Cash Envelope System Wallet


I’m a fan of plastic. And by that, I mean the kind that fits in my wallet. I rarely ever have much cash in my wallet because unless I’m at a place that takes cash only, my purchase is going on a credit card. I don’t care if I’m just buying a pack of gum. I know that’s not the most financially sound thing to do, but I hate using cash. I think it’s because I always feel like I might need the cash later somehow, and that’ll run out if I use it. The credit card, however, magically lets me use it as much as I want. Of course, I suppose I have to pay the credit card company sometime, but that’s only once a month, and my husband usually does that before I even have to look at the statement, so it’s like I never had to pay for anything! There’s always some grumbling from my husband about how high the bill is, how we need to stop spending so much, blah blah blah, but I just tune that out.

 A couple of weeks ago, though, I was out at dinner with some friends, and a friend of a friend pulled out an adorable wallet with all these little pockets. I asked her where she got it, she explained it was a “cash system” that she’d made based on a tutorial. I looked up afterwards and learned that the “cash envelope system” is a way of budgeting developed or endorsed by Dave Ramsey where you set aside a certain amount of cash for different spending categories and organize them in envelopes. The cash envelope system wallet is just a neat and pretty way to keep all the envelopes together.   

The tutorial for the wallet is sold on Etsy, so I bought one (for the bargain price of only $1.61) and decided to take a stab at making one. I did make some modifications. First, I couldn’t find any oilcloth, so I made the outside cover out of outdoor canvas and the inside out of coordinating cotton prints. I reinforced the cover and pockets with fusible craft interfacing to stiffen them a bit. I decided to give the outside cover a more finished look by giving it a lining and topstitching the edge.  



It’s hard to see, but there are 3 card pockets and an ID window here.



I added a pen holder and two extra card pockets to the top of this side.

One of the biggest modifications I made was making the envelopes removeable. Instead of attaching them directly to the wallet, I attached them to another piece of cotton that I reinforced with interfacing that can be inserted into the two large pockets or removed when I don’t feel like carrying the envelopes. This also eliminated the neccessity of having to have the unsightly stitching on the back spine of the wallet.


Wallet with envelopes removed


Envelope insert

I’ve been using the wallet itself for about a week now, but I still haven’t used the envelopes. That would require sitting down an actually coming up with a budget. Good thing I made the envelopes removeable!

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