Julie, from Dallas, Oregon, has been using Mvelopes for quite awhile now. A couple of years ago, Julie shared her feelings about Mvelopes with us. She wrote:
We’ve been using Mvelopes for a year or more now and LOVE it! Thank you so much! We began before we had a computer (early 90’s) with a paper “envelope” system . . . we just wrote it all down in a ledger. We also tried budgeting with Quicken and Money, but it was difficult . . . they just track spending; they don’t tell you how much you have in a specific account.
We did figure out a way around that and tried to set up accounts on it, faking the program into an “envelope” type system. We were thrilled to find Mvelopes that not only does it for you, but downloads all spending–credit cards, etc.–automatically! Thank you! We are a family who has found the joy and blessing of short-term mission trips and Mvelopes is helping us keep track of our fundraising for these trips! Thank you!
In a recent telephone conversation with Julie, she shared with me that Mvelopes continues to really help her and her family manage their finances. During our call, Julie answered the following questions:
Q: How long have you been using Mvelopes?
A: Approximately 3-4 years.
Q: How has Mvelopes assisted you in living within your income?
A: Just letting us see where our money is going and what we have to work with. We know how much is there, instead of guessing–and then guessing wrong.
Q: How much consumer debt have you been able to eliminate during that time?
A: We did not have consumer debt, however we could have easily headed there had we not been diligent with our budgeting.
Q: How much have you been able to save while using Mvelopes?
A: The amount we have sitting in a savings account is not a good indicator, mainly because we have saved upwards of $15,000 towards specific things, and most of that has now been spent. We recently participated in a Dave Ramsey seminar and he recommends having a 3-6 month emergency fund, so we’re working on building that fund. We have saved to purchase three kayaks and we will soon pay for them with cash.
Q: How much has your average checking account balance increased while using Mvelopes?
A: By probably a few hundred dollars.
Q: What financial goals have you achieved while using Mvelopes?
A: We have taken three mission trips to South America, costing $3,000-$4,000 each (in the last four years). We have been able to make a lot more charitable contributions because we know how much more we have. A few of our children have also gone on mission trips and we’ve been able to create envelopes for them so that they can keep track of their contributions and spending.
Q: What are your next financial goals?
A: We are saving for the kayaks, a new computer, vehicles, and just everyday things. And, as mentioned, we’re working on the 3-6 month emergency fund and we’re about two-thirds of the way there-and we’ve done this just since December.
Q: How many envelopes have you created?
A: We have 30 envelopes.
Q: How has Mvelopes helped to reduce financial stress?
A: By allowing us to know how much is there. For example, before we started envelopes, we thought we had money in savings because it was in a savings account, rather than our checking account. But once we created the envelopes, we realized that a lot of that money was earmarked for something else (property taxes, auto repairs, etc.). It has made it so that we actually save the money that’s needed for those types of expenses, and have that money there when needed-plus put money into a savings account.
I had to hand-enter everything into other programs, hold on to receipts, and it was so time-consuming. Mvelopes is so simple and easy. I’m a stay-at-home mom (I home school my kids) and it’s so nice to know exactly how much we have to spend in groceries, clothing, etc.). It’s also nice that my husband can check it at work or from any computer. When we’re visiting with family members at their home, for example, I can check my accounts there. It’s great.
Q: If married, how has Mvelopes helped you better collaborate with your spouse?
A: It has been so helpful to be able to look at our budget and know specifically how much we have for specific purchases. When we attended the Dave Ramsey workshop, we were able to print out our reports and we discussed exactly how much we’d spent during the past year and then we arranged our envelopes to fit our new budget. It was very easy.
Q: What advice would you give to new Mvelopes users?
A: Be willing to be flexible and expect a learning curve. I remember that I was a little confused in the beginning, and had to make some changes, which ended up being a good thing. Start conservatively so that you’re not overwhelmed.
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 provides the ease and convenience of knowing where our money is going and how much is there to spend.
Julie, thank you so much for taking time to speak with me and for sharing your Mvelopes’ experience. Enjoy those kayaks, the new computer, vehicles, and all the other wonderful and fun things you’re planning to spend your money on in the near future. We wish you and your family continued financial success and much happiness.