‘Cash Stuffing’ Trend Helps People Save and Clear Debt

Dec 30, 2021

A budgeting technique that uses a system of ‘cash stuffing’ envelopes is gaining popularity, with financial experts offering comprehensive guides and followers claiming to have successfully used it to clear debts and save for weddings and mortgage deposits.

While far from new, discussions around how to employ the Cash Envelope Method—more recently termed Cash Stuffing—and success stories from those using it have soared in the closing weeks of 2021 as economies worldwide continue to grapple with the pandemic’s fallout. Sarah Sharkey of US-based Clever Girl Finance introduces the approach as being particularly effective ‘for anyone that needs a visual budget to stay on track’, helping people to keep their spending in check and even set aside money to build savings.

The system involves labelling envelopes with different budget categories and placing cash into each. Categories typically include essentials—such as rent, groceries and travel—saving goals, and an allowance for non-essential spends, such as dining out. People then only use cash from an envelope for its specific purpose, meaning savings are not inadvertently spent on non-essential things.

An additional benefit is that handing over banknotes and coins gives a tangible sense of expenditure, unlike cashless options that make spending intangible and ultimately more easily overlooked or forgotten, which can lead to overspending.

Instead of simply swiping your debit or credit card and forgetting about it, you’ll be forced to hand over cash in exchange for your purchase.
"Sarah SharkeyClever Girl Finance

In Britain, the Metro newspaper recommended this method to save for Christmas, while the Mirror recently reported on a London-based couple who claim it helped them clear their debt, pay for a wedding and save enough for a house deposit, and the Sun carried a story about a single mother who has become debt free and is now saving for a home and helping others take control of their finances.

Last Updated: Jan 17, 2022