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Friday, November 30, 2012

DIY Budget Envelopes

budget envelopes
My hubby and I have been using the cash system for awhile now for our groceries and individual spending.  But we were needing to crack down on some other areas in our budget, so we’re going to an (almost) all cash system.  I was tiring of just using our boring white envelopes and couldn’t find any plastic envelopes that were small enough to fit in my wallet/purse.  So I decided to just create my own!  Here’s what you need if you’re wanting to create your own:
  • 8 1/2 x 11 piece of scrapbook paper (one for each envelope that you want to make)
  • envelope template
  • contact paper
  • exacto knife or sharp blade
  • glue source (I used hot glue but there are probably more ways to get them to stick together.  I just {heart} my glue gun.)
  • optional – printable mailing labels
Step 1: open the envelope template and print it on a 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of cardstock or scrapbooking paper.IMG_9172 Step 2: trim around to get rid of the excess paper.IMG_9174 Step 3: These next couple steps are optional as you don’t have to cover your envelopes in contact paper.  But I really didn’t want to be making envelopes every month, so I figured this would help them be a bit more durable.  So, cut out two pieces of contact paper, one for each side of your flat envelope.IMG_9175 Step 4: probably the hardest step for a perfectionist like me.  I found after a lot of trial and error that the contact paper went on with fewer bumps if I laid the paper on a flat surface.  Then, I pressed the contact paper to one end of the envelope and slowly rolled it forward, pressing as I went.  Does that make sense?IMG_9177 Do this to both sides, so your paper is sandwiched in between.IMG_9178 Step 5: cut out around the outside of the envelope shape.  Here were a few of mine after cutting.Picture 405 Step 6: with an exacto knife or some other sharp blade, score along the dotted line.  This will make the envelope easier to fold. No, I’m not left handed, but was having trouble getting a picture any other way.IMG_9181 Step 7: fold along the scoresIMG_9183 Step 8: There are many ways you could get these envelopes to stay together.  I pretty much have my hot glue gun plugged in all the time, so that’s what I chose to use.  I just spread some on, not quite all the way to the top.IMG_9184 Fold the large flap up and press firmly to smooth out.  If you take too long, the hot glue will make the envelope bumpy, so try to move quickly.IMG_9185 Repeat with the other side.IMG_9186 Step 9: I bought a pack of sticky velcro dots.  Apply one side of the sticker to the middle top of the envelope flap.IMG_9188 Then, put the other velcro side down on top.  Make sure the sticky side it out!IMG_9189 Then close your envelope.IMG_9190 And your velcro will match up perfectly.IMG_9191And you’re done!  Repeat as many times as how many envelopes you need.  Here are all mine before I labeled them.IMG_9110 And here they are all nice and labeled.  I just used a pack of printable Avery labels (the return address size) and ran them through my printer.  You could label your envelopes in many ways, even just with a sharpie.IMG_9131They fit dollar bills perfectly!IMG_9192I also made a little record sheet that goes in each envelope so I can track just like in my checkbook.  Does anyone even use a checkbook anymore?  Haha.IMG_9117 Ohh, aren’t they all so pretty in their box?  They’re so cute they {almost} make me thankful to be on a cash system.IMG_9120 Happy budgeting!

***EDITED TO ADD***
I've have several people ask for the little budget sheets I put inside my envelopes.  Here they are!  Just print and cut!

blog-signature-1

13 comments:

  1. Ugh, we are going back to cash after Christmas, too. Poop. Thanks for the cute tutorial! I will have to give it a go! :)

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    1. You're welcome! Sorry you'll have to use it though. :)

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  2. Could you do a post about why you chose an all-cash system?

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    1. I love requests! :) I'd be happy to write about how and why we do it.

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  3. What categories do you use for your envelopes?

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    1. Rebecca, check out this post for a few more details - http://kneedeepinthebabypool.blogspot.com/2013/02/why-we-use-cash-envelope-system-and-fun.html :)

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  4. Could you please post a template of your record sheets you put in each envelope. Great idea! thanks

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    1. Just posted the record sheet template! :)

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  5. I'd love the template for your record sheets as well. This is great because I'm too cheap to buy these on etsy.

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    1. Haha - just posted the template for you! Thanks for reading this post! :)

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  6. Thank you for your post and for your templates!!! Can you give us an update about how well these stood up to use? Did they still fall apart after covering them with contact paper?

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  7. Dave Ramsey does this, and this is how we cleaning our debt out.

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