Georgia Student Finance Commission


Maintaining a Balanced Budget - Envelope Method

College Money Matters

Maintaining a Balanced Budget - Envelope Method

The envelope method works well for those who don’t want to have to write down every expense. All that is needed are some envelops, a pen and some cash.

On each envelope, write the category from your budget and the amount of money you can send. The money that is allocated on the envelope can be for any timeframe. Even if your spending plan is for the semester or month, you could allocate enough cash in the envelopes for the week. 

For example:

  • Groceries - $200
  • Gas - $100
  • Entertainment - $75

This will help you not spend too much during the beginning of the month and have less cash laying around.

As you use the money in the envelopes, you will be able to see how much you have left for the week. No need to spend it all, never know what expenses might come up. Or you might over spend in one envelope and ‘borrow’ from another. Which means you may have to adjust your budget.

If you don’t like having so much cash around, think about simply putting the total amount of money for that category and subtracting from it as you spend money and add the receipts to the envelope.

This might seem a bit old school, but you would be surprised how many live by this method to keep their finances in order.