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.
Q: How much consumer debt have you been able to eliminate during that time?
A: We are pretty much debt free, with the exception of our home, so that’s not really a major issue for us. There are rare times that we will have debt (we just purchased a van), but we will wipe it out as quickly as possible.
Q: How much have you been able to save while using Mvelopes?
A: We have probably saved close to $15,000. I don’t know that we necessarily save more than we did before using Mvelopes (we were always good about saving), but we are definitely so much more aware of our financial situation now because of Mvelopes. We haven’t necessarily found more money or more resources, but we have so much more time.
Q: How much has your average checking account balance increased while using Mvelopes?
A: It hasn’t really increased, but I am more in control of how much I have in my checking account. It pays for me to know how much I need and how much I have, and I can now divert funds into an interest-bearing account, which I always do.
Q: What financial goals have you achieved while using Mvelopes?
A: We have paid off credit cards, we have $1,000 in an emergency fund, and we have two to three months of living expenses saved. Just having those funds really brings peace of mind. We did pay off a van (before needing to purchase our new one). We have set up savings accounts for our children’s education and we have funds set aside for retirement. We also regularly allot money for major purchases that we know are coming. It’s so nice to know the money is there when we need it. I get paid monthly and it’s so nice to just hit the “fund” button.
Q: What are your next financial goals?
A: We will pay off our new van, save for retirement, add to the college funds, increase living expenses (our savings) to six months, and we will continue to give generously to the Lord.
Q: How many envelopes have you created?
A: We currently have 49 envelopes. It has metamorphosed over the years (I’m fairly active with it). I frequently get rid of inactive envelopes and create new ones.
Q: How has Mvelopes helped to reduce financial stress?
A: I don’t have to sit for three hours on a Saturday morning balancing the books and trying to allot checks that were written three weeks ago or bank debits that I can no longer remember and don’t know where they should be applied. I could go on and on. Finding out that I had a fraudulent debit (as shared before)–to find that out immediately was huge. When I thought about what could’ve happened if I hadn’t caught that debit–wow! When we have an emergency expense that we haven’t planned for, there is minimal stress because we have an emergency fund. I literally only spend 1-2 minutes each day now. I just can’t emphasize enough the time savings that Mvelopes have given me. It really is priceless to me.
Q: If married, how has Mvelopes helped you better collaborate with your spouse?
A: My spouse is not a numbers person (chuckles), so it helps that she can see the envelopes. She knows that red equals bad and black equals good. I can show her the income cash pool and she can see what we have to allot and where it’ll be going. She doesn’t necessarily follow “my” way of doing things, but we’re getting through that (chuckles again). But basically, for us, red=bad, black=good.
Q: What advice would you give to new Mvelopes users?
A: I have recommended this product so many times and, when I do, I always tell them, “Stick with it. Do it a few months. Don’t quit after only a month or two.” I have used it to keep track of a home business and it is a very powerful program. The program continues to improve and becomes more and more user friendly. I always recommend that friends call me if they have questions. But for the rest of you, rather than calling me, the online chat is incredibly helpful.
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: Mvelopes–save time, save money, save your family.
Rich, thank you so much for taking time to speak with me about Mvelopes. Thanks for the great advice and for sharing your experiences with us. I very much enjoyed our conversation and your great sense of humor. Now, when I log into my personal Mvelopes account, I hear your words in my head: red=bad, black=good! We wish you and your family continued financial success and much happiness.