How to do the Easier Cash Envelope System

The Easier Cash Envelope System, Dave Ramsey

I shared this post a few months ago, but I have had quite a few questions.  So I wanted to revisit how we handle the cash envelope system and what changes we made to make it easier for our family.  Now every person is different.  What may work for us, may not work for your family and that’s okay.  

Back in February I had picked a theme to talk about and it was all about the Finance Focus.  I wanted to share a technique that I developed on the cash envelope system that was easier than carrying cash.

I had been updating our budget, which I update almost daily (I share why below) and I took a closer look at how we were doing using Dave Ramsey’s envelope system.  I shared how we got started on the cash envelope system and how we set it up.

I’m probably like most people and HATED carrying so much cash with me everywhere.  Plus, it was such a drag having to go to the bank every few weeks.  I hated waiting in line and handing over a post-it note with how many $20s, $10s, and so on we needed.  

It got old, real fast!  So I came up with something else… a technique that works best for us.  I call it…

The Easier Cash Envelope System.

I know, I know.  I’m super creative with my names.  You don’t have to tell me how I should win an award for coming up with the best name ever!

I created a quick video that walks you through our monthly process if that makes it easier.  Check it out here.

Here’s how it all started…

I was at the bank waiting in that never-ending line to withdrawal our cash. And the whole process was getting old.  As I’m standing there I kept thinking that there had to be an easier way to do this.  

Then it hit me….  

I talked with one of the personal bankers who helped me open up two more checking accounts.  One for me and one for J.  I would connect them to our main account and then every two weeks I would just transfer the money over.  Genius!  No more having to use my lunch break to go to the bank.

Our bank doesn’t have a limit to the number of checking accounts you can have and no minimum balance requirement.  That way if J or I ended up spending every last dime then we would not be penalized.  I even set up overdraft protection (at no cost, unless we used it) that our main checking account would cover.  We never plan to overdraft, but it doesn’t hurt to have the protection.

I have a post that shows the different bank accounts our family has and why you should think about adding more.

Here’s what we used the new accounts for:

Main Checking

This account is the foundation for all of our money.  All money comes in and goes out of this account.  Paychecks come in, our joint monthly expenses come out.  I have most of those (except our trash bill) setup on automatic payments.  So I like to have them coming from our main checking account.

J’s Checking

This account is for J to do whatever he wants with.  Every two weeks, we transfer a specific amount to his account.  He can save it or spend it.  No questions asked.  He has to cover his bowling league, any fun purchases he wants to make, eating out during the week (since we tend to make his lunch).

My Checking

This account works the same as J’s.  I can do it whatever I want with my money.  

This easier cash envelope system was working perfectly!  I had my debit card and J had his.  J was never crazy about the  idea of a debit card.  He likes cold hard cash.  That way he knows at any given moment how much he has left.  I like the debit card because I don’t spend it as fast.  

In the end, I took his debit card and made it my grocery account.  He goes to the bank and withdrawals his own miscellaneous money.  

Now every two weeks I transfer my miscellaneous funds to my account and I transfer our grocery budget to our other checking account, then J goes to the bank and withdrawals his cash.  

cash envelope, merelynne

So easy!


I’m telling you, if your bank will let you open up multiply checking accounts that are connected AND it doesn’t cost you a monthly fee… do it!  This is the easier cash envelope system that makes it much more likely for you to stick with it.  

No more having to remember to run to the bank, no more carrying a bunch of cash and a massive wallet with you.  This is what works!

To read more focus on finance tips and posts, check out here.

The following two tabs change content below.
Meredith Rines, a budget and financial strategist helping fans pay off debt and live the life they've always wanted.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation