gift cards

  • Start an envelope system for your children’s allowances. This is a great way to teach them how to manage their money

  • Use clear plastic envelopes instead of paper to prevent your cash from getting damaged

  • Keep your envelopes in an elegant wallet cover to encourage you to use them

  • Use a budget planner insert to record numbers

Have you tried a cash envelope system before? If not, what type of budget system do you use?

 NOTIQ creates stunning budget system books and wallet covers to help you get started with your new cash envelope system. 


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