If you have decided to start a personal budget or want to follow your budget more faithfully, perhaps you’re considering software to help get the job done. Mvelopes Personal, by software developer In2M, is one of three major choices for personal finance software along with Intuit’s Quicken and Microsoft Money. As described in this review, however, Mvelopes is substantially different than its competition.
The Envelopes Budget System
Mvelopes gets its name because it automates the very old fashioned envelope budget system in which you divide your income into “envelopes” for particular bills and expenses. To help you stick to your budget you learn to avoid borrowing from one category, or envelope, to cover expenses in another.
Mvelopes vs. Quicken and Money
For this reason, Mvelopes, in my opinion, does a better job helping you manage your monthly budget than Quicken or Money. Its web-based interface is intuitive and uncluttered with dozens specialized bells and whistles that will only benefit super wealthy users with fifty bank accounts and five hundred investments to organize.
That’s not to say Mvelopes is lacking: The software tracks your net worth and allows you to add unlimited bank accounts, automatically linking your account to over 10,000 financial institutions to keep your balances up-to-date without the need to manually balance each account.
Being a web-based application means there’s no software to download and install as there is with Quicken and Money. It also means you can access your budget information anywhere. While Mvelopes makes information security a priority, some users may want to note that your personal financial information is being stored elsewhere than your home PC.
Mvelopes is a subscription-based service costing between $7.90 (paid annually) and $13.20 (paid monthly). Mvelopes offers a free 30-day trial with the submission of credit card information.
Mvelopes is a powerful financial tool for users looking for simple budgeting software uncluttered by advanced functions. If you are disciplined, Mvelopes will easily pay for itself in the money it saves you each month. If you’ve slacked off while trying to budget via other methods, Mvelopes probably can’t help you.