Articles avec le mot-clé «personal finance software»

Mvelopes Personal Finance Software Review

Publié le par Dinah dans «Money Investing». Mots-clés: personal finance software, personal finances

I have long touted my method of using ING Direct for budgeting and it has served Linda and I well. It has been a free and fairly simple method of budgeting that has helped us keep our finances organized. When we got married, we were in a pretty tight spot financially and there wasn’t really any room in the budget to pay for budgeting software.


Running a financial blog I hear about all the most popular budgeting tools out there (YNAB and Mvelopes) all the time, so while my ING system of budgeting was free, I knew that using some dedicated software could make our budgeting easier and probably more effective as well. So, two months ago we decided to test out Mvelopes to see how we like it.


How Mvelopes Works


First I should mention that Mvelopes isn’t downloadable financial software, rather it is an online tool. The advantage here is that you can access your information from anywhere. You aren’t limited to do your budgeting on a single computer.


As the name suggests, it is a virtual envelope system of budgeting. So just as the envelope system has you use envelopes as your budgeting categories – Mvelopes works the same way.


Mvelopes Review


If you look closely in the image above you can see the envelopes listed on the left hand side of the screen. These are the envelopes that you fill up with money at the beginning of the month. So, say you have $1000 of income each month – when you get paid, you divide those funds into your 10 (as few or as many as you’d like) envelopes. $100 for giving, $100 for groceries, $100 for gas, etc…


I should step back and mention that Mvelopes is synced with your bank account, so as you make purchases with your debit card, they appear on the right hand side (of the screenshot above).


So on the right hand side you will see a $40 transaction for the grocery store. Now you can just drag the $40 grocery transaction to the Grocery envelope and it will automatically reduce your $100 that you had in the envelope down to $60. The whole process can seem a little confusing, but once you see it in action it all makes sense.


Pros and Cons


We have now been using it for almost two months and I must say, it is a much simpler process that actually is saving me quite a bit of time over my ING budgeting method. I really think this is a great tool for budgeting. Personally I don’t know if I would have the patience to deal with a traditional envelope system of budgeting, but using something like Mvelopes makes it a lot easier and realistic.


There are a couple kinks that I would like to see worked out…


I am not sure if this is on the bank end or on Mvelopes, but my debit card transactions take a couple days to show up. It’s not that big of a deal, but just a little annoying at times.


I think the user interface could use a makeover. The tool is very powerful and offers a lot of great features, but they could take some lessons from Apple on their navigation to make the user experience a little bit better.


For another Mvelopes Review check out Jason’s write up:

Mvelopes Personal Review.


The Cost


While I am very happy with Mvelopes and acknowledge that it has saved me time and simplified my budgeting, I wish it was a little cheaper. Currently it is a subscription-based service charging anywhere from $7-$12/month depending on how long you sign up. For what I’ve gained from using it I think it is worth the price, but I know that some people will have a difficult time justifying the cost.


For a cheaper alternative, you might want to check out Neobudget. It was created by a ChristianPF reader and offers a virtual envelope budgeting system similar to Mvelopes. It has a few less bells and whistles, but at $2.50/month many users may be just fine with that.              

 


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