Not long after Erin (from North Carolina) began using Mvelopes, she shared the following comments with us.
I think this program is wonderful. Initially, we had a bit of trouble setting it up, but we were unwise, and did not use the available support, and the program sat unused for two months. During this time, we had been trying to reach our monthly saving goals, and not only were we not able to do it, but it stressed us out something fierce.
Happily, we tried again with Mvelopes. This time we used the available support, and very quickly figured out how to make this program work for us. Right away, we have been able to reach our savings goals almost effortlessly. This program is very easy to use, and makes keeping a budget a joy. I feel so self assured about our finances now. We are in a lot better shape than before, being able to meet and exceed our goals without stress. Thank you Mvelopes!
I followed up with Erin to get more information from her about how Mvelopes has made a difference in her life. We had a delightful conversation, as follows:
Q: How long have you been using Mvelopes?
A: Almost two years.
Q: How has Mvelopes assisted you in living within your income?
A: It has helped greatly. Actually, we have always been pretty good about living within our income, but it has really helped us save.
Q: How much consumer debt have you been able to eliminate during that time?
A: We had two mortgages and we were able to pay off the smaller one. That’s all the debt that we now have. Instead of buying a car and having a car payment, we saved up and were able to buy two cars. We paid cash for both cars.
Q: How much have you been able to save while using Mvelopes?
A: We have been able to save at least $25,000 in the two years we’ve been using Mvelopes.
Q: How much has your average checking account balance increased while using Mvelopes?
A: We have generally been pretty good about keeping a positive balance in our checking account, but it has increased by at least $1,000.
Q: What financial goals have you achieved while using Mvelopes?
A: Well, as I mentioned, we were able to purchase two cars, pay off one mortgage, and another goal has been to stick with our budget and not move things around a lot. We are trying to save in certain categories and many times, in the past, I would steal from one category to pay for another. We’ve been much more disciplined and have kept our budget straight. We have really improved on that. We are continuing to save. Home improvement projects are also on our goals list.
Q: What are your next financial goals?
A: We are still working on some home improvement projects, and we’re hoping to get 3 to 6 months of monthly income saved.
Q: How many envelopes have you created?
A: We have 24 envelopes, but one of them is inactive.
Q: How has Mvelopes helped to reduce financial stress?
A: It makes it so easy to see what you have available. It makes it really pain free. I check it every other day or so and I move my transactions into their designated envelopes. It is very easy. Because it is so easy, my spending impulses are controlled a little better because I know exactly how much is left to spend.
Q: If married, how has Mvelopes helped you better collaborate with your spouse?
A: In our marriage, I’m basically in charge of the finances. Using Mvelopes makes it really nice because I have a much better idea of where we are, financially, so it’s really easy to let my husband know. If he calls me up and wants to make a large purchase for something, I can let him know whether we can afford to do that. We can openly discuss things and we don’t tend to argue over finances as much. We’re able to see where we need to improve and what we’re doing really well in.
Q: What advice would you give to new Mvelopes users?
A: Use support if you have questions. They’re really good to help you out. We didn’t take advantage of that service in the beginning and I wish we would have. I also didn’t know that you could transfer funds between envelopes, so when I went over in a category, I didn’t know I could make adjustments by transferring. I like that feature a lot. We do our best to stay within our budget plan, but there are occasions when something needs to be tweaked. It’s always evolving.
Erin, thank you so much for taking time to share your Mvelopes experience with us. We wish you and your family continued financial success.