Cash Stuffing is the process of keeping your monthly expenses in envelopes according to your spending categories. This budgeting method promotes cash instead of debit or credit cards.
A few months back I found out about the gen z cash-stuffing trend on Tik Tok. I thought of it as another illogical trend. But little did I know this budgeting method will change my entire perception of personal budgeting.
Because after my research and 4 months of testing, I can certainly vouch cash stuffing is one of the best budgeting methods for beginners. So, let’s find out What Is Cash Stuffing and everything related to it.
What Is Cash Stuffing?
Cash stuffing is a simple personal budgeting method. For this budget rule, you need to create a binder or get different envelopes for different monthly spending categories.
Cash stuffing is a viral Tik-Tok budgeting trend that has taken the Gen Z generation by storm. The method is quite simple. At the beginning of each month, you just need to put your money in different envelopes dedicated to different expenses. Then spend money from the envelope.
This budget method promotes to use of more cash instead of using credit cards or debit cards. It is understandable as most Gen Z kids do not have access to credit cards or don’t want to take the hassle of getting one. But is that it? No other rules?
No, let’s look at how it works.
How Cash Stuffing Works
The working mechanism of cash stuffing is simpler than most budgeting methods. However, it requires more dedication and time. Here is how it works
- First, get an envelope for each possible spending category.
- When the paycheck arrives allocate your take-home pay for each category according to your previous month’s spending.
- Now put the allocated money for each category in their dedicated envelopes.
- Spend for the specific spending category only from the dedicated envelopes.
- Never spend more than the envelope hold for a category.
This is how it works. And the best part is like 60 30 10 or similar budget rules it does not force you to extreme cost-cutting. You just spend the amount which is needed.
Now if you are a personal finance enthusiast like me then it might seem similar to another budgeting method.
Yes, you guessed it right. Cash stuffing seems the same as the envelope system.
Is Cash Stuffing The Same As Envelope System?
Yes, cash stuffing is the same old envelope method. Just the term is different that’s all.
Though Dave Ramsey made the envelop method popular among the millennials. However, the envelop method has been there for decades. In fact, our grannies used to apply this method. It is one of the oldest personal budgeting methods as well.
However, in recent times a Tik Tok trend went viral on cash stuffing which is just a renamed version of the envelope system.
What If You Need To Pay Some Bills Online?
Just pay the bill using your debit card. However, cut the amount from the envelope.
One of the downsides of cash stuffing is that the envelope method is too old for online payments. So, there is no mention of online payments.
However, if you need to pay online then you can pay from any of your debit cards. But cut the amount from the desired envelope and never overspend.
What About Emergencies?
In case of an emergency use your emergency fund or if you do not have one then use money from one of the envelopes.
The cash stuffing method does not mention anything about emergency situations. So, in case of an emergency, you must use your emergency fund or savings. If you don’t have any then either use money from the envelopes or lend from a close one.
Why Does Gen Z Like Cash Stuffing?
Gen Z like cash stuffing because it focuses on cash and demotivates overspending.
Gen Z kids like things fast and conveniently. Yes, debit and credit cards are fast but to get one you need to face a lot of hassle and pay hefty fees. Moreover, most Gen Z kids have not crossed the legal banking age. Those who have crossed the banking age are still young and not good at managing their finances.
Moreover, those who have access to credit cards either overspent or end up in credit card debt. As a result, cash stuffing is a convenient solution for them.
Are People Using Cash Envelope To Get Out Of Credit Card Debt?
Yes, it’s possible to use the cash envelope method and get out of credit card debt.
As cash stuffing does not encourage the use of credit cards. So, people using the envelop method do not use credit cards. As a result, they tend to not have any credit card debt.
However, people with previous debt can also get out of credit card debt. Because cash stuffing helps you to spend less and save more. As a result, people with previous debt can spend their savings on paying the credit card debt.
So, is it that good?
Is Cash Stuffing A Good Idea?
Cash stuffing is definitely a good idea for beginners, overspenders, and people who are in debt. Because it demotivates overspending and brings financial discipline.
Whether cash stuffing is a good idea or not depends on many factors. So, instead of putting my opinion on it, I am stating the advantages and disadvantages of it from my personal experience.
- Brings financial discipline.
- Provide no scope for overspending.
- As you need to keep track daily so you create a bond with the budget.
- Brings mental satisfaction when you achieve a budget goal.
- No use of credit cards means you never end up in credit card debt.
- It creates a sense of accountability for every financial decision you take.
- Great for budgeting on a low income.
- Not suitable for the city lifestyle.
- No safety of your cash. Because if one envelope goes missing you lose all the money for a particular spending for an entire month.
- Do not help you build your credit score or get reward points.
- Your money is not bringing any interest.
Now that you know the pros and cons of it. So, you can decide whether it is good for you or not.
In case you want to set up this budget rule then how do you do it?
How To Start Cash Stuffing
Starting the envelope method is pretty straightforward. Follow the below steps if you want to start it.
- First, find out all your spending categories and how much you spend on them each month.
- Secondly, organize your spending categories according to order. For example, you spend the most on rent. So, rent will be first, then food and other categories.
- Now put the desired cash in each envelope when the payroll comes and start spending accordingly.
- Lastly, follow the last step of the budget.
Cash Stuffing Is Most Suitable For
Cash stuffing or envelope method is most suitable for teenagers and retirees living in small towns or suburbs. Moreover, it is also suitable for people with bad spending habits, people in debt, or people who want to start budgeting. This is also good for people who are living paycheck to paycheck. As this budget brings much-needed discipline and accountability to financial life. But if you choose this budget always protect the four walls.
However, this budget rule is not suitable for city dwellers, young adults, and people who do a lot of online transactions.