Because it is effective despite its “old school” approach, the envelope budgeting technique has endured for a long time. There isn’t much to it if you haven’t heard of it: Create sub-budgets for things like recreation, food, housing, and transportation.
Get some envelopes, name them with the monthly amounts you expect to spend in each area, and fill them with cash from your checking account. Spend only what’s in your envelopes for the month, and wait until the next month to buy anything else in that area.
This system is effective because at a glance you can see exactly how much money you have left after expenses and how much you have spent. But these days, most individuals would rather not part with their hard-earned income. Credit cards, debit cards, and internet payment systems like PayPal make shopping a breeze. The convenience of these payment options, however, might lead to reckless spending.
If you’re looking for a replacement for the traditional envelopes method, go no further than Mvelopes. It’s a budgeting service with apps for Android, iPhone, and iPad, and it works with both Windows and Mac computers. Mvelopes is a digital version of the cash-based envelopes budgeting system that lets users “load” virtual envelopes with predetermined monthly budget amounts and then check the balances of those envelopes at any time during the month to avoid going over their spending limits.
By connecting your Mvelopes account to your existing financial information (banking, credit card companies, PayPal, and more), you may automate your accounting processes. But it also lets you enter data manually if you like.
Services that are available
Mvelopes account users can choose between Mvelopes, Mvelopes Premier, and Money4Life Coaching, each of which offers a higher degree of support.
Mvelopes is the default, free service for users. Users may link up to four accounts, such as PayPal, credit cards, and banks, and set up to 25 spending envelopes to organize their money. It analyzes net worth and automatically compiles expenditure data from linked accounts to provide customers a snapshot of their financial situation.
Besides email, there is also a restricted online chat feature and a forum for users to make use of. Emails are usually responded to within one to two hours, while responses to more involved requests may take longer.
Users with a Basic Mvelopes account can access online chat, but it isn’t integrated into the actual program; rather, they must go to the Mvelopes website and click the “support” tab to begin a conversation.
As a result, the customer support representative won’t have access to any of the user’s personal information (such as their name and account status) until the user voluntarily shares this information. If you have a simple inquiry, you may check out the forum or FAQ section. Categories such as “Achieving Financial Goals,” “Mvelopes,” “Money Mistakes,” and “Getting Started” have sub-categories with many subjects and entries. You can get help and advice from people who are also using Mvelopes.
If you have more sophisticated finances and need help keeping track of many accounts, you may want to consider upgrading to Mvelopes Premier, which costs $9.95 per month. In addition to the features included in the free Mvelopes account, Premier users can link an unlimited number of bank accounts and create an unlimited number of spending envelopes.
Premier members also get access to real-time online assistance that is embedded into the user’s account, allowing support agents to quickly identify the user and view their history together with relevant account information. Every hour of every day, you can access this service.
Lastly, Premier members may take use of the built-in debt-roll down functionality. You may enter all of your debt details, including credit card balances, into their system and “experiment” with different factors to find the fastest way to pay it down. Once you’ve settled on a strategy to reduce your debt, you may include that data into your budget envelopes and overall spending plan.
After being familiar with the Mvelopes program, the Money4Life Coaching program is the next stage. Money4Life Coaching provides its clients with access to Mvelopes Premier and all of its features, as well as the 9 Step Financial Success and Rapid Debt Elimination Plans, help in creating an emergency fund large enough to cover expenses for three to six months, phone access to financial advisors, and customized budgets and savings plans to facilitate the attainment of their financial goals.
Get in touch with the helpful team at the Money4Life Center by dialing 866-718-0535 to learn more about our costs, which are negotiable and subject to change based on your individual circumstances.
Custom email notifications may be set up in Mvelopes to notify you of important events. A new bank transaction, for instance, may be imported into your Mvelopes account, and you can set up email notifications to notify you of this. When making a purchase, you may log into your Mvelopes account and select the appropriate envelope.
- Combining of Accounts. All of your financial data can be consolidated into one location with Mvelopes, whether you have one bank account or fifteen. The overall amount of money you have in all your accounts can be seen in real time, and you can create a budget for each account while still keeping an eye on the big picture.
- Obtaining Use of the App. Download the Mvelopes app for Android or the Mvelopes app for iPhone, and you can manage your finances no matter where you are.
- Establishing objectives. Mvelopes allows you to plan long-term savings objectives, such as building up an emergency fund or saving for retirement. These targets are established when a monthly budget is created in Mvelopes and can be updated as needed.
- Consolidation of debt by rolling it down to a lower interest rate. Although the debt roll-down option is not included in the free Mvelopes account, the service is still worthwhile to explore. You can see the status of all your debts in one spot, and you can even play around with different “what if” scenarios to see how different monthly payments would affect your overall debt burden. You’ll get a realistic view of your debt and your payoff options after entering all of your account information, including specifics on interest rates and promotional periods.
- An Overview Of All Your Accounts. Keeping tabs on your money when you have many bank accounts may be a pain. With Mvelopes, you can monitor all of your accounts in one convenient location and keep tabs on your overall expenditure without having to switch between several apps.
- Envelope budgeting with a personal touch. When you open an account, you get to decide what kinds of virtual envelopes you want to use and how much money you want to put in each one. Despite the fact that Mvelopes is not a bill pay service, it does provide a visual method of monitoring money going in and out of various accounts. In this way, it might be challenging to keep close tabs on total expenditure if, for instance, you pay for groceries with one credit card, petrol with another, rent with a savings account, and online shopping using PayPal. After a transaction clears your financial institution, Mvelopes will instantly import it into your Mvelopes account.
- Every one of those expenditures may be manually ascribed to an envelope, allowing you to monitor your spending down to the category level. For example, if you always pay for petrol using the same account, you may lower your spending from that envelope automatically every time a transaction clears.
- Your Money, Wherever You Are. Your Mvelopes account is accessible from anywhere with the Mvelopes app and an Android or iOS-compatible mobile device. While many budgeting tools do provide mobile applications, Mvelopes’ innovative approach to allocating and monitoring cash by specific expenditure type makes it especially convenient to check your balance in a certain category whenever you want, right from your phone. Mvelopes support claims that customers may create an unlimited number of expenditure threshold-based alert “rules,” however the process for doing so is cryptic. Turning on or off certain notifications, such as insufficient funds or auto assign, is an option under the My Account Preferences area, however it is unclear how to add or modify these alerts.
- Information Collection for Automatic Transactions. When you link your Mvelopes account to your bank accounts, the service will bring in your spending data on a regular basis, giving you a running total of your expenditures in real time. This frees you from the burden of manually entering each and every purchase you make, but you may still opt to do so if you like.
- Coaching is available. Mvelopes’ Money4Life program provides individual financial counseling for a charge. Having access to professional support when you need it is a fantastic advantage, especially considering how many individuals might need assistance with paying down debt, setting and achieving goals, and getting spending under control. If you have any questions regarding the rates and services offered, you may reach a Money4Life agent at (866) 718-0535.
- Constructing takes a long time. The process of creating a fully working Mvelopes account might be time consuming. To get the most out of Mvelopes, you’ll want to link all of your financial accounts (bank, credit card, and PayPal) to it. For the budget you create to be effective, you must also have access to your monthly income and spending. If a budget is already established, this may make things easier, but there is no method to import papers from outside sources, so the setup time is not reduced. After tallying up your earnings and expenditures, you may divide your cash into their respective compartments.
- Frustratingly Confusing Web Interface. Even while Mvelopes includes several useful functions (such as account connectivity and debt roll-down), it might be difficult to keep track of everything. However, after everything is set up, it can be difficult to keep track of all of the accounts and envelopes. Even while the tabs (Home, Accounts, Inbox, Budget, Debt Center, and Reports) look reasonably self-explanatory, it is not immediately evident how they operate, or how they work together, and there are no built-in lessons to take you to the next step or inform you if you’ve missed something. After creating a budget (which was straightforward), I found the “Funding Plan” item to be completely incomprehensible; I had no idea what it was for, and the page didn’t provide a tutorial or information button to explain it.
- Free accounts do not have access to the built-in live chat feature. It would be helpful if all Mvelopes account holders could access online chat assistance due to the system’s relative complexity. True, in a technical sense. Live chat is available to the public on the main Mvelopes website, but only paid subscribers have access to it via the “Help” menu item inside their own accounts. This is an unusual distinction because the support is the same whether you reach it through your account or the Support page on Mvelopes’ website; the only difference is that the person on the other end won’t recognize you right away if you use the latter. Since the technology for live chat is already in place, it doesn’t seem like much of a stretch for Mvelopes to make it available to all subscription tiers.
The envelope budgeting approach is widely used because it is effective. Mvelopes is the first web-based budgeting tool that updates the traditional envelopes approach for use with electronic banking.
The Mvelopes system is a fantastic resource for keeping track of all of your financial accounts in one convenient area and gaining insight into your spending and saving patterns.
With the debt roll-down option and online professional coaching, people who are prepared to invest $10 or more per month may be able to reach their financial objectives more quickly and efficiently.