I am always trying to find ways to stick to my budget and if you have read some of my previous posts, you will know by now my downfalls are eating out at beautiful restaurants and shoes! After having reviewed our household budget, I realised that we spend A LOT of money on eating out, which we have since got under control (not easy at first but got it done eventually!)

How I did this was through the ‘envelop system’. Now what is the Envelop System?

With the envelop system, you draw cash for different categories i.e. eating out/entertainment or clothing or all those miscellaneous expenditures that throw off your budget. This means that you draw hard cash, put it in an envelop and spend only what is in that envelop for that specific category you have chosen.

I must say, it would not be practical to use the envelop system for paying your bond/rent, car repayment etc. The envelop system works best for those areas that you can’t just seem to get right and be completely in control of. As the saying goes, a small leak can sink a great ship.

This way of budgeting helps you mitigate against your weaknesses and makes sure you stay in check with your budgeting goals. There is something profound in using hard cash instead of  ‘plastic’ money! It means you see every Rand as it leaves your envelop unlike just swiping your cheque card away, you physically see the money leaving your envelop! Trust me, it changes your behaviour!


Tribe, what tips, tricks and tools have you used to stay within your own budget?


Author: Mapalo Makhu

I want to help women make confident financial decisions and build real wealth.

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One thought on “How to stick to your budget by using the Envelop System

  1. I used to use this system and when my expenses were lower it was so much easier. Paying for my luxury expensive treats (food at restaurants) makes me feel unsafe carrying around too much cash. How can we do this in an age of digital convenience, and when withdrawal costs just don’t make sense either?

    Posted on May 9, 2018 at 8:38 pm