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Mvelopes Review: Personal Budgeting Software

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.

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 Cost

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.

Verdict

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.

Either way, I recommend taking advantage of the free trial. Give Mvelopes a test drive today.

About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.

Comments

  1. poogleypie says:

    Does anyone know anything about good alternative to Mvelopes? I like the idea of envelope budgeting, and I really like the web-based format, since I use a Mac at home and PC at work. But although my bank was on the list of approved financial institutions, they have not managed to make the downloading work. They suggested I change banks, but this is not an option for me. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

  2. effers9999 says:

    That seems to be my problem too. What bank did you not get to work. I can’t seem to get the Bank of American Fork to work.

  3. This has happened to me too, but not at Mvelopes, first at something called Complete View(?) and then at Mint.

    Some of my banks (mostly the bigger ones) worked, while some others didn’t.

    I researched it a bit and it does have something to do with the banks security procedures, so they may be right that some banks will just never work.

  4. Keep in mind that you can manually enter the transactions for that account if it won’t load across, and still get the other benefits of Mvelopes. This would especially work if most accounts pull through fine, and just one does not – you could print your bank activity and then type it into Mvelopes, and drag or assign it to the right envelope.

  5. Another good option for online budgeting is Budgetoo.com. Budgetoo works like a spreadsheet, but cuts out the work, so you get more done in less time. It’s completely free to use:
    http://budgetoo.com

  6. I was NOT so happy with mvelopes. In order to use the free trial you must sign up using a credit card – which I did. I decided during the trial that the system was not for me, based on the multiple duplicates the system pushed out. Anyhow, I tried to call and cancel. However, YOU CANNOT CALL THEM! When you do you are given a prerecorded message to go online. I did and I did an online chat with a rep and got a confirmation #. However I noticed my credit card was charged. I again did an online chat (this time the person was playing games with me). She eventually gave me a second confirmation #. Still on my credit card. I sent an email to dispute resolution and was told that it takes 4-6 weeks to get a refund. In the meantime I had to either pay my credit card with this charge one it or get a finance charge. Mvelopes is a TOTAL SCAM!

  7. I decided to stop using mvelopes because it was too slow and buggy. I had trouble interfacing with my banks (it was slow when it worked at all) and then couldn’t delete those accounts that wouldn’t work properly. Although a great concept, the execution is very shoddy.

    But I am writing this review because the cancellation process is abominable. I cancelled (after having to dig around to find that you must cancel via a chat session) and then found a couple of days later that I’d been charged again. I guess I decided to cancel right at the time I was being charged for three more months. I reengaged the chat support immediately to get credited and ensure the account was cancelled. The chat person told me that she could do nothing and instead to send an email. I told that individual that I would not send an email, that instead I would dispute with my credit card company, and until I found out it was resolved in my favor, that I would post as many comments about their service as possible. So here I am.

    Good luck with your budgeting and stay away from companies like this.