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Anyone use Mvelopes for budgeting?

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We have three checking accounts and three savings accounts. I'm sure it's not necessary but it's the way we've run this house for years and it's worked beautifully. Some I manage, some dh manages. We each have specific things we're 'in charge of', and I LOVE that system. We do discuss things, and we make lots of joint decisions. But there are other things that are 'ours' to handle.


I love that dh handles the medical bills- I hand it to him and he takes care of it. He loves that I handle utilities.


We've tried moving to cash and it's worked well in some areas but overall it just wasn't for us.

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I am trying to get a handle on my budget and like the envelope idea. But I have a hard time because I am used to doing everything online.


Has anyone used this system?


Or, alternately, does anyone have SEVERAL checking/savings accounts?




We have one joint savings/checking account, but our credit union allows us to have multiple "suffixes" in that account. So I have savings suffixes for bills, homeschooling, pets, clothing, insurance, long term savings, car, vacation and home improvement. I keep the grocery money in the checking account. So it's very much like an envelope system, w/o the envelopes and cash.


If we had to move to another bank that didn't have that feature, I'd probably have multiple accounts to keep some of the stuff separate.

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The envelope thing did not work for dh and I because 1. I don't like to have too much cash on me (previous theft) and dh would forget to withdraw enough to have anything in his envelope. :001_smile:

We do most banking online and have three checking accts (different institutions) and 2 savings account. This may seem excessive but we found out that we do best when we shift money out of our "regular" household account somewhere else into a "safer" spot.

So regular household account pays for all household expenses. We have it set up that money gets transferred into savings # 1 every week automatically. After a few months, dh thinks it's time to write a check for a larger amount for savings account # 2. (The other two checking accounts are mine where my PC gets deposited and I buy gifts, pay for vacations or unusual items, the third checking is only because there was no charge for an account if we opened Savings account # 2 with a checking) Thoroughly confused?


It boils down to this: Savings account # 2 is the safe haven. We will only withdraw money there for large, planned purchases (i.e., car). Savings account # 1 is where the savings add up. If we need to withdraw anything for unexpected expenses, we go to savings # 1.


Yes, this is the complex process we employ to control ourselves but one has to do what works and this has been working well. ;)

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Well, you've roused my curiosity. The video ways something about a "free trial" but I didn't see anywhere what it costs normally. Anyone know?


I used envelop budgeting 10 years ago to pay off our wedding, but now with kids and on-line shopping, etc. it's just been too complicated for me. :/

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I haven't used mvelopes but I was checking it out as I have had horrid trouble with Mint the last year. Before I always did a spreadsheet, that dh hated, then to Mint which we both liked and then back to spreadsheets when it stopped working. Now it is working again so we are back on using Mint. I like the layout of mvelopes but you might want to check and see if they support your financial institution, otherwise your going to have to import files or do it manually. I was just checking out YNAB as well and it is nice also, but again you'll need to import files. I was accustomed to doing Mint which does it automatically so it was a bit different but not too hard to figure out. Those 2 seemed to be the most polished and user friendly out there to me. I like the look of mvelopes better but it is a bit clunky to me to set-up the budget and then fund the envelopes. It is no different to me than on Mint when I set our budget for the month, it shows if you go over or under, but neither program is actually going to stop you from spending. I think the Mint is easier to set-up as far as that goes but perhaps that extra step of funding would be more of a deterrent for some to keep the spending in checking. Having not actually used it I cannot give an actual good opinion that is just my initial impression. YNAB is good but a bit different than what I am used to, it doesn't look as polished but the budgetting info is easier to enter. (fwiw dh says I must be picky as I just went through at least a dozen budget programs this week looking for one to do exactly what I want and was not 100% pleased with any of them tbh)


I'm sure that is not helpful- I say signup and see how you like it, there is no cost.


Also, scroll to the bottom for the similiar threads and you will see a few about mvelopes.

Edited by soror
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I have never used it, but I plan to try it for my "own" money. Dh manages our household financially. I get X amount of dollars on his payday for groceries, gas, spending, etc. I also do a little mystery shopping and sell or consign clothes, etc. peridoically. All of that is mine to do with as I wish.


We have line budget categories for homeschooling, credit cards, entertainment and all that. That all falls under dh.


I want to better budget "my" money. I seem to spend it on whatever and have no idea what I spend on. I rarely run out before the next payday, but I cannot understand how I go through so much so quickly. I plan to try it beginning in February.


ETA: This thread reminded me I wanted to try it so I set up a free account. It says after I signed up:


You may now begin using the best envelope budgeting software available today for managing your personal finances. However, if you are interested in gaining even more capability and power for managing your finances, then we invite you to consider upgrading to Mvelopes Premier. Click to learn more about Mvelopes Premier.


There are probably now two levels of accounts and the basic version is free.

Edited by PentecostalMom
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We've been using Mvelopes for at least 5 years and I can't imagine keeping our budget without it. It's about $13/month. (I haven't heard anything about a 'Premier' version.)


It does have a bit of a learning curve. I just learned how to use it this past year as dh has been sweet enough to handle our finances in general. It isn't just an online envelope budgeting tool. You can pay bills, link bank accounts, generate expense reports to see what you're really spending in each category. My favorite feature is the 'split' transaction, where I can highlight a transaction (say, a recent Wal-Mart purchase) and assign parts of it depending on what categories I spent money on, for example, if I bought pet food, auto maintenance, clothing and groceries in one purchase.


I would say the only downside for us is that since it is virtual, it is just not as painful as taking real cash out of real envelopes, so that we do go in the red sometimes in several categories. Also, it can be a pain if you let the transactions pile up. Imagine sitting at your computer with 70 transactions to assign and a stack of receipts, not a fun way to spend an evening! :glare:



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I haven't done much with it as I just signed up for the free version last week, but I'm not sure it's something that'd work for me.


I just started the Envelope System and I really need to see everything on paper. I can't do "plastic money" and "online budgeting"...I tend to go in the red quickly...and that's how we got to where we are now..because the methods I was using weren't working.


I use some free budgeting templates I found online and have created my household planner with them. I like that I can jot down transactions and know right away where we stand. Online budgeting systems might've worked good for me IF I wasn't so terrible with overspending using online systems and "plastic" money.


Using the actual envelope system is what works for me. So it's personal preference. I know that in the past when I was using a spreadsheet, I'd slack and just look in the bank account. For some ODD reason having it written down on a budget sheet IN the envelope for that category holds me more accountable. Funny how it works for me this way.


I'm far more cautious of our spending using envelopes and cash. It's TOO easy to swipe a card or click "submit order" online.:glare: Now I see a $20 bill as $20! Instead of .... just a number in our checking account online. When the $20 from the account is gone, I can see there is "reserve" to spend. UNLIKE the cash in my envelope. When it's gone...well...it's GONE!


Sorry to ramble. I've just had a BIG reality check the past 2 weeks beginning the envelope system! Plus de-cluttering my home to find ALOT of things I purchased that I just shook my head about!


Thankfully though almost ALL of next year's school curriculum has already been purchased with PAYPAL balance from selling old curriculum! :D

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