Best Cash Envelope Wallet Systems
I firmly believe that moving to a cash envelope system of cash flow planning (budgeting) is one of the smartest financial moves you can make. Once you get the general idea of how it works and decide to make the change, you will need to set up a cash envelope system.
My rule for starting any system is “simplest is best.” Start simple with using plain old small mailing envelopes, then move up when:
- You’ve proven that you can live on a cash envelope system and justify the cost.
- It will make your life easier.
After living on cash envelopes for ten years, here are my criteria when selecting a cash envelope wallet system:
- The wallet needs to accommodate 3-6 cash categories.
- The wallet needs to accommodate all of my “wallet-y” items, including my various cards, checkbook, and coins. The coin storage is really important as many options on etsy don’t have a place for change.
- The wallet needs to be relatively thin. This eliminates most of the 100% handmade cloth options. You DO NOT need the individual envelopes/slots to zip. This adds unnecessary bulk. The wallet just needs some overall closure device to make sure the cash doesn’t fall out.
- The wallet needs to be separate and not attached to a larger purse/handbag.
- The wallet needs to be somewhat affordable (under $100).
Here are the options that fit most, if not all of my cash envelope wallet criteria:
The Dave Ramsey Envelope Systems are the most affordable options (under $25) and they are designed specifically to work with cash envelopes. I’ve used the Deluxe Envelope System for years and these things are sturdy, lasting 3-4 years. I do have to reinforce the sides of the paper envelopes with tape after 6 months or so, but that’s not a big deal.
I have not tried the newer Designer Wallet System pictured above, but I’m itching to get my hands on one. I’m intrigued by the zipper part, though I’m not sure if I could fit my receipts inside without creating a giant mess.
As luck would have it, I have a bunch of these wallets available for sale right now from my coupon class days. You can buy one of the wallets pictured above from me directly:
- Red Designer Wallet — $15 shipped (same wallet sold at DaveRamsey.com for $18.95 + $4.95 shipping)
- Blue/Brown Designer Wallet — $15 shipped (this is an older DR model and no longer available)
- Black Wallet — $15 shipped (does not have coin storage, but has a notepad in the middle; same wallet sold at DaveRamsey.com for $18.95 + $4.95 shipping)
- Refill envelopes — $5 add-on to any wallet purchase
A number of years ago, I picked up a set of Cash Envelopes by Kelleigh Ratzlaff ($30). I absolutely love them, and now they are laminated! My non-laminated envelopes have lasted over five years.
These envelopes fit into the Dave Ramsey Wallet systems or you could put them in your existing wallet (I’m wondering if they will fit into this amazing wallet). Kelleigh has a number of adorable paper options and you can customize the envelope categories to fit your cash flow plan! You can also make your own envelopes by following Kelleigh’s tutorial here.
The Cash Envelope Wallet by AuthenticU ($24.95) is as close to a Dave Ramsey wallet as I could find. The main difference is there aren’t envelopes, but a filing system for your cash. I actually like this as opening and closing envelopes in the checkout line can be tedious, especially if you have to pull bills out of multiple envelopes for one transaction.
This wallet has the same cash filing section and is under $30.
This Men’s Bifold Envelope System Wallet ($29.95) is the best option I could find for men (or women who prefer a simpler option). There isn’t a place for coin storage, but men’s wallets typically don’t.
If you already have a wallet that you love and just need a simple envelope system, this Cash Envelope Book by Jenny Lynn Paper ($18) is perfect. This is also for envelopes that are stored at home.
The Cash Budgeting Purse from The Laughing House ($30.99) is another good option if you don’t need a bunch of room for cards. It does have coin storage and you get the select your fabric.
The Cash Envelope System Wallet by Missie Pie Wallets (starting at $66) is as close to perfect as I could find on etsy. It includes coin storage and the envelopes are solid. Plus, the seller has a ton of 5 star ratings.
This Bella Taylor Cash System Wallets ($35.99) is pretty nice — it has room for all of your cards and coins plus a separate zipped section for your cash categories. I like that you can open part of the wallet without showing the world that you’re carrying a bunch of cash.
This wallet comes in a bunch of patterns.
The Envelope System Wallet Clutch by Mr and Mrs Wallet ($110) breaks some of my rules (zippers + costs a lot + attaches to a larger purse system), but I really like that it has a place for your cell phone and it a great option for those of you who don’t need to carry a suitcase everyday.
This Leather Cash Envelope Wallet by Yesterday’s November ($55) is cool-mo-de. It has seven sections for cash and you can upgrade to have a set of card slots and/or coin storage ($10 extra) added.
Use the code FRUGALLIVING at checkout and get FREE U.S. shipping when you buy the wallet + coin storage upgrade.
Learn more about how to use the cash envelope system in our How to Master Your Budget series HERE.
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