Our family is doing our best to follow the wise advice of Dave Ramsey to get out of debt and start being in control of our money! It feels so good to know that we are in charge of where our money goes, and it has helped us so much on our journey to minimalism.
Anyone who follows DR knows that he advocates a cash only system. At first I was skeptical, but wow! It really works! I quickly made myself a cash wallet, a wallet that had 6 separate zippered envelopes to keep my money segregated. I soon found, that although I adore my wallet, I needed a little bit better system to accompany it. So I started our budget binder.
Basically I wanted a binder that could house ALL our financial information, be easily changed, and also hold any money or receipts that I didn’t need to have in my wallet. I tried this a number of ways. First I tried using paper envelopes. They worked, but kept tearing and I found them cumbersome. Then I tried using Ziploc style bags, hole punching the plastic corner. They worked better than the paper envelopes but were bulky and moved around too easily. I grew frustrated.
Finally I came up with an idea to create a fabric zipper envelope (similar to the envelopes in my wallet), that could be sewn directly onto the page! This would keep the envelope nice and tightly against the page, and also hold up to repeated use.
By laminating the pages that you sew the envelopes onto, you can then use a wet erase marker to keep track of your spending, and not worry about it rubbing off unless you wash it off! Personally, we take out $500 each pay period for groceries/housewares, but I don’t want to carry that much money in my wallet all of the time. Having a binder with specific places to record and keep the extra for me, keeps everything organized.
So here is a quick tutorial for making these zippered cash envelopes! They are fast and easy, and you can make up a dozen in a single afternoon. Here is what you will need:
1 piece of cotton fabric, measuring 9″ by 8.5″
1 piece of fusible medium weight interfacing also measuring 9″ by 8.5″
a 9″ closed end zipper
coordinating thread, scissors, an iron and a sewing machine.
Step 1: Iron your fusible interfacing onto the back of the printed cotton. If you don’t have fusible interfacing, you can also pin it on to prepare for the next step!
Step 2: Serge or zig-zag around the edge of your rectangle.
Step 3: Pin your zipper (right sides facing each other) to the top edge of your fabric (you want the narrower width at the top).
Step 4: Sew the zipper onto the fabric at the upper edge, using a short straight stitch. If possible, use your zipper foot on your sewing machine to make it easier!
Step 5: Turn the zipper over, so that it is now at the top of the fabric and no longer facing it. Using your iron, press gently so that the seam is flat. Top stitch using a short straight stitch.
Step 6: Gently fold your envelope, so the right sides are facing, and pin the opposite edge of the fabric to the open end of the zipper.
Step 7: Repeat sewing the zipper to the fabric, then turn and press, and topstitch along the seam.
Step 8: This is very important! Unzip your envelope. Now match both edges up, pin and stitch. Repeat for the other side.
Step 9: Clip the four corners to allow it to turn nicely!
Step 10: Turn and press! Then repeat the process to make yourself a whole bunch using up scrap fabric!
Step 11: Make yourself budget sheet, and laminate it! Make sure to do your 3-hole-punch next, then carefully sew your wallet to the page using a slow straight stitch. Repeat for any budget page where you will want an envelope to house either money or receipts! Here is a free downloadable PDF for a weekly grocery budget page! groceries aqua W (2)
You can then use your wet erase markers to keep track on your page of your savings, budget or debts! Everything is in one place, easy to see, and totally adorable. If you would like my entire “Get Free Plan” budgeting collection, you can check out my pages in my shop here! If you are interested in having custom laminated binder pages made for you, with fabric envelopes, you can contact me through my Faith & String facebook page!
I hope you have fun creating!