I have friends who swear by the Dave Ramsey cash envelope system, so I did some research. Here are 11 couples who used the cash envelope system and their results.
But first, here is some background on what the cash envelope system is so we’re all on the same page. If you want to get to the real stories, scroll down.
What is the Dave Ramsey cash envelope system?
The cash envelope system works by forcing you to stick to your budget in categories such as groceries, gas, food and entertainment. You calculate how much money from each paycheck should go into each category, take out cash and put it into the corresponding envelope.
When there is no cash left in the envelope, you’re done with spending in that category for the month. Studies show that credit cards make people overspend so using cash should force you to stick to your budget better.
Where can you get Dave Ramsey Cash Envelopes?
I was surprised to see that you can pick up some cute cash envelopes on Etsy. You can use plain ones too but if the fun ones help you stick to your budget better than so be it.
Check out the cash envelope selection on Etsy here.
Does the Dave Ramsey Cash Envelope System actually work?
So does the Dave Ramsey cash envelope system actually work? I did some research and found out that YES it does work and there are plenty of couples who found success using this method. I personally paid off my student loan debt using a different method but I’m not opposed to the cash envelope method and think it can work for some people.
Here are 11 Real People Who Paid Off Debt Using the Cash Envelope System
1. Stephanie of the Imperfect Millennial Blog
Stephanie and her husband paid off $166,000 of student loan debt in 4 years using the cash envelope system. They’re in their twenties and went into debt with dual nursing degrees. They’re focused on building a life of travel and financial freedom now that they’re debt free.
2. Rachel Gause
Rachel paid off $150,000 of debt and is a huge supporter of the cash envelope system. She had $20,000 left to go at the time she was featured in this article in Time. In addition to the cash envelopes, Rachel and her family also tracked their debt payoff by coloring in milestones in a debt savings tracker. Love that idea!
If you want to use a savings tracker like Rachel, buy one here on Etsy.
3. Chris of Debt Free Geek
Chris used an electronic version of the Envelope System where he transferred money to an operating expenses account to pay off $150,000 in 3.5 years. He only left $100-$200 in the account at one time to slow down impulse purchases. This is definitely one unique spinoff of the traditional cash envelope system.
4. Allison of Inspired Budget
Allison paid off $111,000 of debt using the cash envelope system. That is a crazy number! She has a free printable and some really cute DIY envelope ideas on her site.
5. Kim of Thrifty Little Mom
Kim and her husband paid off a $93,000 mortgage in 2 years with a cash based envelope system. She has a starter guide to the cash based envelope system here.
6. The Johnson’s
They paid off $35,000 of credit card debt. Learn more about their story here on Learnvest.
- How I Paid off $89,000 of Debt in 18 Months
- Why I Paid off My Spouse’s Student Loans
- Jen’s Student Loan Story – $77,000 of Debt Gone
7. Jackie of Paleo Mama
Paleo Mama paid off $27,000 of debt in 6 months using the Dave Ramsey cash envelope method. She took the first step of having $1,000 in savings (a common first goal of Dave Ramsey followers) and then crushed the debt in 6 months, all while still eating paleo.
8. Melissa Voigt
Melissa and her family paid off $18,000 in two years using the cash envelope system. Read more about their debt free journey here.
9. Alicia of Your Vibrant Family
Alicia and family paid off $100k of debt in 13 months. Spirituality was key on her journey and the cash envelope system. She was a graduate of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and used the debt snowball method.
10. Kyle of Dollar Dilligence
Kyle paid off $33,000 in 18 months and wrote about it on Millennial Money Man’s site. He tracked everything down to the penny, lived in his sister’s basement and chopped his grocery bill to $100 per month. He definitely scrimped and saved and it paid off big.
11. Amanda of the Woo District
Amanda paid off her debt using the cash envelope system. She realized that she needed to stop comparing herself to others and that realization was integral to paying off her debt. She went through Dave Ramsey’s baby steps before tackling her debt.
I’m so impressed with all of these real cash envelope debt payoff stories! Here is more information about the cash envelope system on the Dave Ramsey website.
Have you used the cash envelope system? Did it work?
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