Our Family’s Cash Envelope System Breakdown

There are a few things that will be huge game changers when it comes to sticking to your budget once and for all! The very most important is to start using a cash envelope system!

You remember that stuff right? Cash. It’s that stuff you used to use as currency in exchange for goods or services.

Using cash instead of swiping your debit or credit card every time you step into a store is statistically proven to help you spend less money! I’m guessing that might be a problem for ya.

But you don’t want to just go pull a random amount of cash out of your bank account and head straight to the store with no plan. That could result in financial disaster for you!


The very most crucial step in sticking to a budget for your family is to start using a cash envelope system! This example is full of real life numbers from a family’s cash envelope system. Use this as a guideline for starting your cash envelope system for beginners.

That is where your beginners guide to the cash envelope system comes into play. Make sure to give that article your undivided attention to make sure you set yourself up for the ultimate success in reaching your goals!

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Remember that you are now on a path not just to live frugal and save money. Those are just the temporary steps you are taking today to start reaching a life you never thought possible. That is called living a Pearl Life!

Our Family’s Cash Envelope System Breakdown


(YouTube video)


Spending cash has become a lifeline for us when it comes to sticking to a budget for the last five years! Before we discovered the brilliance behind a cash envelope system we would overdraft our bank account every two weeks!

Even if one day we become millionaires, we will always use some sort of cash envelope system! I can not see us living without it now.

I wanted to share with you the exact breakdown of what our cash budget looks like (and will come back and update this page as things change) in hopes of giving you a clear picture of what it looks like for a real family.

You can also follow me on Instagram to see what how we use our cash envelopes on a daily basis.

Use this as a guideline for starting a program that works for you. Remember that as with anything related to your budget, it is going to take some trial and error! If something doesn’t work one month, figure out why it didn’t work, make adjustments, and try again. Then repeat.

1.What’s Cash and What’s Not

As a general rule, we use cash for anything that we physically walk into a store to purchase. Other things like bills we pay online using our debit card.

2.Where do You Get That Much Cash?

Because we get paid every two weeks, we pull out half the amount of cash we need for the next month. That way BEFORE the new month starts we have all the cash we need ready to go. This is how we got one month ahead of our bills.

3.Using Cash as a Couple

I manage all of our cash. I manage our cash savings as well as our wallet. One of the benefits of using cash is it makes it inconvenient to spend and that IS a good thing!

Hubby gets $20 each month from our “fun” cash category to use as we wants. If there is ever anything that he needs to purchase other than that, we arrange ahead of time for him to get the cash from our cash envelope wallet.

4.Our Cash Envelope System Categories

This is what our cash budget looks like. These numbers are the total cash we budget per category for the entire month. Once the cash is gone, we stop spending.

  • $300 Monthly Groceries
  • $100 Weekly Groceries
  • $40 Medical / Dental
  • $160 Miscellaneous Household Items (used for pretty much everything that is not food and we don’t already have a seperate savings fund for it)
  • $40 Coupon Shopping (used for shopping sales other than clothes)
  • $100 Fun / Fast Food / Date Nights
  • $120 Yearly Expenses (some examples would be oil changes or memberships)
  • $40 Gifts
  • $60 Clothes
  • $20 Kids
  • $50 Christmas

5.Leftover Cash

If there is ever a time that there is cash leftover in a category at the end of the month, there are two options we choose from.

A – Leave it there for the next month or B – move it to a different category where it is needed or wanted.

This is how you will start sticking to your budget for good! Learning how to use a cash envelope system is going to be your game changer when it comes to overspending. Use these real life numbers from a family’s cash budget and see how they use a cash envelope system to stick to a budget for their family of five!

Do You Use a Cash Envelope System?

Have you ever given it a thought? Let’s chat down in the comments and let me know any questions you might have about how we run our cash?


Thanks for stopping in and I’ll talk to you soon! Xoxo


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  • Susan
    October 18, 2018 at 4:51 am

    Why do you have monthly and weekly groceries? Couldn’t you just add that hundred to the monthly and use it there?

    What about gasoline for your car? Do you use cash?

    • Brittany Cooper
      October 22, 2018 at 5:50 am

      Hi Susan! I do monthly budget recaps and monthly meal planing and grocery hauls. I think you will find answers in there 💜👍🏻

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