Using an all-cash budgeting system is a great way to avoid overspending and track expenses easier. However, having a pile of stray envelopes circulating the bottom of your purse isn’t exactly how you envisioned it working out, right? This is where a handy cash envelope wallet comes in to keep everything in place and easily managed.
What is a cash envelope wallet?
Cash envelope wallets are small binders or wallets to which you can divvy up your cash into different envelopes. They snap or zip-up, providing security to your cash, and often have slots and spaces for other items, such as your license and other ID.
Most cash envelope wallets come with envelopes, stickers or labels, and even budget sheets so you can write down what you spend throughout your day. They’re a great way to keep your cash envelopes together in one spot, so you aren’t caught without the right one when you need it.
Plus, they often come with added benefits, like being waterproof and RFID blocking if you choose to store any additional cards in it.
What are the benefits of using a cash envelope wallet system?
There are a lot of different ways that a cash-only budgeting system can benefit you:
- It’s easier to track expenses. Every time you make a purchase, you can write down your spending on the budget sheet. It’s a great way to know where your cash is going and analyze your spending later to see where you can make improvements.
- It’s harder to overspend. You can visually see how much you have left in that budget category when making purchases, unlike a bank account. This method is a great way to help you pause and decide if you really need what you’re about to buy.
- Better organization of your finances. Rather than only bringing some cash envelopes every time you shop, you’ll have them all in one place, all the time. You’ll be able to avoid being caught without the right envelope and juggling having enough money to make purchases. You’ll be much less likely to lose one when they’re all together in a wallet.
How does a cash envelope work?
You can read more here for a full run-down on how a cash envelope system works. But a quick synopsis:
- You’ll create a budget based on previous spending (I suggest looking at the last month or two). Categorize everything into buckets. These buckets will be your budget categories.
- Next, create or label an envelope for each budget category.
- Get enough cash out from the bank to fill each envelope for the month, based on how much you budget for each.
- When shopping, use money from the correct envelope for each purchase. For example, if you’re at the grocery store for food, you’ll use money from your grocery envelope.
- Once that envelope is empty, you’ll have to do until the month is up and you start again.
- Any extra money in your cash envelopes at the end of the month is yours to do anything with: roll it into next month’s budget, apply towards debt or savings, or spend on something fun!
Read about the cash envelope system for more in-depth tips and tricks here.
What should I look for in a cash envelope wallet?
While everyone’s tastes and needs vary, it’s essential to know what will work for you. Some factors to consider are:
- What style do you like? Do you like a wallet with a solid color and a zipper, or an artistic design and a snap?
- What’s your budget? Is this an investment, or are you just trying this to ensure it works for you?
- Do you need extra compartments, and how many?
- Do you need RFID blocking technology?
Now that we’ve covered what a cash envelope wallet is and why you need it let’s get to the fun part: shopping for one. These are the most popular and fabulous cash envelope wallets from Amazon and Etsy:
Amazon Cash Envelope Wallets
Three Way Cut Cash Envelopes Wallet
Three Way Cut offers a couple of different options, the first being their cash envelope wallet. They offer premium laminated tabbed envelopes in a PU leather wallet.
- Available in black, brown, red, pink, or blue
- RFID blocking
- 12 tabbed cash envelopes
- 12 monthly budget cards
- yearly budget planner sheet
- Slots for cards and ID
- Removable wristlet
- Binder notes
- Stickers for labeling the envelopes
- Zippers can sometimes prove to be tricky on wallets
Three Way Cut Cash Envelope System
Similar to the one above, but a different style. This wallet is leather with a snap and a different layout, making it less like a wallet and more like a binder.
- Available in pink, black, purple, and blue
- 7×5 inches
- 12 clear PVC waterproof envelopes with zipper locks
- 12 monthly budget sheets
- 16 labels
- Not as secure as a zippered wallet
Bella Taylor Cash System Wallet
This wallet comes in various colors and designs; it reminds me of Vera Bradley bags with similar stitching and colors. I love that it has more than just solid dull colors to help spice your budgeting up!
- A variety of 13 different colors and designs
- Cotton lining and exterior with micro-diamond quilting
- Twist lock closure
- Six card slots, two window ID slots
- Detachable wristlet strap
- Individual sections don’t zip closed, so it could be easier to mix up money.
- Only eight slotted dividers, so you can’t carry as much cash as other wallets
Soligt All-In-One Cash Envelopes Wallet
If you’re looking for something with a more classical, sophisticated look, this one’s it. This wallet is durable and lightweight, with scratch-resistant PU leather and vintage patterns for the envelopes.
- Includes 12 envelopes, 12 budget sheets, one binder
- Envelopes have a laminate coating for durability
- Binder and envelopes can be removed
- On the bigger side without a wrist strap, so it might be a good idea to use in a purse than a pocket or holding it.
Clever Fox Cash Envelopes Budgeting System
This one’s not quite a wallet, but it’s worth mentioning because I love the colors of the envelopes! It doesn’t have all pockets and extra holders for things like IDs and credit cards, but I think it makes up for that with its robust budgeting details.
- Envelopes are made of high-density polyethylene fibers, making them tear and water-resistant.
- Budget envelopes come in bold and bright colors, making it very easy to see their difference.
- It comes with a quick start guide, 12 double-sided budget sheets, a yearly summary sheet, and a carrying case.
- Envelopes are 6.7″x3.3″, making them one of the smaller options.
- The carrying case is thin and not as solid as a wallet; however, it does zip and can carry other items, just not as organized as a wallet is.
Etsy Cash Envelope Wallets
Starter Cash Envelope System Wallet & Personal Planner
If you want a more personalized wallet, this is it! This wallet doubles as a gorgeous fake leather personal planner. While it’s a little on the bigger side, I love that you can personalize the envelopes, colors, and fonts to fit your tastes!
- This wallet comes with eight personalized, clear zipper envelopes. Choose your font, color, and words on each.
- The softcover binder comes in a variety of colors: teal, brown, pink, black, blue, green, grey, and dark brown.
- Six-ring binder with slots for other items, such as receipts and credit cards.
- Magnetic latch keeps the binder closed
- There are zippers on the individual envelopes but not on the wallet itself. Other items, such as IDs or credit cards, could fall out if you carry it independently.
HarsheyHouse Cash Envelope System Wallet
This wallet is a handmade, unique spin on the cash envelope system. This Etsy seller offers a variety of fabrics with their various listings, and you can see a lot of work and time went into these with the quality of them. Not to mention, they’re a great value for a handmade item!
- Super cute patterns made with durable and heavy-duty duck cloth
- You can choose how many zippered sections you want, from 2 to 10
- Each zippered pocket has a clear envelope on the side so that you can slide in labels. It also makes it easy to switch up budget categories as needed.
- Magnetic snap closure
- Comes with six card slots and a checkbook slot if you have a checking account.
- The seller notes that the wallet is two inches thick with four zippered pockets. For each two additional zippered pockets, it’s adding 0.25 inches. This wallet could get pretty thick if you add all ten envelopes. However, if you’re carrying it in a purse or bag, it’s not that big of a deal.
ATime4Everything Cash Envelope System Wallet with Blank Dividers
If you love the handmade look but want a more slim wallet that’s streamlined, this one fits the bill. It uses blank dividers in a zippered wallet, so there are no additional zippers, which means no extra bulkiness.
- Choose from a large variety of patterns on laminated cotton, making the wallet very durable
- It comes with either six or nine plastic dividers
- You can also choose your zipper color
- Water-resistant and can be wiped clean
- You can order coordinating a coordinating coin pouch or cardholder through the same vendor
- Flimsier than a leather wallet but more personalized with the fabric choices
GrandmasLittleLilly Cash Envelope Wallet
At first glance, this wallet is built more like a traditional leather wallet but has the charm and uniqueness of a handmade wallet. It’s the best of both worlds – and the perfect wallet if you’re torn between the two!
- Super cute patterns on 100% cotton material that’s interfaced and lined for durability
- You can choose how many envelopes you want to be added to the wallet, making it fully customizable
- The wallet has space for a checkbook or cell phone, and up to 12 credit, debit, or ID cards
- Envelopes are sewn in, so no worries about losing them
- Each envelope has a see-through vinyl slot for labels
- It comes with 20 stock labels, but the buyer can request custom labels if needed.
- I love that the top is a flap that folds over the wallet; the button and elastic closure could wear out over time, though. However, the overlapping top does make it feel much more secure. Plus, you can for a snap closure instead when ordering, so it’s not much of an issue.
Dave Ramsey Wallet
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the guy who popularized the cash envelope budget system, Dave Ramsey. Thousands of people have found their way to debt freedom using his baby steps and sinking funds. Besides books and courses, his company also offers additional items, such as this essential cash envelope system.
- A very streamlined and thin wallet comes in four colors, including black, red, grey, or green.
- This wallet includes eight cash envelopes, slots for eight debit cards, a pen with an elastic strap, a zippered coin pocket, and a magnetic clasp.
- Refills of the envelopes are available as an additional purchase.
- There’s no information on the fabric, so I’m not sure what it’s made of and how durable it is.
- There are not many bells and whistles, and it is very streamlined, which could be considered a pro or a con, depending on what you’re looking for.
Rachel Cruze Wallet
Rachel Cruze’s stylish wallet has several color options, including champagne, brown, black, and camel. It’s similar to the Savvycents wallet in looks, but provides fair-trade jobs in India.
- Rachel Cruze has partnered with JOYN to produce these wallets, which helps to provide fair-trade jobs in India.
- Sustainably sourced genuine leather
- Detachable wristlet
- Interior zippered coin pocket
- Ten card slots for debit, credit, or ID cards
- These envelopes can’t be labeled, and they are just numbered.
- There are only four envelopes in the wallet, so you can’t carry as much money in different categories.
- The price is the highest of all of the wallets I’ve looked at ($68 as of the time of this article – which is about the price of a Kate Spade cash envelope wallet!). Not budget-friendly for folks who are trying to save, budget, or pay off debt.
- It’s leather, so you have to be careful around water and use a leather conditioner to keep it looking new.
Additional Option: Make your own!
Maybe none of these hit the mark, or you already have a wallet you love. If you’re wondering how do you make a wallet out of cash envelopes, you can always use a wallet you love and add cash envelopes.
Luckily you can find many great envelope options on Etsy, like these or these. Most cash envelopes will fit into existing wallets, binders, or purses.
You can also make wallet cash dividers if you’re feeling crafty. There are tons of great free printables to create your own cash envelopes from PDF templates. The Incremental Mama has a great round-up of options here.
Now that you’ve seen the options for beautiful and fun cash envelope wallets learn more about budgeting categories or my favorite cash envelope system tips and tricks.