“Mvelopes is the future!”

Staci

Staci

Recently, I had the privilege of speaking with Staci from Saline, Michigan.  Staci has been using Mvelopes for a couple of years now.  Not long after first discovering Mvelopes, Staci wrote to us about her appreciation for the program.  Staci said:

Twelve years ago, I was going through a divorce after 11 years of marriage. For all those years, I had run a household on whatever allowance my husband gave me. When he left, I was both emotionally and financially devastated, and I had three kids to worry about. I didn’t even know what bills we had or when they were due. Family and friends tried to teach me their budgeting methods, but nothing clicked – not until Mvelopes.

I had been searching around for some kind of budgeting system, and had read a lot of reviews. The name that kept popping up over and over again was Mvelopes, so I gave it a try. When I started with Mvelopes, it was like I was back in school. I had to learn what money I had coming in, what was going out and when, and how to plan for the future. It was scary, but Mvelopes helped me see for the first time exactly what my financial picture was. Once I could really see what was going on with my money, then it wasn’t scary or frustrating to manage it anymore.

With the spending plan feature, I plan for all those events that used to catch me financially by surprise, like birthdays, holidays, even little stuff like book orders for my daughter’s classes. A little each month sure helps! I can also forecast my finances for the year, by looking at how much my daycare is going to cost, or how much I can save for something special.

I am paying for a house by myself. I have paid off my credit card. I have money to pay for Christmas presents in cash this year. I never bounce a check. I give myself a little money every month that I can spend guilt-free. I even have Mvelopes for my kids’ allowances!

I think I may be something of an Mvelopes evangelist. I have spread the word to friends and family members. One even said that she thinks Mvelopes saved her marriage because she and her husband don’t fight about money any more!

I can honestly say that Mvelopes helped me feel confident and strong in managing my money, and was a real stepping stone to helping me feel confident in other areas of my life.

Thanks, Mvelopes.

I was so inspired by Staci’s comments that I wanted to know more–hence, the telephone call.  During our conversation, Staci answered the following questions:

Q:  How long have you been using Mvelopes?

A:  Two years.

Q:  How has Mvelopes assisted you in living within your income?

A:  When I got divorced, I hadn’t paid bills or written a check in 10 years and it helped me to visualize my budget.  I was able to stay on my budget and, with the bill-pay feature, I was also able to pay my bills on time.

Q:  How much consumer debt have you been able to eliminate during that time?

A: I paid off my car.

Q:  How much have you been able to save while using Mvelopes?

A: Well, right now, nothing–because my son is in full-time daycare (chuckles), but next year I’m hoping to put about $400 a month into savings.

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“Mvelopes is a new twist on the old-fashioned way of budgeting.”

Vicky and her husband

Vicky and her husband

Vicky (from Gilbert, Arizona) started using Mvelopes almost two years ago.  Prior to that time, Vicky and her husband were struggling financially.  They attended a 5-week “Crown Money Map” coaching session and here’s what Vicky had to say about that experience:

While attending a 5-week Crown Money Map coaching session, we discovered that our savings program was “upside down.” We had a considerable amount of monies in our 401(k) programs, but no money in a savings account for emergencies. We were struggling with our finances due to the fact that the mortgage industry hit a slump and my “bonuses” dwindled to nothing. We decided to cash in one of our 401(k) accounts. We took that money and paid off our credit card debt. We also started a savings account with 3 months worth of expenses for our emergency fund.

In just 6 short months we were able to pay down our 2nd mortgage by $1,000, save some more money in order to pay cash for our vacations, and save enough money to pay cash for our Christmas presents. We were able to increase our donations as well. We started using Mvelopes and found we have a better handle on where our money goes. We also closed a personal line of credit. We are no longer borrowing money to meet our spending habits. If the money is not in our “envelope” we don’t spend it. What a wonderful feeling to be debt free with the exception of our mortgage!

I recently contacted Vicky to see how the “debt free” life was progressing.  During our conversation, Vicky provided answers to the following questions:

Q:  How long have you been using Mvelopes?

A:  It’ll be two years in June.

Q:  How has Mvelopes assisted you in living within your income?

A:  Two years ago, when we started using Mvelopes, we were in dire straits.  We went to visit a Crown Financial coach and we were told that there was no way we were going to be able to live on our income, so we’d need to make drastic changes, get another job, etc.  We were struggling.  Now, we always have money in our checkbook and it has helped us plan in advance for upcoming holidays, birthdays, vacations, and expenses.

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“We no longer charge our ‘wants’ to credit cards.”

Niki and her wonderful family

Niki and her wonderful family

I recently had the privilege of speaking with Niki about Mvelopes (one of my favorite topics).  Niki and her family currently live in Chesterfield, Virginia.  About a year and half ago, Niki shared the following comments with us:

My husband and I each came into our marriage with fairly high debt through credit cards, school loans, car payments, etc. As our financial problems grew, our marriage problems grew. We found ourselves growing apart from each other.  We got connected to a wonderful church that offered a small group study on money management, based on a video by Larry Burkett from Crown Ministries. My husband and I took what we learned very seriously and we started to use the old-fashioned envelopes system. We started to communicate more openly about our finances.  Then we started using Mvelopes in February 2006. Mvelopes has taught us discipline, helped us to remain focused, and has enabled us to stick to our budget. We no longer charge our “wants” to credit cards. We now focus on our savings and retirement, instead of frivolously spending what is left over each month after our mortgage and bills. Thank you, Mvelopes!

During our recent conversation, Niki provided the following additional information:

Q:  How long have you been using Mvelopes?

A:  I believe I started using Mvelopes in February of 2006.

Q:  How has Mvelopes assisted you in living within your income?

A:  It has helped us by categorizing our expenses.  Through the use of Mvelopes, we’ve been able to realize what a realistic budget looks like.  For example, in the past, we planned for day-to-day expenses (utilities, groceries), but we didn’t plan for any variables–things like auto expenses (tire changes, oil changes, repairs) and gift-giving expenses.  Now we plan for those things.

Q:  How much consumer debt have you been able to eliminate during that time?

A: I would say roughly $10,000.

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“Use Mvelopes–save time, save money, save your family.”

Rich and his beautiful family

Rich and his beautiful family

Today’s success story comes from Rich who lives with his beautiful family in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Not long after Rich started using Mvelopes, he wrote about an experience he had where Mvelopes spared him from having some major headaches.  Rich wrote:

I can’t begin to count the number of ways that Mvelopes has helped my family’s finances. One major success that stands out in my mind is the time a checking account debit for $2800 showed up in my New Transactions envelope. What makes this so significant is that neither my wife nor I initiated the debit . . . it was fraudulent. By having Mvelopes and checking it daily I was able to see the fraudulent charge quickly and address it before checks started bouncing. Had I waited for my bank statement or overdraft letters to come, the damage would have been done and I would have had a mess to untangle. In this instance alone I estimate that Mvelopes saved me several hours of time on the telephone or at the bank that I would have spent unraveling this mess. By knowing what happened when it happened I was able to make two quick calls and have it cleared up the same day. I definitely have Mvelopes to thank for sparing me a major headache.

In addition to the major point above, I spend much less time doing paperwork and have a much clearer picture of my finances than before I subscribed to your service. Having a wife, five kids, and plenty of work to do, time is truly my most precious commodity and Mvelopes has been very helpful in freeing up some of that commodity. I appreciate the improvements that you consistently make and look forward to a long and productive relationship. Thanks for taking such good care of my family’s financial picture!

I recently had the privilege of speaking with Rich and learned that Mvelopes has continued to be a help to him in managing his finances.

Q:  How long have you been using Mvelopes?

A:  It’s close to four years–three and a half to four years.

Q:  How has Mvelopes assisted you in living within your income?

A:  Budgeting is easy.  I set it up, I can tell when I’ve exceeded, and I can tell when I have excess funds in the envelope that I’ve over-budgeted.  When a change is appropriate, it’s very easy to make the change.

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“Using Mvelopes helps relieve guilt.”

Julianne, her husband, and beautiful daughter

Julianne, her husband, and beautiful daughter

Julianne (from Seattle, Washington) wrote to us over a year ago to tell us just how much she enjoys using Mvelopes.  Julianne wrote:

My dad was self-employed and we tended to spend the money when we had it. Though I knew what I should do–set a budget and live by it–I often found myself just living really frugally until I needed something or saw a “great” sale. Looking back, I never knew whether I actually had the money to spend and, therefore, often felt guilty for buying myself a new sweater. Though I always paid my bills, I didn’t plan for big ones (taxes) and often had to draw on my savings to get me through some unexpected expenses.

Once I got married, my habits impacted more than myself and it became more complicated living with uncertainty. My husband and I both decided our single spending habits lacked vision. We decided to start spending money with the future in mind so that we could spend money without the guilt. I could not have gained the insight into our actual financial picture without Mvelopes. I have never felt freer to save or spend! With the purchase of a new house and a new baby, I needed to know exactly where every penny was going. Now with Mvelopes, we know exactly how much we have to spend on necessities (groceries, diapers, etc.) and even make room for a little fun. We splurged and went out to eat for our second anniversary knowing exactly how much we could spend without any guilt! I make it a game for myself to see how much I can have left in as many envelopes as I can so I can put the leftovers into savings. Since we started Mvelopes in January, I feel like we are off to a great start toward financial freedom for this year.

In a recent e-mail message exchange I had with her, Julianne stated:  “My enthusiasm for Mvelopes continues to grow.”  I telephoned her and we had a wonderful conversation.  Julianne provided answers to the following questions:

Q:  How long have you been using Mvelopes?

A:  A year and a half.

Q:  How has Mvelopes assisted you in living within your income?

A:  Well, I was explaining to a friend of mine that it’s not just another budgeting tool.  For example, I used Quicken for years and this is nothing like that.  There is no other program out there like Mvelopes.  It lets you deal with things proactively, rather than reactively.  Instead of looking at what you have already spent, it helps you make decisions before you spend.  Instead of saying, “Did I get an ‘A’ or an ‘F’ grade?” you can say, “What do I need to do to get an ‘A’ grade?”  It really helps us manage our money because we always know right where we are, financially, and we don’t have to worry about whether we have money to pay bills–we know we do.

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“Figure out what’s important to you, and make it happen.”

Bill and his beautiful wife and daughters

Bill and his beautiful wife and daughters

Our latest success story comes from Bill who lives with his wife and family in Greensboro, North Carolina.  Not long after Bill first discovered Mvelopes, he had some great things to say about the product.  Bill said:

We’ve been using Mvelopes since May, 2007. Before that we have budgeted in detail since the first month we were married over 18 years ago. It changed a lot over the years from green column paper to Excel to Money Matters, the entire time utilizing the envelope method of budgeting.

In May, a friend and I were talking at a 40th birthday party about the fact that there had to be an easier way to keep up with a budget. We had both gone through Financial Peace University but were at times overwhelmed by the constant details of keeping up with every transaction and the amount of time we spent. Well, that got me thinking, there has to be a better way to do this with the growth in on-line banking tools. That is when, through some internet searches, I found Mvelopes.

Wow, I was impressed right from the start. I immediately signed up and converted our budget to the on-line program, initially funded our envelopes (49 at last count . . . yes, we are detailed), and began easily and quickly assigning transactions. My wife at times got overwhelmed by our old system and now loves how easy it is to track and split all transactions. We also love the fact that it is not tied to a particular computer. We can work on and update our budget from anywhere.

But it didn’t stop there for me. I thought, I have got to tell everyone I know about this. I am on staff at a local church and often meet with people about finances and budgeting. Most methods are too complex for them to handle though. What if I could hold workshops and teach people how to budget and implement these on-line tools? I spoke to my pastor about the idea and he was all for it.

So far I have led three workshops for over 30 people with most going on to sign up and use Mvelopes. My next workshop in two weeks already has 31 people signed up with more signing up each day. I am so excited about the difference this software can make in people’s lives and marriages. My hope is that people will be able to get a handle on their finances, eliminate debt and be freed up to live financially fit.

Thanks for developing this awesome tool. It is making an incredible difference in people’s lives.

I recently spoke with Bill to learn a bit more about his experience using Mvelopes.  Our discussion included the following questions and answers:

Q:  How long have you been using Mvelopes?

A:  It’s about two years now.

Q:  How has Mvelopes assisted you in living within your income?

A:  It has made it easier to keep track of expenses.  We have been using the envelope method since we got married 20 years ago, so we’ve always tried to live within our income, but Mvelopes has just made it a whole lot easier.  It gives you a window into what’s important.

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“Using Mvelopes will change you–for good!”

Abby and her beautiful family

Abby and her beautiful family

After using Mvelopes for about a year, Abby (from Ames, Iowa) shared the following comments with us:

We started using Mvelopes about a year ago and it has TRULY CHANGED OUR LIFE! My husband and I have 5 children under the age of 8, living on one income. Needless to say, money management is VERY important in our house! Until we started using the Mvelopes system, we were constantly overdrawing our checking account and not able to account for where our money had gone. This caused tension between us, and unneeded stress.

Then, we found Mvelopes online, and we started using it. It is so easy to use and understand. I actually look forward to our “budget meetings” now! It has allowed us to tell our money where to go, and not the other way around. We have eliminated $30,000 in debt in just the last year, and we are on a fast track to eliminating all of our debt except for our mortgage by next July. We really don’t think we could have accomplished that without Mvelopes.

We have recommended Mvelopes to many of our friends, and we will continue to use it even when we’re debt free. Thank you Mvelopes!

Another year has passed since Abby shared those comments with us.  We wanted to see how she and her family are doing meeting their financial goals, so I called her just the other day and we had a great conversation.  I was so impressed when I learned that Abby and her husband have now decreased their debt by almost $80,000!  If you want to learn more about our discussion, keep reading:

Q:  How long have you been using Mvelopes?

A:  Two years.

Q:  How has Mvelopes assisted you in living within your income?

A:  Well, first of all, let me say that it has helped us greatly.  I didn’t know how to do it otherwise–we were living paycheck to paycheck.  It was so hard to know where my money had gone.  Now I feel much more at ease living within the money we have.  We own our own business and there are a lot of budgeting programs out there that are great, but aren’t quite as automatic as Mvelopes is.  Mvelopes has been so helpful for us.

Q:  How much consumer debt have you been able to eliminate during that time?

A: We are almost debt free.  We plan to be debt free in June.  We have been able to eliminate close to $80,000.  Our income hasn’t increased at all, but we now have accountability.  My husband and I are both “spenders,” but this program has really helped us.  We don’t feel that we’ve had to give up anything in the process.  It has been great.

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“Mvelopes helps you take control of your finances!”

Joy and her wonderful family

Joy and her wonderful family

Some time ago, Joy (from Morro Bay, California) shared the following comments with us:

I have used Mvelopes for over four years, since before I was married. When I was married, eight months ago, Mvelopes simplified the financial transition to married life. Mvelopes provides an accurate account of our finances, which facilitates our conversations about our financial choices. Mvelopes also helped us keep track of our wedding expenses and kept us on budget. And, we were able to use all the money we received for our wedding on a dream honeymoon to New Zealand. However, this is only one reason I am a huge believer in the Mvelopes product. I work at a large organization and frequently use my personal credit card for business expenses that must be reimbursed. Thanks to Mvelopes, I have never overlooked a reimbursable expense! I check my Mvelopes every day, and I love the fact that my transactions are automatically updated. I will always use Mvelopes!

After reading about Joy’s success using Mvelopes, we wanted more information.  So we recently followed up with her and obtained the following additional information:

Q:  How long have you been using Mvelopes?

A:  I have been using Mvelopes for the past five years. I have reset my account three times, but now there are so many great features that I don’t think I will have to ever re-open my account. I have only continued to be more impressed by the product.

Q:  How has Mvelopes assisted you in living within your income?

A:  Mvelopes has definitely helped me live within my income. The greatest part of using the system has been to track every single transaction. This has given me a clear picture of where I am spending. I consistently run reports to evaluate how much I spend in every area.

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“Budgeting with Mvelopes brings peace of mind.”

Halli and her wonderful family

Halli and her wonderful family

A few years ago, Halli shared the following comments with us:

We have been using Mvelopes for 3½ years now and it has been one of the BEST INVESTMENTS WE’VE EVER MADE!

We’ve always been budgeters, but before Mvelopes it was a very time consuming and complicated process. Believe it or not, we actually used a big ledger and would manually write down our transactions into the appropriate categories as they cleared. This worked OK, but it was a huge time investment, was prone to errors, and didn’t give us any way to easily query past spending patterns as our budget needs changed (which they did when we graduated from college and started having kids).

When we discovered Mvelopes, we immediately knew that it was going to be the perfect budget application. It is extremely easy to use and immune from errors. It is incredibly convenient to have all the data from our bank and credit cards imported automatically each day with no additional work on our part. At this point it’s hard to imagine what we would do without Mvelopes!

We’ve recommended Mvelopes to many of our friends and family and will continue to do so. Thanks for writing such an excellent piece of software!

Just the other day, I telephoned Halli to get an update on her use of the Mvelopes product.  Halli shared some great insights with me and I wanted to pass them on to you.  Our conversation included the following questions (asked by me) and answers (provided by Halli):

Q:  How long have you been using Mvelopes?

A: We have been using Mvelopes for six years.  We used to budget using a similar budget system, but we would write everything down in a ledger book.  We tried using other software programs, and my husband even wrote a program that worked well for awhile, but when we found Mvelopes, it was perfect.

Q:  How has Mvelopes assisted you in living within your income?

A:  Well, we know exactly how much we spend on everything–our car payment, groceries, our mortgage, etc.  Before we purchase something now, we know exactly what we have to spend.  If I overspend in an area, I can see exactly where I’m overspending and either cut back, or made adjustments to the budget to allow for the increased spending.  We only use credit cards–that way, we can get all the benefits that credit cards offer (rebates, air miles, gift cards, etc.).  Mvelopes downloads our statements and we always pay the credit cards off every month.

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“We love this program (Mvelopes)!”

Stacy and her wonderful family

Stacy and her wonderful family

Stacy (from Hebron, Indiana) and her husband first started using Mvelopes almost three years ago.  It has made such a difference in their lives.  After discovering Mvelopes, Stacy shared with us the following comments:

“Since using Mvelopes, my husband and I have been able to maintain a positive balance in our accounts. Prior to this program, we were always playing ‘catch up’ with our finances, which often led to overdraft fees. It was very frustrating.  We love this program!”

We wanted to find out more about Stacy’s Mvelopes experience, so I telephoned her and asked the following questions:

Q:  How long have you been using Mvelopes?

A:  I would say over two years now-we’re probably going into our third year.

Q:  How has Mvelopes assisted you in living within your income?

A:  Wow.  It has assisted us because we can see where our money is going now.  Before, we weren’t paying attention as much, but Mvelopes has laid it right out where we can see it.  My husband gets his paycheck and we just divvy it up so we can see exactly what we have left.  We don’t overspend.  It has just been amazing.  Years ago, when my husband and I were struggling and occasionally incurring overdraft fees (before finding Mvelopes), I was talking with my mother about our situation.  She told me that when she and my dad were first married, they’d used a budgeting system where they’d divide their money into envelopes-one for baby food, one for the mortgage payment, etc.  When the money ran out, they would stop spending until there was more money to put into the envelope(s).  My mother suggested I try doing that.  I thought to myself, are you kidding me?  I imagined having to go to the bank and get a lot of cash.  Then I’d have to bring the cash home and try to manage a lot of envelopes and papers and that just didn’t feel like something that was going to work for me.  Then when I found Mvelopes and told my mom about it, we both laughed!  It’s her budgeting program, only much, much easier!

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