One effective way to reduce your spending is to only buy with cash. Dave Ramsey has made the cash envelop system popular and thousands of individuals and families have used it to live well within their budget and pay off debt. Many of the inspiring debt elimination stories that read on various personal finance blogs are about people who have followed Dave Ramsey’s plan.
The cash envelope system may not be for everyone — some people manage their money better with credit cards and use them to maximize credit card rewards. But we’re all different. If you find that having a credit card makes it too easy for you to spend, consider going to a cash-only system.
For those who use the cash envelope system, one of the biggest challenges is how to manage it and organize your cash on a day-to-day basis. By using the right type of wallet you can make your life a lot easier.
In this article we’ll take a look at four different cash envelope wallets that you can easily use with Dave Ramsey’s system. Three of them feature a more feminine design, and one is more masculine, so there are great options on this list for both men and women.
You’ll also find two sets of envelopes that you can buy without a wallet. These are ideal if you want to use the envelope system with a different wallet or document / travel organizer. Why not just use regular envelopes? Well, you can if you want to. The envelopes on this list offer other features and are more durable.
If you don’t have a budget yet, please be sure to see our article How to Create a Budget That Works. You can even download the free budget spreadsheet template to create your own budget.
The Best Cash Envelope Wallets
The Great Divide is a cash system wallet made by the brand Divvy Up (you’ll see Divvy Up a few times on this list). It has a zip closure and then opens up to a few different compartments that you can use in different ways.
It comes with 5 envelopes, all in different colors so you can keep your budget categories straight. The envelopes easily fit into the compartment of the wallet, and each envelope has a magnetic closure to keep your money from falling out. There are also adhesive labels that you can use to mark the category of each envelope. You can also get additional envelopes if you need more.
Dimensions: 8.5 x 4.5 inches. It is approximately 1-inch thick.
This wallet from Savvycents is also an excellent option. It comes in several different pattern designs and includes a clutch strap that can be pulled out or hidden. The zip closure will keep your cash safe inside the wallet.
What really makes this wallet shine is the accordion style file system that you’ll find inside. It has 5 compartments for your cash in different budget categories. There are blank labels that you can fill out to mark each category according to your needs.
The inside also has several card slots, and there is a zippered coin / change pouch on the outside. It is approximately 1-inch thick.
Dimensions: 8 x 4 inches. It is approximately 1-inch thick.
The Savvy Spender is another wallet from the brand Divvy Up. Just like the Great Divide, it also comes with 5 cash envelopes featuring a magnetic closure (you can get more envelopes if needed. There are two large inside compartments: one with a zipper and one without a zipper. There are also 12 card slots.
The most significant differences between the Savvy Spender and the Great Divide are: 1) the Savvy Spender is a little larger, and 2) the Savvy Spender has a snap closure instead of a zipper closure.
Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.25 inches. It is approximately 1.5 inches thick.
The HISCOW Long Bifold Wallet will be the favorite on this list for most men. It’s larger than the typical men’s wallet but more compact than the others featured here. It’s not ideal for wearing in a pants pocket, but it can work well in a jack or breast pocket. This wallet is made with quality full-grain Italian calfskin leather.
Inside, there are four different compartments that are large enough for bills (one is larger than the other three), and seven credit or debit card slots.
Dimensions: 7.2 x 3.78 inches. It is less than 1-inch thick when empty.
These envelopes from Divvy Up make it possible to use the cash envelope system with other wallets and organizers. These are the same envelopes that come with the Great Divide and the Savvy Spender wallets. With this pack you’re just getting the envelopes, not the wallet.
Each pack comes with 5 envelopes, and there are several different color schemes available. The envelopes have a magnetic closure to keep your money safe. You’ll also get the adhesive labels so you can mark the budget category for each envelope.
Dimensions: 3.5 x 7 inches.
This pack of 12 envelopes does not come with a wallet, but you can use them with your own organizer or wallet. The envelopes come in assorted colors and there is a spot for you to write the budget category on each envelope.
These envelopes are tear proof and made of flashspun high-density polyethylene fibers. They are ever water resistant (for small amounts of liquid, like spills).
The back of the envelope has a ledger that makes it easy for you to write down the important details of each purchase, if you want to. You can also write the total dollar amount for each month of the year on the front.
Dimensions: 3 x 6.625 inches.
Things to Consider When You Are Choosing a Cash System Wallet
When you deciding on a wallet you’ll want to consider the size and dimensions. If you’re shopping online it can be easy to forget about size and assume that it is exactly what you are looking for. I’ve listed the dimensions for each wallet, and for the separate envelopes. Be sure to check and see how large that actually is, and decide if it will be a good match for you.
You’ll also want to think about security and how it will keep your cash safe. One downside to using this type of wallet and the cash system is that if you lose your wallet you’ll be losing a lot of cash. Of the four wallets featured on this page, two have zippers, one uses a snap closure, and one simply folds to close. Depending on how you are going to use the wallet, and of these options could be good or bad.