There are so many different budgets you can use to try and save your money. I have tried several, but the one that stuck and worked for me was Dave Ramsey’s cash envelope method. Maybe you are trying to get out of debt or saving for your upcoming vacation, whatever your reasons for saving may be, everyone can use some help in controlling their spending. Many people think that using cash is not a great way to help you save money, but contrary to what many people think, it is one of the best ways to do so.
The cash envelope method is a fantastic way to help you save some money! If you don’t follow Dave Ramsey, please do! He has a lot of valuable information to share and actually says using cash is an important method to control your spending. This system he talks about will help you think more about what you spend.
I know many people who think that having cash on hand will encourage them to spend more money, but that simply is not true. In my opinion, the reason people fail on cash budgeting is simply due to lack of tracking what they are spending. With cash in hand you can spend more wisely. A cash budget allows you to understand what you must spend as oppose to what you want to spend.
For example, let’s say you only allot yourself $300.00 for groceries and that is supposed to last you a few weeks. Having only that much money on hand to spend will force you to think twice about what you are spending your money on as oppose to just freely spending and then overspending on things you do not really need. Why? Well, as we all know, with cash once it is gone – it is gone, right?!
The cash envelope method is pretty simple. I ordered my envelopes from Amazon, an assorted pack of 12 for $12.98. A ledger also comes with it so you can track your cash spending – which is key! Here is the link.
With each envelope you can categorize your spending how you want. The way I categorize my cash envelopes are as follows:
- Vacation Savings
- Random Spending (this can include nails, hair etc.)
- Dining Out
You may label and categorize your envelopes whichever way suits you and add as many or few as you’d like. You may also notice that I do not use cash envelopes for my bills etc. I do this method simply for myself and personal things that I like to do so it doesn’t affect my monthly bills, but you may do it for your bills if you choose. Again, these are just the areas I tend to focus on.
Once you have your envelopes categorized and labeled you then need to figure out how much cash you will need for each one. To do this you will need to figure the amount based on your pay period. For example, if you are paid bi-weekly and let’s say you are budgeting for groceries then you will take the total monthly amount for groceries and divide it by two.
Always remember it is important to have a budget that works for you and is doable! You will then go over each of your categories and figure up the amount you will need for each one. Once that is completed, figure out the denominations needed and write that on a piece of paper and take that with you to your bank to withdraw the cash to start putting in your envelopes.
The only way this method will work is if you keep track of your spending – this is important! This will help you stay on track. If you do not keep track of what you are spending, then this method will not work for you! Remember once the cash is gone – you are done spending money! This system works because it holds you accountable and you are in control of what you are spending.
I only have a few envelopes that I have started with and it has really worked for me. There is a quote that I have written down by Dave Ramsey as a reminder, and I would like to share it with y’all; “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went”. Spend wisely, friends!