Mvelopes is a web-based personal finance tool that puts a modern twist to the tried-and-true envelope budgeting method. The software is designed for people who tend to overspend and have found themselves in a hole of debt. Over the years, Mvelopes has helped over 500,000 users with an average savings of $6,175 in one year.
The Envelope Budgeting System
There’s a handful of different budgeting methods out there. One of the most utilized one is the envelope budgeting system. With it, you use envelopes and define each one as a spending category. Then, you divvy up cash (AKA your income) into the envelopes. Once you spend all the cash in one envelope, that means you’ve spent your budget for that category.
After registering for an account, you’ll be asked to pick your goals. This way, Mvelopes can customize its service and help you figure out a budget that’s in line with your priorities.
Once you’ve established your goals, you’ll be led through a four-step process before you can start tracking your expenses. The four steps include:
- Adding your accounts
- Defining your income
- Creating a budget
- Funding your envelopes
It doesn’t matter if you have one bank account or ten, you can integrate all your financial accounts into one convenient Mvelopes account. This will give you a real-time overview of how much money you have across all accounts and lets you budget from individual accounts while keeping track of your big total.
Custom Categories & Budgeting
Mvelopes will automatically pull all of your transactions from linked accounts into Mvelopes. You can then manually assign every payment to one of your envelopes, tracking your spending in each category. The service lets you create as many custom virtual envelopes as you wish.
If there are big expenses looming in the future, Mvelopes lets you set savings goals that you can work towards over time. These biggies include emergency fund, retirement, wedding, vacation and gift savings.
This is one of Mvelopes’ shining features. The service is able to pay bills from its Payment Center. It works with any company you would normally pay by check or automatic debit, even if you don’t receive bills.
Debt Reduction Center
This feature isn’t available with all plans, but it’s worth a once over if you’re trying to get rid of debt. The Debt Reduction Center is fully integrated with your accounts which lets you view all your debt in one place. It requires you to input the nitty gritty details of your accounts, like interest rates and promotion periods, so you get an extremely accurate overview of your debt.
Access to Coaching
Also for a fee, you can get personal finance coaching through Mvelopes Money4Life service. Pay down your debts, set and reach goals, and get your spending under control with the help of an expert.
Mvelopes offer three different plans: Basic, Premier and Plus.
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Before you jump into a 30-day free trial with Mvelopes, make sure to keep the following points in mind:
To set up an account with Mvelopes, it takes time in order for it to be fully functional. You need to sync each of your financial accounts, including credit cards and PayPal, so you should have all your account information readily available.
You’ll also need to have accurate monthly income and spending information so you can set up your budget based on actual numbers. If you already have a budget in place, then this part shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.
Once that’s done, you’ll need to set up envelopes and divide your funds into each category.
Sure, Mvelopes has a ton of great features, but there’s almost too much information to handle. When it comes time to manage envelopes and accounts after setup, you could easily get confused. There aren’t any tutorials or prompts to show you what you need to do or if you’ve missed a step.
Mvelopes provides many different pages and resources to explore, and while this is helpful, it could benefit from a simpler, more intuitive system.
Mvelopes is a great way to get a full financial picture of your spending and saving behavior, letting you manage all your financial accounts from one convenient location. Much more than the classic envelope budgeting system, Mvelopes also offers one-to-one coaching sessions to see where your money is going, find budget leaks, and give you the motivation you need to get out of debt.