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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Resolved: To Pay With Cash



My parents do not have an ATM card. Or a debit card. Or direct deposit. They never have. My guess is, at this point, they never will. Instead, every Saturday morning, my dad sits down at his desk, endorses his paycheck, fills out a deposit slip, goes to the bank (into the lobby, never the drive-thru) and walks out with cash in his wallet for the week. And if you spend a week with my dad, you'll notice that for all of his purchases, from grocery shopping, to Chinese food on Friday, my dad pays with cash. They have a credit card. One. Because you need one to buy things like airline tickets with credit cards, and emergencies do happen. But for my entire life, my parents have been cash people. Don't get me wrong, my parents aren't wealthy. Growing up there was a lot of paycheck to paycheck and help from family. But they are disciplined. My brother caught this bug full on. Me.....not so much.

It has taken me a while to realize the freedom that comes with saying no. With denying myself something I want. With asking myself: "Do I NEED this, or do I merely WANT this?" It has taken some debt, and some mistakes and some thick credit card envelopes. But I have made strides, and as a mom, I am making an effort to consciously teach my kids to do the same.

We started our kids on a paper envelope system last year. They are 5 and 7 and receive a small allowance for chores around the house. However, they are responsible for divvying up their money into three categories: Spend, Save and Church. The idea was, at this age, that Spend would be money they could do with whatever they want without any complaint from me or my husband. Save would be money they had to set aside with a goal in mind that had to be discussed with a parent, and Church would be for church. Here is a picture of my daughter's envelopes:



Then, a few months later, I was asked to make a fabric cash wallet, for a girl who was trying to do the very same thing for herself. She wanted individual, removeable pockets to seperate her money and an outer pouch to hold them all in. Here is the first Dale Cash Envelope System, so named for the lovely Dale who brought me the idea. :)


I pinned her pouch on Pinterest and linked it to my etsy shop. That day this one item had over 100 views. That had never happened to me on etsy. Clearly, other people had the same need! So I developed a design-your-own version of the cash envelope system, using a bold chevron and a rag flower embellishment. It comes with 5 open paper money envelopes and one zippered change envelope, and can hold up to 8. It also has a pocket on the back for your checkbook.



 In December, I made a fabric version of my kids' paper envelopes with a pouch for a friend's children for Christmas.



New for 2013: An extra large cash envelope system that comes with 9 inner pouches (8 open and 1 zippered) and can hold up to 12.

Here's a look at all that can fit in there:

Custom envelopes for specific saving needs, like Christmas...

Or birthdays.....or a vacation...


And a newly designed younger child's version that's a purse as well as made for carrying the envelopes. Because my 5 year old kept leaving her spend pouch in the car when we went into Target.


I still need to work on a boy version for my son. And so I'm collecting sports fabric and toying with the idea of a grab handle instead of a purse strap for him. He'll let me know what he likes.


Just like my parents, we have a girl and a boy. Only I'm hoping they both catch this bug....full on.


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