“With Mvelopes, we know exactly how much money we have, instead of guessing–and guessing wrong!”

Julie and her wonderful family

Julie and her wonderful family

Julie, from Dallas, Oregon, has been using Mvelopes for quite awhile now.  A couple of years ago, Julie shared her feelings about Mvelopes with us.  She wrote:

We’ve been using Mvelopes for a year or more now and LOVE it! Thank you so much! We began before we had a computer (early 90’s) with a paper “envelope” system . . . we just wrote it all down in a ledger. We also tried budgeting with Quicken and Money, but it was difficult . . . they just track spending; they don’t tell you how much you have in a specific account. Read more

“Budget not only for today, but budget for the future.”

Lisa and her beautiful family

Lisa and her beautiful family

Not long after Lisa (from Phoenix, Arizona) and her husband discovered Mvelopes, she shared with us the following:

Seeing the Big Picture with Mvelopes

My husband and I made the transition from being youth pastors to missionaries two years ago. We’ve made two international moves and had another child since then. We raised a lot of money and spent even more. With four different bank accounts representing three countries (and three currencies), our finances were so hard to manage. We were in and out of debt and just couldn’t see the big picture.

Last December, my husband heard about Mvelopes. We started in January, and haven’t looked back since. We have our US-based banks and credit cards linked online, and we can manually enter our transactions with our international banks. At last, I can see our whole financial situation in one place. And the calculator is fabulous for converting currencies. We’ve been debt free since May and now have a spend plan in place to FINISH the year debt free too. And for Christmas, we’ll be going back to the US for a visit, and we’ve got the money for the plane tickets in our travel envelope already! Read more

“Visualize financial freedom!”

Jill and her wonderful family

Jill and her wonderful family

Jill, from St. Augustine, Florida, has used Mvelopes for about 18 months now.  Not long after Jill first started using Mvelopes, she shared the following comments with us:

Defeating the Financial Roller Coaster

Our family has only been using Mvelopes for four months, and the changes we’ve experienced already are truly exciting! I was a die-hard user of another popular budgeting software package, and although I faithfully logged our expenses each month, it seemed we were on a constant roller coaster of depleting our savings and then trying to build it back up.

Under the Mvelopes system, we have doubled our monthly retirement savings allocation, built up a nice buffer in savings, and set aside one-fourth of what we need to replace our aging minivan (with cash). All on a single income!

Best of all, budgeting with Mvelopes is actually fun! I love logging in each morning and dragging the new transactions into their envelopes. Reducing our spending to build up the envelope balances is seen as a challenge rather than feeling like deprivation. My husband actually believes that we have money set aside in the different envelopes, whereas with the old software he was convinced it was just allocated “on paper” and wasn’t really there (i.e., we had spent it somewhere else). Mvelopes has given us confidence that our spending is under control, and empowered us to see each dollar as an opportunity to help reach our financial goals.

Thank you, Mvelopes!

It has been over a year since Jill first shared these comments with us.  I recently contacted Jill in hopes of learning more about her financial situation.  I was pleased to learn that life is good for Jill and her family.  During our telephone conversation, I asked Jill the following questions and she provided the answers:

Q:  How long have you been using Mvelopes?

A:  Probably a year and a half now.

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

A:  It gives me an instant visual of where we are and the categories I’ve set up for the budget.  It lets me know in just a glance where we are and if I need to slow down spending, if I can make a purchase I want, etc.

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“I have taken control of our financial situation, and it feels great!”

Linda and her husband

Linda and her husband

Because of the increased interest in our coaching program, we thought it would be helpful to include another coaching success story with you.  Linda (from Illinois) recently participated in our coaching program and answered the following questions about her experience.

Q:  How many coaching Sessions did you complete?

A:  I completed five.

Q:  What coaching session(s) did you find most valuable?

A:  I believe it was number two or three, where we really started doing the “hands on” of the application.  That was definitely the most useful session for me.

Q:  How has the coaching program helped you take control of your money?

A:  It gave me the confidence to know that I was using the system correctly.  Once I started the coaching sessions, it took away so much of the stress I was feeling from our financial situation.  It gave me the confidence to know we were moving in a positive direction.

Q:  How has the coaching program helped you reduce consumer debt?

A:  We really don’t have any debt, so that’s not applicable to me.  However, there was a change in our financial situation.  I’m a stay-at-home mom and we’re now living off one salary, where we used to live off two.  Mvelopes helped us with that transition so that we were able to avoid debt.

Q:  How has the coaching program helped you reduce your stress related to money?

A:  Learning to live on a budget was difficult.  I had tried to do it on my own several times, without success.  But finding a program with a system that I was comfortable with, that works well, that allows me to check it frequently, really helped me to gain confidence.  I no longer have to bury my head in the sand.  I have taken control of our situation, and it feels great!

Q:  How much has your budgeting and money management knowledge increased since you started the coaching program?

A:  It has greatly increased–probably even 100 percent.  I now pay attention where I used to be fearful.

Q:  How much has the knowledge of the envelope method helped you manage your money?

A:  Wonderfully–probably, again, 100 percent.  I tried setting up a budget actually using paper envelopes, but it just didn’t work, particularly when using debit cards.  It was too difficult.  This program has greatly enhanced our abilities and increased our success.

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“Mvelopes allows you to be proactive, rather than reactive!”

Kim and her husband

Kim and her husband

When Kim (from West Chester, Ohio) and her husband first started using Mvelopes, she shared her feelings about the product with us.  Kim wrote:

Planning for the Unexpected

Before using Mvelopes, my husband and I had a “plan” that we would use my husband’s income and only spend a certain percentage of my monthly income (which varies from month to month) and the surplus would go into savings. Without fail, month after month, we would end up charging some expenses that always came up on a credit card, and/or having to fall back on our “overdraft protection” (i.e., automatic bank credit card) and would then have to transfer most or all of the month from savings to pay the cards off. With five teenagers in the house, there are ALWAYS unplanned expenses that come up and we could never figure out exactly how to stop the outflow. Because of this, we could never make any headway towards paying off our 2nd mortgage, something we both really wanted to do.

The first month of using Mvelopes was a real eye opener for us as we figured out exactly how to budget to live within the preset monthly income we had already identified. And you know what?  That first month we didn’t use the credit card one time, we didn’t fall back on to “overdraft protection” AND we were able to live on the portion of my income we had identified! As a result, we were able to establish an emergency savings fund AND had money left over to apply towards paying off our 2nd mortgage!!

Now, get this . . . last week, the alternator went out on my car and we had to take it in for repairs.  The total came to about $420.00. Because we had been steadily funding a car maintenance envelope, we had almost exactly $420 to apply towards this repair! A minimal transfer from one of the other envelopes and no more worrying about “how are we going to pay for THIS now?!” What a relief!

I love Mvelopes and have told all of my friends and family what a great tool it is.  Thank you so much!

I contacted Kim to find out more about their Mvelopes’ experience.  I had a very enjoyable conversation with Kim and learned a lot from her.  Portions of our conversation follow below (I asked the questions and Kim provided the answers):

Q:  How long have you been using Mvelopes?

A:  About a year and a half, I believe.

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

A:  First, it has made us more of aware of the expenses that we incurred each month.  At the end of each month, we typically had to take money out of savings to cover our expenses.  This caused arguments almost every month because we didn’t know where the money was going.  We can now see our money dwindling before it’s gone and we can stop the behavior.  Within the first month of using Mvelopes, we saw immediate results.  We didn’t have to recreate where the money had gone.

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“Put your money where it matters most.”

Matt and his beautiful bride

Matt and his beautiful bride

Not long after Matt (from Denver, Colorado) first started using Mvelopes, he shared the following comments with us.

After graduating college my lifestyle quickly inflated to meet, and then exceed my income. I soon bought an expensive new car with little money down and saddled myself with nearly $600/month payments for the next five years. I had planned on paying it off early, but almost a year into the loan and I had barely made a dent in it.

After seeing that I was still over $20,000 in debt, I decided to wise up about my finances and started taking steps to take control. Using Mvelopes and other financial tools, I took control of my budget and put everything extra I had towards paying off my debt. Eight months later, I walked into the bank and put down my last payment.

Even more importantly, Mvelopes has helped me continue to take control of my finances even after I became debt free, helping me put my money towards the goals that are important to me. Most recently, that meant buying a diamond engagement ring for my girlfriend without having to go into debt to do so.

Mvelopes has been an excellent tool in helping me take control of my finances, and I recommend it to almost all of my friends.

We wanted to know how Matt’s life was progressing, so I telephoned him and we had a delightful conversation.  Matt is now married, is going to grad school, and life is progressing well.  Our conversation went as follows (I asked the questions and Matt provided the answers):

Q:  How long have you been using Mvelopes?

A:  Approximately 2 or 2½ years.

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

A:  I find that it very helpful in sticking to a budget.  I have tried other programs (Quicken and others) before and they can be very good for tracking where my money is going, but they’re aren’t very effective in helping me stick to my budget.  Mvelopes has given me more control.

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

A: I paid off two car loans.  I was about $20,000 in debt (my car) when I started using Mvelopes and I paid that off within 12 months.  About a year later, my fiancé and I bought another car for her and we had to take out a loan for that and paid it off in about six months.

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April 2009 Release: Potential Duplicate Filter and Enhancements

We rolled out a new release to all of our users today that includes a couple of new features and some additional performance enhancements.

NEW FEATURES:

• Potential Duplicate Filter

Duplicate transactions occur when a financial institution posts a transaction to their website or transaction download file and then at a later time, modifies the details of that transaction. These duplicates happen with some banks more frequently than others.

Many of our customers have requested stronger duplicate transaction filters as well as the ability to be notified of any potential duplicates that are created when their financial institution modifies these transaction details. So, we did just that. If any of your transactions are potential duplicates, we will mark them as such and allow you to take action.

Potential Duplicate Notification

Potential Duplicate Notification

Potential duplicate transactions will be marked as "Duplicate?"

Potential duplicate transactions will be marked as "Duplicate?"

Detail comparison between Potential Duplicate and Original transaction

Detail comparison between Potential Duplicate and Original transaction

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“Mvelopes is so simple and easy to use.”

Brandon and his beautiful family

Brandon and his beautiful family

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking with Brandon from Portland, Oregon.  Brandon is a CPA, as mentioned in the following statement that he shared with us some time ago:

Even Financial Experts Need Mvelopes!

Even a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) needs the organization of Mvelopes to be financially successful. We recommend it to other families too. It just works!

During our recent conversation, Brandon provided the answers to the following questions:

Q:  How long have you been using Mvelopes?

A:  Almost two years.

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

A:  Basically, just staying on top of cash flow on a daily basis is critical to that process, in my opinion.  Being able to categorize where the money is going to go, where it’s coming in, etc., is important.  Being able to download so simply is huge.  Both my wife and I can download items on a daily basis–from different computers.  It’s great.  Using the service daily or weekly (at the most) is important.

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

A: We have always lived within our means, so our only debt is our car loan and mortgage.  We are working to pay the car loan off.  Our focus hasn’t really been to pay debt down, but to live within our means.  When we track cash flow, we’re designing where it goes, rather than doing it by default.

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“My attitude about money management has really changed!”

Pam and Mike

Pam and Mike

Today’s success story is a bit unique from the others that are posted on this blog.  Pam (from Wichita, Kansas) recently took the opportunity to participate in the Money for Life Coaching program, so our interview with her was largely based on our wanting to know specifics about her experience.  In a telephone interview, Pam answered the following questions:

Q:  How many coaching Sessions did you complete?

A:  10 sessions.

Q:  What coaching session(s) did you find most valuable?

A:  Session 3 automated.

Q:  How has the coaching program helped you take control of your money?

A:  Well, although I had previously used a very detailed spreadsheet to track my finances, and I thought I knew where my money was going, I wasn’t including all of my intermittent expenses, and that was getting me off track and causing debt problems.  Also, I have four members in my family–one of whom is a college student who is dipping into the family funds from afar, without always consulting me first!  So, I was slowly but surely losing control of my transactions.  It’s not that my daughter was spending all that much, it was just that I didn’t always have the opportunity to plan for it.  So Mvelopes has helped tremendously in that I can now plan for those expenses.  I can project 12 months ahead, make adjustments as I go, and it’s tremendously helpful.  I will have two college students in a couple of years, so it will even be more important then.

My coach, Lori, was very knowledgeable.  I had trouble getting my head around several concepts and Lori just kept bringing those things back to the table until I finally said, “Ah-ha!  Okay.  I get it now.”  Lori was really invaluable.  I had used Mvelopes for awhile in the past, but really did not use it to its fullest potential, so eventually gave it up.  I decided that if I’m going to try this again, I’m going to do it right and get the coaching and get those concepts mastered so that I really do have control.  I’m planning to use it to teach my children how to take care of their money.  My daughter doesn’t want to have debt when she graduates from college, or incur debt after she enters the workforce, so this will be a great tool for her so she can keep herself on a plan.

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“Mvelopes is the best budgeting tool you could ever use!”

Jamie and her husband

Jamie and her husband

Today’s success story comes from Jamie who lives in Franklin, North Carolina.  Jamie has been using Mvelopes for a number of years.  Not long after Jamie discovered Mvelopes, she wrote the following comments:

Our finances were out of control. All of the bills were paid but it was so stressful each month just trying to juggle the money. I knew there had to be a better way so I started researching debt reduction solutions and found Mvelopes.  What a blessing! I handle all of our family’s finances and I knew a budget was needed but I didn’t know where to start.

After a few weeks I decided to give Mvelopes a try. It worked great for us. I had no idea we were wasting so much money. We don’t always follow the plan as closely as we should but we are in much better shape now than we were a couple of years ago. We’ve paid off quite a bit of debt and increased our savings significantly. I only wish I knew about Mvelopes 10 years ago. We are working to pay off one more small debt and then we plan to aggressively tackle our mortgage.

I can’t wait till the day I can say, “We are debt free.” The freedom we already feel just getting organized with Mvelopes has been wonderful.

It has now been a few years since Jamie shared those comments, so I recently contacted her to check in and see how she’s doing and if she’s still finding success using Mvelopes.  I had a wonderful telephone conversation with Jamie and found out the following information:

Q:  How long have you been using Mvelopes?

A:  It has been about 3 or 3½ years.

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

A:  It has helped me realize where my money is going.  It helps me spend the money where it is supposed to be spent.

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

A: About $30,000-$35,000.  When we had extra funds, we were able to apply those funds to our debt and were able to decrease it significantly.

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