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.
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.
Q: How much has your average checking account balance increased while using Mvelopes?
A: Probably about $1,700.
Q: What financial goals have you achieved while using Mvelopes?
A: I was able to pay down some credit card debt, and I eliminated late fees because of the bill payments. I schedule association dues, and all the things that I used to always forget about–I can remember those things now.
Q: What are your next financial goals?
A: Pay my credit card off and get my savings built up.
Q: How many envelopes have you created?
A: I believe I have about 30.
Q: How has Mvelopes helped to reduce financial stress?
A: Oh, my gosh–it has completely alleviated it. I used to stress about sitting down, writing out bills, managing the paperwork. Now my bills are paid automatically. I no longer have stress. It’s a complete live saver.
Q: If married, how has Mvelopes helped you better collaborate with your spouse?
A: This doesn’t apply to me, but I have helped a friend with setting up an Mvelopes account and I have seen what a difference it has made in her life. She and her husband no longer argue about money. I think it would help a marriage out a lot.
Q: What advice would you give to new Mvelopes users?
A: My advice would be to keep in mind that for maybe the first month or so, there’s a learning curve. But it’s so worth it to stick with it. It’s so gratifying and calming to know exactly how much money you have for your bills. It’s really worth it to hang in there while you’re learning.
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: I love Mvelopes! I DO love Mvelopes. Mvelopes is available online anywhere I go–anywhere, any time of day–all of your money. Mvelopes is the future!
Staci, it was a privilege to speak with you. Your enthusiasm for Mvelopes and what is has done for you (and your friends) is contagious. I loved how you said in your earlier comments: I think I may be something of an Mvelopes evangelist. I have spread the word to friends and family members. When you find something this wonderful, how can you not want to share it with everyone? Staci, we wish you and your family continued financial success and much happiness. Thanks again!