Today’s success story comes from Julie of Lexington, Nebraska. Last year, not long after Julie and her husband had signed up for Mvelopes, she shared the following comments:
Before Mvelopes we were using the cash envelope system. We were starting to use a budget, get out of debt, and spend less. But we found that we still ended up using our debit cards because only one of us had the cash envelopes at a time. We continued to feel defeated because we were trying to be good stewards, but didn’t always know where our money was going.
We were looking online for resources and found Mvelopes. After watching the video tutorial my husband and I said “Let’s try it!” That was several months ago, and now we don’t know what we ever did without it!! We know each day where all of our money is going, whether it’s our clothing, entertainment, grocery, or other “envelopes.” It’s so fun and easy (takes about 5 minutes) to allocate our money into the designated envelopes each day. At the end of each month we always have excess to put into savings, which we continue to be amazed about! We’ve also, in the last couple of months, started a “Christmas envelope” so when December gets here we aren’t wondering where present money is coming from, and a vacation envelope to take weekend trips as a family that we’ve already prepared for.
Thanks Mvelopes for changing our lives and helping us to not be stressed each month about our finances!
We wanted to see how things were going for Julie and her family now, so I telephoned her and asked the following questions:
Q: How long have you been using Mvelopes?
A: Over a year.
Q: How has Mvelopes assisted you in living within your income?
A: Since we’re able to upload information from our bank account, we are able to allocate every penny that we spend, even when using our debit card, etc. We know exactly where our money is going and we’re also more likely to not overspend because we have a budget.
Q: How much consumer debt have you been able to eliminate during that time?
A: When we started using Mvelopes, we had a little over $1,000 in consumer debt, but we have no debt now, with the exception of our mortgage.
Q: How much have you been able to save while using Mvelopes?
A: In excess of $2,000.
Q: How much has your average checking account balance increased while using Mvelopes?
A: By over $1,500 a month.
Q: What financial goals have you achieved while using Mvelopes?
A: We have been able to establish college accounts for our two children. In addition, my husband and I have been able to put money into our individual retirement accounts. Also, something that has been really great for us with using Mvelopes is that we make charitable donations each month and those donations always come out first. We are paying our tithes and supporting missionaries for our church. It has been so good for us to know that we are helping others-it’s a really wonderful feeling. Using Mvelopes has made such a difference in our ability to give and to save. We can spend more and give without worry.
Q: What are your next financial goals?
A: To continue to pay our mortgage-to pay it off. Actually, we would love to refinance our mortgage to a 15-year mortgage and pay it off much sooner. We also plan to continue to build the college and retirement accounts.
Q: How many envelopes have you created?
A: We have 34.
Q: How has Mvelopes helped to reduce financial stress?
A: For us, we know exactly where every penny is going and, at the end of the year, we can see exactly where we’re spending, where we need to decrease our spending, where we might want to increase our spending, and what new envelopes we will want to create. It has been fun to know exactly where our money is going and we don’t have to think about it or wonder how we’re going to afford things, since we’re not living paycheck to paycheck.
Q: If married, how has Mvelopes helped you better collaborate with your spouse?
A: It has increased our communication about our finances and about where we’re spending our money. There’s absolutely no guessing. My husband and I each have our own envelopes, so if we want to buy something that’s not planned for in the family budget, we can use the funds in our own personal envelopes, without upsetting the family budget.
Q: What advice would you give to new Mvelopes users?
A: Be consistent in using it. It only takes a few minutes each day (or every other day), to log on and allocate funds to the envelopes. Keep up on it.
Julie, thank you so much for sharing your experiences and advice with us. We wish you and your beautiful family continued financial success.