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How To Begin Your Cash Stuffing Journey
Hello, welcome everyone. When I first started cash stuffing I did so much research, found so many items but didn’t find a lot of support in Canada. I tried reaching out on my local Facebook pages to see if other people were doing it or even interested and all I got was crickets. So, to make myself feel better I decided that not everyone was comfortable with talking about their finances. To be honest with everyone, myself as a person has never been very good at managing my money or where I spend it. I am a mom of 2 and was always scraping money till I only had pennies left. (and most times I spent those to).
I came across this cash stuffing tiktok video, and I got sucked down deep into the budgeting portal of tiktok. Then I came across Dave Ramsey’s book Baby Steps Millionaires, I read the first few pages and he made it look so easy. So I figured what the heck, lets spend a little money to save a lot.
So I did some research and found some cheaper options to start my cash stuffing journey. Some things I already had but had to buy a few other items as well. In the next few paragraphs I’ll explain how I did certain things and what I found easiest for me.
The whole point of cash stuffing is to make sure your account says $0.00, except for your automatic payments. To start off cash stuffing you’ll need a paper and pen. Write down all your payments bi-weekly, monthly and yearly, and the dates their due. Next, write down your pay dates. Not everyone will have the same paydays. I for example get paid on the 21st of every month. Once you have all that written down and all your payments written out, your going to make note if there automatic payments or if you pay for them a different way.
From that point, the only amount left in your account is the amount that equals those payments. Take the remaining funds out in a variations of $5.00’s, $10.00’s and $20.00’s. I found that the first time stuffing and trail run was easier with smaller bills. That might not be everyone’s preference but I found it easier for me. Next, I went through 2 of my previous monthly payments and calculated what I spent on Groceries, Clothes, Gas, Household Items, Self Care, etc. Write all that down, add it up and take the average of those 2 months.
Once you have set amounts round them up or down to the nearest 10th. So, if your groceries came to $312.64 bi-weekly. Round that up to $315 or round that down to $310. I personally don’t like carrying around change, it gets to heavy for me.
Once I had all my expenses written out and determined what the average was, I went to amazon and started some research on what I would need. I was torn between the A6 Budget Binder or a Cash Stuffing Wallet. I chose the A6 Budget Binder just our of preference.
I had a previous crafting hobby and I already had a Cricut Explore 3 and some Adhesive Vinyl. Choosing to make my own labels was my preference, the A6 Budget binder came with sticker tabs for you to use. For my First A6 Budget Binder I labelled it Monthly Expenses. Each of my envelopes are labelled as follows;
- Cash (when I go to the bank this is where I put my funds and all my receipts).
- Gas (I calculated an average cost of $300 bi-weekly on gas, I live in Manitoba, Canada the gas prices are crazy high)
- Clothes (with my 2 girls and them not needing a lot of clothes I decided to only put in $20 per payday. That’s $5.00 for each of them and $10 for me).
- Self Care (with this one my definition of self care is a pedi or mani. Or getting my hair done. I decided for myself, I was only going to put in $5.00 per payday. I don’t to get those things done a lot).
- Household Items (I use this one for toilet paper, shampoo, shavers, etc. This one is for items that you don’t buy every time you go grocery shopping. I averaged $30 per payday and with this one every month with I cash stuff my binders for the next month I carry over what was left in there to the next month).
- The last envelop I have in this Binder is Misc/Petty Cash (I put $20 in this envelop but i only ever leave $20 in there. It’s not meant for anything special, just when I’m short a few dollars out of the categories I take it from there).
Now, you may have more categories then I do, you can 100 percent customize them to what you need and what you spend money on. Another good idea for an envelope would be your yearly bills. For example if you pay your Drivers license yearly or your Autopac yearly that would be a good way to save the amount needed instead of having to find it when its due.
My second A6 Budget Binder I have is labelled Savings. This is where I do my Monthly Challenge. Since I have a printer and a bit of time on my hands I made my own templates in LibreOffice Writer. The measurements I used on LibreOffice to fit in my clear envelopes is 4.7 inches wide by 6.6 inches in height. I changed my page style to fit those measurements verses using a text box. Formatting the page gave me more creative freedom. I used the above linked items as examples. I found these monthly savings challenges more beginner friendly then others I looked at.
I needed another savings challenge along with this monthly savings one so I started with a $5.00 Savings Challenge, this challenge has no time limit. It can take you however long you want to complete this challenge, you can put money into this envelope whenever you have free money or when you re-stuff you binder every payday. I also created my own template using LibreOffice, I used these ones for an example. Once my $5.00 challenge is complete i will move on to the $10 one.
Also, in this binder I have a Savings envelope for both my girls and a Christmas/Birthday envelope for each of them. Once I had all my other amounts figured out for my Monthly Budget Binder I then figured out how much I could put away for there Savings and there Christmas/Birthday envelopes.
These savings, once completed can be used to pay off some debit or to have some fun. I am not 100 percent sure what I will spend mine on, I do know though that we need a new patio door, so that’s what I’ll probably spend that on.
Other items I used to make my templates reusable is a Scotch Laminator and the Scotch 3mm Thermal Laminating Pouches. I went to my local Staples to print my templates, once I laminated them and cut them to fit my envelopes I was ready for my first payday.
As mentioned before, I hate carrying around change, so I also purchased a Large Piggy Bank. I love this Piggy Bank because it counts the change for me. Once that gets to the point of no room for more, I will roll it and cash it in. I am not sure where I will out my Change Savings but I’m sure I’ll find a space for it. I will keep you posted.
This experience has been nothing but amazing for me. I find that as long as I don’t have money in my account, I can’t spend it. I would love to bring you along on this journey with me and I hope you join me. I would love to create a space where you feel comfortable talking about finances and for those that live pay cheque to pay cheque to have a bit cushion saved up.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions. I am new to this process but I will help you out as best as I can. I can also help customize your binder and help you get started.
There is also the Snowball Method to being Debit Free. I will touch more on that in my next Blog.