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Cash Stuffing: What Is It, and Does It Actually Work?

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Are you struggling to budget and control your spending? Do you feel like your hard-earned money is just draining away? It can be SO frustrating when it feels impossible to make a dent in those financial goals.

If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “There HAS to be an easier way to manage my finances,” you’re not alone.

You might have already seen it trending on platforms like TikTok and Instagram – the latest sensation in budgeting called “cash stuffing.”

Videos of people using a folder filled with plastic sleeves, each one labelled for a specific purpose, where they sort and stash their cash.

It’s been all the rage on social media lately, but guess what? This isn’t some brand-new, revolutionary concept.

It’s actually a method that our grandparents used back in the day.

They would come home from work on pay day, open their pay packet, and divide the cash into envelopes to set money aside for all the different bills they had.

Cash stuffing is essentially a modern twist on this age-old practice, with the main difference being the use of a folder instead of the paper envelope system our grandparents relied on.

You know what they say, “Everything old is new again.”

Remember though, back then there was no internet to pay bills, no credit cards, no Buy Now Pay Later, no short-term credit, and far less debt than we have now.

Even so, this simple technique can help you to get on top of your bills and learn how best to manage the money coming in and out of your account every month.

So how does cash stuffing work?

Well, it’s actually pretty simple.

Each payday, you go and get your pay out of the bank in cash, and then you come home and divide that money up into the envelopes that have been set aside for each thing you pay for.

So, there will be an envelope for your mortgage or rent, your electricity, insurance, groceries, running costs on your car, saving for presents, and, if you’re lucky, splurging on yourself.

But cash stuffing only works if you commit to sticking with it, not using those buckets of money for anything other than what they are designated for, and not using credit or short-term lending like Buy Now Pay Later.

Of course, in an increasingly digital world, where credit cards, online payments, and mobile wallets dominate financial transactions, the practice of cash stuffing might seem like a relic of the past.

BUT, it still holds relevance in certain scenarios.

Cash stuffing involves keeping physical money hidden away for various purposes, and like any financial strategy, it comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

So, let’s delve into the pros and cons of cash stuffing to help you make informed decisions about this age-old practice.

Pros of Cash Stuffing:

  1. Having a hidden stash of cash can be invaluable during emergencies when electronic payment methods become inaccessible. Natural disasters, power outages, or technical glitches can render digital transactions useless, making cash the only viable option for essential purchases. Yeah, I know that hardly ever happens, but when it does, it is painful.
  1. Cash transactions don’t leave a digital trail. If you’re concerned about your financial privacy or wish to keep certain transactions discreet, cash stuffing can be a way to achieve this. It’s an effective way to keep your spending habits confidential.
  1. Cash transactions eliminate the need to pay transaction fees associated with credit card or online payments. This can be especially advantageous when making small purchases where transaction fees may constitute a significant portion of the total cost.
  1. But the big reason for doing cash stuffing is budgeting control. When you allocate a specific amount of cash for spending, it’s easier to track and manage your expenses. This method encourages mindful spending, reducing the likelihood of overspending.


It is well known that the spending of actual cash has more of an impact on you than the use of a digital transaction. Spending money without the physical handing over of money does not have the same emotional connection for you that money has.

When you are using money in its digital form, your brain does not process it as money the same way as spending cash does.

Spending cash actually registers in the pain centre of the brain. Think about the last time you went to an EFTPOS machine and withdrew money to pay for something and compare that to the emotions you felt when you paid for something online.

This same disconnection is what your brain does with Buy Now Pay Later, where your brain sees the small weekly payment as the transaction, not the total amount you are paying.

And don’t get me started on tap and go.

Cash stuffing also works because you physically see the money building up in those envelopes, and that works as an incentive to continue growing your money, so you are less likely to spend on things that are not required.

Cons of Cash Stuffing:

  1. Physical money is vulnerable to loss, theft, or damage. Unlike digital assets, cash can’t be easily replaced if it’s lost or stolen, potentially leading to financial setbacks.
  1. Cash doesn’t generate interest or appreciate in value like other investment options. Stashing large amounts of cash for extended periods might result in missed opportunities for growth through investments but also the loss of value of your cash.
  1. While cash is accepted in most places, there’s a growing trend towards cashless transactions. Some businesses and services only accept electronic payments, leaving you at a disadvantage if you rely solely on a hidden cash stash.
  1. The value of cash can erode over time due to inflation. Holding onto a large amount of cash without investing it could lead to a reduction in purchasing power over the years. Cash sitting in an envelope does not keep up with inflation, so it is constantly being devalued. You know that saying – a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow.
  1. Unlike digital transactions, cash transactions lack the convenience of automatic record-keeping. This can make it challenging to maintain an accurate financial record, which is essential for budgeting and tax purposes. And you know what I say – knowledge is power, and if you don’t know where you are spending your money, how can you make changes?
  1. Juggling multiple sleeves or envelopes can be fiddly, time-consuming and difficult to manage.


Like most financial strategies, the effectiveness of cash stuffing depends on your individual circumstances and goals. For some, maintaining a small emergency cash stash is a great choice, while for others, a more modern banking structure might provide better benefits.

Striking a balance between digital transactions and cash stuffing could be a viable solution, allowing you to enjoy the convenience of modern financial systems while retaining the advantages of cash.

Cash stuffing, I find works best for people who struggle when it comes to sticking with their budget or who have very little control over spending what they have saved. Being only able to spend cash means that you cannot do online shopping or make rash decisions through electronic transactions. It means you physically have to go to a shop to pay for something, and that sometimes is an inconvenience. Sometimes that means you have time to stop and think about whether you want to actually spend your money.

Cash stuffing, while not without its drawbacks, offers a range of benefits that can be especially valuable in certain situations. It’s essential to weigh these pros and cons against your personal financial objectives and the context of your daily life. Whether you choose to stash cash as a backup for emergencies, for increased privacy, or to maintain budgeting control, remember that financial decisions are best made with careful consideration and a well-informed approach.

At Got Money Honey, I have created a banking system that replicates the cash stuffing process without the risk of having your money stolen, losing out financially, or not having a record of where you spend so that you can make changes to your spending and saving habits.

It takes all the hard work out of the process and provides a powerful, automated system that once set up, manages itself.

All the advantages without the disadvantages.

Click the link below and come join me now in My Money Makeover. It really will give you all the financial freedom you need while still having control over your money.

My Money Makeover