Budgeting | Personal Finance

How To Make Your Own Envelope System Wallet

How To Make Your Own Envelope System Wallet

If you aren’t familiar with my history, I’m a HUGE fan of Dave Ramsey.  Long story short, we found his books and principles to be exactly what we needed to get our finances on track.  We started our journey to financial freedom using the envelope system suggested by Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness.

When we did envelopes I simply grabbed a plastic pocket accordion file from the dollar section at my local Target.  It was sturdy and inexpensive.  However, my creative side kicked in and I wanted something that was down right cute that wasn’t too hard to make.  With that in mind I created this post on how to make your own envelope system wallet in hopes that it might help you unleash your creative budgeter too!

Before you get started, if you want to see my simple run down of starting an envelope cash system for budgeting check out my post, Quick Start Guide to the Cash Envelope System and/or watch my cash envelope video tutorial below.



Envelope System Basic Supplies

  • A pocket accordion file that you can find at your local dollar store or seasonally in the Target dollar section.  These are just the right size for bills to slide easily into.
  • Fancy Designed Masking Tape
  • Fun Sticker Labels
  • Permanent Markers in Coordinating Colors
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Button, Bling or Jewel
  • Inspirational Quote

 Step 1: Create fun designs on your plain accordion file using fun printed masking tape.Create Fun Designs with Masking Tape


Step 2: Add some fun color using colored permanent markers.

Use Permanent Markers to Add Pops of Color


Step 3: Add a fun label and write your favorite inspirational quote.  I chose Dave Ramsey quotes for each of these wallets because they inspire me.

Dave Ramsey Quote Envelope



Step 4: Using a hot glue gun, carefully attach a little fun bling or button to the plastic latch on the front of the wallet.

Attach Button With Hot Glue


Step 5: Add the final touches to the outside and then label your dividers on the inside according to your budgeted categories!

Label categories


Step 6: Admire your work! (Even if it looks a little like you got in a fight with a silver permanent marker.)  

Completed Chevron Envelope System

Black Envelope Sytem Design

I hope you found this post about how to make your own envelope system wallet helpful and inspiring.  There are so many fun things you can do to decorate these accordion files!  It’s totally up to you!  Please feel free to share how using an envelope system has impacted your budgeting in the comments section below!
Kim Anderson

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  1. OK, I see you can use wikipedia. Now tell us all honestly that you didn't think the date was around 200AD when you posted those dates. Then I'll be done.I was only asking that you cop to your error. But you obviously have too much ego to do that.

  2. Dear Kim, I absolutely love your idea for I did this years ago when my daughter was 2. I could not explain right to my fiancé and he’s totally against it! Yet, 90% of our arguments are over finances. My Question too you is I’m disabled and his checks are once a month as well. How would I go about taking on this challenge with both us only getting paid 1 time a month. That’s what confuses me. Hopefully, you can offer me some suggestions for I would love to start the money envelope! I love your envelope idea a lot more than just plain white envys. Thank you very much for any help that you can share! Sincerely, Kelly F

    1. Kelly, I’m not a financial adviser so whatever I say is just from my own personal experience and is not meant to give you financial advice. It’s just a system that works for some people and is one of the easiest ways to manage a budget without the need for spreadsheets. Basically, you would need to sit down and figure your basic living expenses and write them down. I have a free printable that you can use that I’ll post at the end of my comment. You would simply split up 1 check rather than 2 into all your expenses. The.n you decide how much you can spend on things like groceries, eating out, cleaning supplies or whatever you would be able to cover with cash (we pay bills with our debit cards but don’t use credit). You go to the bank and divide your money up. If it makes you uncomfortable to carry a months worth of cash around then just go fill your envelopes every week or every other week with what you determine you have to spend each week if that makes sense. The best thing to do is go to your local library and check out The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. If your fiance isn’t on board it’s going to be tough, but if you are the main shopper then you can just make an envelope system for yourself. In our case, my husband had several division in his personal wallet so he had 3 categories- Gas, Allowance, Tools/Car repairs (because he does everything himself). I carried the folding accordion file around. Maybe setting an example of saving over a few months will help him get on board with you. Here’s the link to that post with the printable form you can fill in with your expenses. Good luck! Let us know how it goes. https://thriftylittlemom.com/2014/02/21/budgeting-101-boss-your-money-around

  3. Thank you for sharing……we are starting this tomorrow (we both get paid) why not go for it?? I even have one of these pocket size folders….YAY!!

    1. Michelle, it may be tough at first, but if you can both do it you are going to really see some huge strides toward financial goals! Good luck and please let me know how it goes for you!

  4. For our personal finance class my husband and I are taking we had to read a book from the list of approved books and Dave Ramsey’s book was on the list. I chose that one to read and couldn’t stop reading it. I loved it. Thanks for the idea. I love this better than a paper envelope. This is so much cuter.

    1. Tracie! I was the same way. When I got his book from the library I literally finished it in one sitting and was ready to budget! Glad you like the idea. It’s how I kept all my money straight when we did the system and you can really get pretty creative with it.

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