After using Mvelopes for about a year, Abby (from Ames, Iowa) shared the following comments with us:
We started using Mvelopes about a year ago and it has TRULY CHANGED OUR LIFE! My husband and I have 5 children under the age of 8, living on one income. Needless to say, money management is VERY important in our house! Until we started using the Mvelopes system, we were constantly overdrawing our checking account and not able to account for where our money had gone. This caused tension between us, and unneeded stress.
Then, we found Mvelopes online, and we started using it. It is so easy to use and understand. I actually look forward to our “budget meetings” now! It has allowed us to tell our money where to go, and not the other way around. We have eliminated $30,000 in debt in just the last year, and we are on a fast track to eliminating all of our debt except for our mortgage by next July. We really don’t think we could have accomplished that without Mvelopes.
We have recommended Mvelopes to many of our friends, and we will continue to use it even when we’re debt free. Thank you Mvelopes!
Another year has passed since Abby shared those comments with us. We wanted to see how she and her family are doing meeting their financial goals, so I called her just the other day and we had a great conversation. I was so impressed when I learned that Abby and her husband have now decreased their debt by almost $80,000! If you want to learn more about our discussion, keep reading:
Q: How long have you been using Mvelopes?
A: Two years.
Q: How has Mvelopes assisted you in living within your income?
A: Well, first of all, let me say that it has helped us greatly. I didn’t know how to do it otherwise–we were living paycheck to paycheck. It was so hard to know where my money had gone. Now I feel much more at ease living within the money we have. We own our own business and there are a lot of budgeting programs out there that are great, but aren’t quite as automatic as Mvelopes is. Mvelopes has been so helpful for us.
Q: How much consumer debt have you been able to eliminate during that time?
A: We are almost debt free. We plan to be debt free in June. We have been able to eliminate close to $80,000. Our income hasn’t increased at all, but we now have accountability. My husband and I are both “spenders,” but this program has really helped us. We don’t feel that we’ve had to give up anything in the process. It has been great.
Q: How much have you been able to save while using Mvelopes?
A: This is the first winter that we have not gone into debt for our business and, in addition, we were able to save close to $30,000 just to make it through the winter (our business is seasonal). Now, we’re starting to save already for next winter. This year, we felt like we could finally breathe. We have become good stewards of our money and we’ve also become good planners!
Q: How much has your average checking account balance increased while using Mvelopes?
A: It used to go way down to zero, but now (because we have our savings within the Mvelopes system) that never happens. Now we maintain a cushion of at least $500-$600.
Q: What financial goals have you achieved while using Mvelopes?
A: Becoming debt free, and starting a savings (even though small). We have started some small investments and we are on a road to getting completely out of debt, including our mortgage (both home and business), which we hope to do within the next five years. We have also been saving to buy the vehicle that we want.
Q: What are your next financial goals?
A: As I mentioned, we plan to purchase a new vehicle and we’ll pay cash for it. We also have a goal to save a more substantial amount of money for giving and donations to whatever we organizations we decide are really worthwhile causes. We also want to plan some fun family vacations before our kids get too old to appreciate them.
Q: How many envelopes have you created?
A: We probably have between 25-30 envelopes.
Q: How has Mvelopes helped to reduce financial stress?
A: I feel like I have more freedom. When there is a need, if there’s money in the envelope, I know I can make the purchases without having to feel guilty or ask “permission.”
Q: If married, how has Mvelopes helped you better collaborate with your spouse?
A: My husband and I were married for eight years and never really fought about money, but we didn’t have clear financial goals either. When we didn’t have enough money, I felt responsible–like it was somehow my fault, simply because I managed the money. After finding Mvelopes, the past two years have been very different. Now, we have clearly set goals, we are both on the same page, and it has been much less stressful. We are able to focus our time and attention on other things.
Q: What advice would you give to new Mvelopes users?
A: Be as realistic as you can be–numbers don’t lie. I remember when we were setting up our spending plan, I used to think, there is no way I’ve spent that much on clothes, or whatever. But, like I said, numbers don’t lie, and I really had spent that much! Be ready to change your mind. Don’t let the fact that it’s going to cost you to use the program deter you. The cost is so well worth it. For us, we saved so much money by using Mvelopes that it was definitely worth it.
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: Using Mvelopes is a process that’s going to change you–for the good.
Abby, it was a pleasure to take a few minutes to chat with you. I am so impressed by the discipline you and your husband have had to reduce your debt so significantly. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your life as an active Mvelopes user! It was great to get your perspective and advice. We wish you and your wonderful family continued financial success both in your business and in your personal lives.