Recently, I had a delightful conversation with Lori. She lives with her husband, Sheldon, in California. During our conversation, I learned many wonderful things about Lori. Portions of our conversation follow.
Q: How long have you been using Mvelopes?
A: A little over a year.
Q: How has Mvelopes assisted you in living within your income?
A: Yesterday was our 2-year wedding anniversary. We were both single for quite awhile and we were very used to doing our own thing, especially when it came to managing our finances. When we got married, we consolidated our accounts and had to quickly learn that there was now someone else who had the potential to spend the money in the account. This was a big adjustment for both of us. We sat down and discussed our priorities and our goals. Mvelopes has really been a big help. Because Mvelopes is online, we are each able to access our account and see where we are with our finances, and that helps keep us on track.
Q: How much consumer debt have you been able to eliminate during that time?
A: We haven’t eliminated debt as much as we’ve been able to see everything in one big picture and allocate funds where they need to go. We have been able to consolidate our debt, however, and we now take that payment right off the top. It has been helpful.
Q: How much have you been able to save while using Mvelopes?
A: My husband graduated from grad school, and we still have student loans to pay, so we haven’t really been focused on saving. However, we have created envelopes for property taxes, insurance payments, etc., and we have those funds put aside. We’ve gotten in the habit of putting additional amounts into those envelopes (over and above what is needed), so not only are we able to pay the bills that we need to pay on a semi-annual or annual basis, but we also know there’s an additional amount available for emergencies or unexpected expenses. We no longer panic at the end of the year when we have to pay taxes, etc.
Q: How much has your average checking account balance increased while using Mvelopes?
A: The first year we were married, we didn’t pay that much attention to it, so I don’t have a real sense for whether or not it has increased, but I suspect it has increased.
Q: What financial goals have you achieved while using Mvelopes?
A: We’ve set a goal to decrease our debt and we are working to pay it off earlier than scheduled. We also set a goal to take a vacation to Lake Tahoe to participate in a triathlon, and we accomplished that goal. We are both pretty athletic and we enjoy participating in these types of events, so these are goals that we will continue to set and achieve.
Q: What are your next financial goals?
A: Like many people in the country today, my husband is looking for work, so we have a goal to find him a good job. Also, we are both Christians and we take “giving back” seriously. We recently took on the responsibility to help support a child in South Africa. We really enjoy giving back and that’s something that’s definitely a goal for us. Our goals are to be able to stay on track with our budget and our priorities.
Q: How many envelopes have you created?
A: Approximately 25. Sometimes we’re more detailed. For example, when we were planning the trip to Lake Tahoe, we created an envelope and saved for that event. Then once the event was over, we no longer needed that envelope. We like having the flexibility of being more detailed, if we need to be, and we can then delete envelopes when we no longer need them.
Q: How has Mvelopes helped to reduce financial stress?
A: There’s always some stress when you’re trying to cut back-we can’t do everything we want to do. But we know the important things that must be paid first and it’s really helpful to know those funds will be there when needed. The way we’ve been able to put additional funds aside has been so helpful. Last year, we had some plumbing problems and we had the funds available to help with the repairs. Another way Mvelopes has helped reduce stress is that now when tax time comes, it is so easy to create reports that give us all the information we need. It’s great and it makes everything so much faster and easier. All the information we need is in one place.
Q: If married, how has Mvelopes helped you better collaborate with your spouse?
A: It’s been really nice to be on the same page. Every week we get together and, over coffee, we discuss our finances. It’s a very comfortable conversation. We work together as a team. We are no longer guessing-we know what we’re doing.
Q: What advice would you give to new Mvelopes users?
A: Like anything, it only works if you use it. Be consistent. It’s probably a change from what you’ve been doing, but it’s so easy to use. It won’t take long before you realize that you can’t live without it. It was a no-brainer for us when our Mvelopes subscription renewal came due. We renewed it, without hesitation. We really depend on Mvelopes.
Q: If you could create a “tag line” for Mvelopes-keeping in mind what it’s done for you-what would the tag line be?
A: Well, let me just think for a minute. My tagline would be this–Finicity: Creating Financially Happy Homes. Mvelopes allows us to put first things first. You can keep your goals in the right order. Using Mvelopes has made it easier for us to give back. It gives you freedom from financial struggles.
At the conclusion of our conversation, I asked Lori if she had anything else to add and she said:
I have one final comment that you didn’t ask me about, but I’d like to share. The online support is amazing. I have used the online support feature 3-5 times over the past year and, seriously, I have never had customer service from anywhere-online or in person-that’s any better. It’s amazing. I don’t know how else to describe it. It makes you feel comfortable and secure. It doesn’t matter what the issue is-the people on the other end will help you and they don’t make you feel stupid. I think that’s one of the best features of the product. In today’s society, service is one thing that seems to be lacking everywhere and it has been so nice to have such great customer service. I tell all my friends and family about the great customer support you provide. And because we’re dealing with personal finances, it’s a huge thing to be able to get the help that’s needed. It has really given me peace of mind!
Lori, it was an absolute pleasure speaking with you. It’s obvious that you love using Mvelopes and that makes us very happy! Thank you, too, for the kind words you shared about our customer support. We work very hard to make sure our customers get the excellent service they deserve. Best of luck the with job search, future triathlons, paying off your debt, and all the other wonderful things you hope to do in the future. We wish you and Sheldon continued financial success and much happiness.