New Cash Envelopes

As I’ve already said on this blog, cash envelopes are really working for us. They’re fantastic. I seriously can not tout the benefits of them enough. Put away your plastic cards people! Cash is where it’s at!

Alright, enough of my soapbox.

While the system is great, my actual envelopes were not so much. I was frustrated that the change kept falling out, but ended up deciding to keep the change in a separate pouch and use it as needed. Sort of a collective give-a-penny-take-a-penny for all of the envelope pals. This realization of how much easier it is came from me also realizing I don’t need to keep a transaction sheet for each envelope. I can keep the receipts and when the cash is gone, it’s gone. The whole reason that I used to track all purchases was to determine how much spent versus acquired, which is no longer an issue with the envelopes!

So back onto the topic. I made new envelopes!

I wanted something that worked better for my little planner I carry around as a wallet. There are lots of fancy envelope systems you can buy online, but they all require that I get a new system. I like my planner. I’ve had it for over two years and it works perfectly for what I need to carry, along with writing down important things. So I decided to keep it.

My current envelope system was actually some semi-pretty envelopes that came in a thing of children’s invitations that my aunt gave me. We didn’t have use for the invitations, so I stole the envelopes from them and made these:

Our Old Cash Envelopes

As you can see, I don’t have the most pretty handwriting. Also, while they were the perfect size for my planner, the planner has rings in it. The rings were making the envelopes push forward and get smooshed by the clasp on the planner. It was also a pain to find the correct envelope. Solution: hole punches. I was in need of a new start.

So here’s a very quick and simple way to make yourself a new set of cash envelopes. It took me about 90 minutes.

Supplies Needed:

Some fancy paper- I bought this at Walmart even though I hate that store, just because I happened to be there returning some crappy charger we got for my husband that broke. The paper was alright, but not as thick as I’d like. I couldn’t use my neat machine to fold the paper because it ripped. Still worth the $5 spent though.

Some fancy letters-Came with the fancy paper in this case. Make sure that you have enough for all the letters! I messed up a G so Gifts ended up being changed to Bounty (which is more fun anyway). Couldn’t do Presents because I didn’t have enough e’s!

Pencil

Scissors

Double-stick Tape

Hole Punchers

Glue (if necessary for gluing letters on)

Varnish and Paint Brush

Step 1: Take an envelope you have already and {carefully} split it open.

Step 2: Trace that envelope onto the back of some fancy paper.

Step 3: Cut out the new envelope and fold where appropriate.

Step 4: Put double-stick tape on the bottom flap and along the bottom where you’ll want the hole punches (be sure to leave enough room for cash and receipts). I did three lines of tape at the bottom of the envelope because I needed the hole punches really deep.

Step 5: Fold it together.

Step 6: Glue on a big letter for the first letter of the word (Yeah, that’s kid’s glue. When you become a mom, you start using children’s supplies on projects. Stuff surely works though!)

Step 7: Stick on the rest of the letters of the name for the envelope (in my case, these were stickers).

Step 8: Mark where you want the holes and get to punching!

Step 9: Paint varnish over the letters (to make them stay on better).

Step 10: Repeat with the rest of the envelopes!

And here they are in my planner:

If I had it to do again, I’d make the space below the hole punches a bit smaller so they would be easier to move in the planner. As it is, they’re alright. I may end up cutting them down later, depending on if it looks awful and/or compromises the structure of the envelopes.

I put them in my planner from order of most accessed to least accessed, give or take. Since it’s kind of hard to read them in the picture (though not hard to read in person), I’ll list my envelopes for you. In the order that they’re in my planner: Groceries, Eating Out, Entertainment, Home, Clothing, Bounty, Doctors, Car Repair, Music, Miscellaneous. Groceries covers a lot more than food (toiletries, pets, etc.) and Music is for Peanut’s music class, which we’re putting away a certain amount every month for so it’s not such a bombshell when we register for a new semester. We also got rid of the Gas for Cars envelope because we do it all through debit because that’s what Costco requires and it’s the cheapest gas around, so it was bothersome depositing money back in for the gas. Instead I’m tracking it on a sheet in my planner.

I still have quite a few papers left (25 in the package and I have 10 envelopes, plus I used one to test and ruined another), so I can make more envelopes in the future if I decide we need more. I’m trying to stick to 10 envelopes, but you never know. It’s nice to have the extras, if just for future cards and other paper crafts I like to make. I love these designs too. I think I may paint one on my wall in my living room.

All in all, it was a really easy project. I’m not a super crafty type and even I made it look okay (or at least okay enough for me). If I can do it, you all can certainly do it too! Now it’s time to see if cash envelopes really are more fun when they’re pretty!

Do you use cash envelopes? How does the system work for you? Did you make your envelopes? If you’re not using them, you should try it! Seriously!

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