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Hampton woman uses viral cash stuffing method to cut down debt

A woman writes down how much money she is putting towards her rent. A small pink binder lays open with cash in individual sleeves.
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On pay day, Judia Griner allocates funds towards her housing costs using the cash stuffing method.

What is cash stuffing? A viral TikTok trend helped a Virginia woman cut down her college debt.


JUDIA GRINER (TIKTOK CASH STUFFER): I was able to pay off $14,000 of debt and while I was in school, I was able to actively pay off about $8,000 of tuition.

KEYRIS MANZANARES: But Judia Griner wasn't always a saver. The 26-year-old living in Hampton admits that when it came to her finances, she winged it.

JUDIA GRINER: I was just as clueless as anyone else. You can ask any of my friends. They are shocked that people come to me for finance advice, 'cause like I'm terrible at math and I was an impulsive spender.

KEYRIS MANZANARES: Griner's financial journey was kick-started by a video about cash stuffing on TikTok. Now, she runs her own account focused on the budgeting method.

JUDIA GRINER: So, cash stuffing is basically a physical means of budgeting. So, you basically use cash, physical money, and you set aside a slew of envelopes and each envelope is going to represent a category within your budget. So, for example, for me, I usually have stuff set aside for groceries, rent, and utilities.

KEYRIS MANZANARES: Cory Nichols, Founder and CEO of Yes Life Financial, says...

CORY NICHOLS (FOUNDER AND CEO, YES LIFE FINANCIAL): I don't want to be a stereotypical millennial and blame our parents, but generally speaking, most of us have not had financial conversations leading up to this point and the school system didn't do a good job of making sure that we had personal finance courses, and so as a result, we're left to figure things out now and social media has been a great way to be informed on different strategies and methods and tactics to be able to achieve whatever financial goal you're leading towards.

KEYRIS MANZANARES: But Nichols says he isn't a fan of cash stuffing, because people tend to take money from one envelope if they are running short in another budget area. So, he advises people to track their expenses daily. As for Griner, she continues using the cash stuffing method and inspiring others to do the same. Her TikTok account has over 200,000 followers and many of her videos have garnered millions of views. Reporting for VPM News, I'm Keyris Manzanares.


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