Lauren Cobello » Budgeting » Budget Tips and Tricks » Qube Money Review – Digital Cash Envelope System
I’m not the only financial coach who swears by the cash envelope budgeting method. I swear by using cash– and ONLY using cash– when you are working on getting out of debt. Why? Because it puts a “hard stop” on those budget categories that tend to fly out of control when you’re using plastic. I swore by using cash until…..I found Qube Money. In this post, I am going to walk you through why I switched to using Qube Money instead of using cash AND give you a full Qube Money Review.
It’s nearly impossible to argue with cash because you have to spend it very consciously. You acknowledge the cost of something and fork over the bills. Once you’ve paid, that money is gone.
I LOVE cash envelopes, and there are so many reasons why. This system forces you to make real decisions based on the money you have in hand, rather than on an idea of what you’d like to spend.
Loads of the women I’ve helped will rave about how quickly their spending is under control once they switch to cash. But an equal number cringe when I tell them about the envelope system. Why– especially when this is such a tried-and-true method? Because there are so many drawbacks and fears when it comes to switching to a cash-only budget.
I decided to try something new this year. I decided to switch to using Qube Money.
So why did I switch to Qube Money? After using cash envelopes for 18 years and teaching you all how to budget using cash envelopes for over a decade – I started getting sick of it. I even have a cash envelope system wallet, which I LOVE, but that even doesn’t keep me excited about using cash.
There are definite drawbacks when using cash, here are some of the major ones that I’ve encountered over the years:
In my Crush Your Debt Course, I walk you through the process of opening five bank accounts to organize your spending:
When you begin to think of your expenses as pulling from one of these accounts, you’ll find quickly that a couple of categories are more flexible than the others.
Let’s just say that there’s a lot of decision-making that can play into your miscellaneous spending every month. That said, chances are you won’t be able to change your behavior and shave much off your gasoline or rent bills every month.
When it’s all said and done, your spending account is where the real action happens. And a cash envelope mentality can help to save you the headache and repercussions that come with overspending.
I like to set up my Qube Money Qube’s to use as my Spending Account. So instead of setting up a separate checking account for spending money, I am now teaching (and using) Qube to track my spending as a digital cash envelope banking account.
There are tons of apps out there that link with your bank accounts or even smart debit cards similar to Qube. While it’s exciting to see these kinds of technologies developing, Qube is the only app I’ve seen that really encourages conscious, accountable spending in the same way cash envelopes do. This is why I wanted to do a Qube Money Review, to show you the awesome benefits of using this app! In order to understand how to use Qube, you should first understand how to start a cash budget. By knowing that, you will understand the concept of digital cash envelopes much better.
Apps and accounts that will organize your expenses AFTER you’ve spent money are all over the place. This difference with Qube Money is that Qube holds you accountable by requiring you to categorize each expense BEFORE the money leaves your account.
Qube Money places your spending budget into an FDIC-insured Choice Financial Group account. From there, you are in charge of filling your Qubes (envelopes) set aside for each category– groceries, transportation, take-out, personal care, and clothing, for example. See below how I set up my account for Misc Spending, Gas, Eating Out, and Groceries. I set my budget for each of the categories.
Rather than holding all of your money and categorizing it as you spend, your Qube card defaults to a zero balance. So each time you want to spend money, you’ll have to select a specific Qube for the amount you’d like to spend.
In the image below, you can see how I opened the Misc Spending Cube. Once this Cube is opened, I can use my Qube Money debit card and make a purchase. The app will deduct the money from that purchase from the Misc Spending account. I then close the Qube.
Here’s what I really love about the Qube Money system: if someone gets their hands on your card, it’s worth $0 without your Qube app– so it’s more secure than carrying a debit card. You can also add your Qube debit card to your apple pay right within your phone if you don’t want to carry your card around with you.
What’s more? You’re forced to be intentional with each purchase. Before money leaves your available funds, you’ll need to assign a category to your expense. This might make you think twice before that $8 Starbucks run (is that “self-care,” “eating out,” or “miscellaneous”?).
Just like cash envelopes, you may find yourself pausing before you blow through the checkout. While you aren’t parting with bills and coins, you WILL find that without some planning, you’ll find yourself with some empty Qubes. Time to shake some money loose from another Qube (transferring funds from groceries to take-out, for instance), or reconsider your purchase.
YES! You can also use Qube to set up your bills to be paid. Bill Qubes helps you intentionally set money aside for your expenses by automating the payments so you can focus on your spending habits. This first version allows you to create Qube’s for bills that can be paid with a debit card, like Netflix, product subscriptions, or gym memberships.
To create a Bill Qube, go to “Planning” > “Add New”. Tap “‘Bill” and begin filling out the form. Name and design your Qube, select fixed or variable expense, then enter the amount. You won’t have to open a Qube, simply assign one bill to one Qube and let the charge come through.
When creating a Bill Qube for a variable expense, like a utility bill, you’ll need to enter the exact amount of the first bill that is charged to your Qube card. Then, once the charge arrives, it will lock in the merchant’s name for future payments. Currently, bills can only be paid with your Qube debit card, but more options will be available in the future.
Yes, funds in your Qube account(s) are insured by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Company) through their partner bank, Choice Financial Group, up to the legal limit of $250,000.
They designed their debit card using Default Zero technology.
That means that your card has a default balance of $0. Unless a category is activated by you on your phone, it is virtually impossible for someone to use your card. That means you can swipe your card and use the app worry free.
The Premium account is only $8 a month and the family account is only $15 per month. The amount of money you will save by using this app is WAY more than the price of the app!
I hope this Qube Money Review helped you see if this app is right for you. I’m such a fan of the cash envelope system because I have seen it change long-held bad habits when it comes to spending. But I also realize that it’s 2021– maybe you don’t want to interact with a cashier at the gas station or grocery store.
Qube Money gives you the freedom of choosing self-checkout or online payments, but with the foolproof accountability of a cash envelope system. It’s the best of both worlds.
What’s more? You can look back through your expenses at any point throughout the month and recalibrate. I don’t mean moving a physical $20 bill from the “childcare” envelope to the “eating out” envelope, though you can shift funds between Qubes virtually. Actual dollars fund your Qubes, so you’ll feel the same weight as you do with the envelope system. Your expenses are real, and you’ll have to consider each one within the context of your budget.
This app works instantly to fund your debit card, complete a transaction, and return to its neutral, zero-dollar balance. It’s the speed and convenience of a debit card, but without mindless swiping. Think and then spend– it’s a pattern that forces you to adopt new habits.
At the end of the day, Qube is my NEW FAVORITE secret weapon for saving money. It forces you to be thoughtful and careful with each dollar while arming you with the convenience of a swipeable card—all the benefits of cash envelopes, without any of the bulk or hassle.
Ready to get your hands on your own Qube account? Click here to get started!