Sunday, January 22, 2012

DIY-ing a Cash Envelope System

I decided it was time to actually start the whole cash-envelope-process. I have learned about the system many years ago, but I just continued my old method of getting an amount of cash from the ATM and getting more when the money was gone.

Trying to be creative, I started thinking about a DIY method that could be used to create an envelope system for almost free instead of spending $ 20.00 to buy one.

First up, I decided on making my own envelopes by using a template (there are thousands of envelope templates available online).

I grabbed my block of scrapbook paper (which comes in either a more durable or a more flexible quality). Using my template, I scetched 4 envelopes on the backside of my paper, cut them out and assembled them using double-sided tape (that was a late-night project, so sorry for the kind of dark pictures).

In the end, I had 4 envelopes that could have been my new system. However, I wasn´t convinced that my creation was very practical. The envelopes were rather complicated to open and close and I had a feeling that they would be falling apart very soon.

That´s not good for something supposed to hold my money.

I just knew right away that I wasn´t going to use something this impractical for more than a few days.
Either I would loose patience, or the envelopes would start to fall apart.

So, off I went searching for another idea.

This time, I figured out how eaxactly the system would be most convenient for me and easiest to use.

A few of the points  I considered were these:

1) The envelopes had to be easy to use.
2) I wanted them to become part of my wallet, so the size had to be right.
3) I wanted them to have an opening at either the side or the top for money to come out easily.
4) I wanted something made from a nice material.

After some thinking I decided on (again using my pretty scrap-booking paper) creating a system consisting of pockets that were attached to each other and open on one side .

Here is how I created my very first cash management system:

First up I decided on the size ( in my case 8 x 14 cm) and drew a template on the back side of my pretty paper.

Above you can see 2 of such templates. I cut them out to make sure they were working they way I had imagined.

Next, I cut out all the needed templates. I wanted 7 pockets in total. Therefore I needed 7 of the basic templates and one that would become the cover (as I will show in a minute).

Then it was time to start assembling. After deciding on the order of my different paper designs, I started with the first 2 templates to create pocket numer 1.

First, I attached the white portion (1) to the equivalent side on the green portion.

Next, I attached the sides (2) to the not seen side of the green paper.

Then I repeated these 2 steps to create the remaining pockets.

Then, I started working on my cover-template. Here is the shape I drew for that purpose.

I figured, I would need some space for the bottom portion of my pockets (kind of like in a book).

Once trying to assemble everything, I realized that the bottom flap (the one labeled " 1 " above), was a bit in the way. I just decided on cutting most of it of.

Then I attached the cover template to my creation.

Next, I cut deviders in the top so access to the different pockets would be easy. Here is how it looked in my wallet at that point.

Last, I labeled them so I would be able to find the right pocket quickly when at the store purchasing something.

Now, I am anscious to put this creation to use. Hopefully this works the way I am imagining it to work.

Either way. I spent nothing on this divider-system which is good. As for the coins, I figured as long as I bring receipts for every purchase, I will be able to keep track of them.

Now on to succesful cash budgeting.

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