Dee Kaskonaite, 24, describes cash stuffing as “quite life-changing”. She says: “I was basically living paycheque to paycheque every single month, and cash stuffing has really helped me to budget my finances in a physical way, because when I have it out in front of me, I’m someone that tends to not spend as much.”
Kaskonaite, who started budgeting with cash last July, now owns a small business making and selling binders and other cash stuffing paraphernalia to those inspired to start the trend. She says that part of its success comes from its aesthetic appeal.
“I do think the aesthetics of it does help because it is a really therapeutic process to sit down and actually put the money away into each different envelope, and it is fun.”
Sarah Coles, a personal finance analyst at investment service Hargreaves Lansdown, says: “It can be a useful way to keep an eye on your spending, particularly those areas where you have a tendency to splurge.
“By splitting up your cash into envelopes marked with types of spending, and only putting in the cash you’ve actively chosen to spend in one specific area, it forces you to make spending decisions in advance. It also helps you see exactly where you stand, so you can change your plans if need be. And if you only ever carry this cash, once it’s gone, you have to stop spending.”
However, she warns: “This isn’t practical for the big payments you tend to make digitally – like bills and the rent or mortgage. Even for smaller amounts, if you leave your cards at home you could run into difficulties with payments, and if you carry those cards, you can be tempted to keep spending. There are security risks too – both when you’re carrying cash around, and when it’s sitting at home in envelopes.”
Although Kaskonaite says she has had little issue using cash in her local area, Camilla says that she keeps £100 on her card “as a buffer”, in case she goes out with friends to a venue which won’t accept notes.
For longer-term savings goals – where envelopes can fill up with hundreds of pounds’ worth of cash – she uses placeholder cards,and returns the funds to a “hidden-away pot” in her bank, for reasons of security.
For cash stuffers, physical money is the antidote to the “one-click” culture of consumerism, enabled by modern ways to pay. An ardent believer in the future of cash, Camilla has begun to teach her two children under ten how to pay with coins and notes, and its importance.
“As a parent I want to try and put as many barriers between their future money and buying stuff as I possibly can. I think that learning the value of cash by using cash is one of the biggest factors that will keep them out of debt in the future.”