Over the last 12 months we have put MVELOPES Online Budgeting, and their App, to the test!
We have run it all through the ringer, the online version, the mobile app, and even their technical support department. Keep reading to find our thorough and thoughtful review.
(Active Manhood is not an affiliate of Mvelopes, and receives no monetary benefit for this honest and unbiased review)
Proverbs 21:20 “There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.“
The Mvelopes budgeting system is a combination of online budgeting, and an App that syncs with it, making it both accessible and portable.
Mvelopes uses a basic envelope styled budgeting approach where you set up budgeting envelopes for each category, and then determine how much money to allocate to each envelope.
Here is a short video (1:55) from Mvelopes to give you the basic idea….we encourage you to watch it, and then continue reading this review.
What did we discover ? Well, read our:
7 Point Detailed MVELOPES Product Review
(Each point will be rated with 1 to 5 stars, 5 being the best)
1. Ease of Use – 3.5 Stars
If you are already familiar with using financial software of any kind, then you will probably pick up pretty quick on their user interface. It is fairly intuitive. However, if you are not very familiar with financial software, then the learning curve might be a little higher.
If you decide to give Mvelopes a try, we recommend you do all your initial budgeting setup on a computer rather than on the mobile app. It was very functional on a laptop for setup but frustrating and slow to try and set up on a mobile device.
If you decide to give it a try make sure you gather up all your financial information ahead of time, like your utility bills, other regular monthly costs, estimated food and fuel costs for the month, and regular income amounts as well as your back account a nd routing numbers.
Overall it is really very easy to use once you get accustomed to the way they have things laid out.
2. Quality – 4.5 Stars
Mvelopes has done a great job of providing a quality user interface that presents a lot of financial information without seeming crowded or jumbled. It is streamlined and sharply designed.
The few problems that we had were specific to downloading current transactions from the bank, which was a pretty big problem. It happened several times, and each time it took at least several days to get solved on their end. Because of that, we got behind in processing financial transactions which made the budget unpredictable to work with for that time.
After our year long review, we found no technical glitches, other than the temporary problem with the bank feed issue.
3. Price – 4 Stars
Mvelopes offers a FREE version that is pretty basic, but is a good way to see if it will work for you. After that the offer two upgrade options. Here is a comparison chart if you want to take a closer look.
- Free (up to 25 Spending envelopes, and 4 bank accounts)
- Premium ($19.95/month or $95/year)
- Coaching ($59.95/month)
We recommend starting with the free version to give it a go. However, you will probably find after investing enough time to get everything set up to your satisfaction, you will not want to with to another app. The free version might be enough for you to get by on without having to upgrade at all.
4. Functionality – 4.5 Stars
As far as Mvelopes functionality, we have found that it is quite robust. It is great for the simple budget, but the paid version scales up to handle many credit accounts, and investments as well.
Once you get used to how things work in their system, you have a good amount of flexibility. There are several features that have proven to be very useful on a regular basis. Each of these functions is available in the free version too.
- The “Funding Plan” is great. Once it is all set up with your regular income details, it will automatically allocate your entire paycheck in the pre-designated “Mvelopes”. This saves an incredible amount of time.
- The “Sweep” feature is also very useful. Once your cash has been distributed, you can open them all up in a single window, and “sweep” any available discretionary cash from one envelope to another, to “fund” any envelope you like.
- The “Inbox” is the entry point more often than not, as this is the screen that displays the transaction that have been downloaded from your bank, and need to be assigned to the “Mvelope” that the money will be taken out of. It’s been pretty seamless functionally.
5. Competition – 4 Stars
After looking around and trying quite a few different financial and budgeting applications, we have narrowed the competition down to just a few well known apps. Here is Mvelopes competition.
- Mint – This is an Intuit product, which is the same company that makes Quicken and Quickbooks.
- EveryDollar – This is a Dave Ramsey product, which strongly promotes using an envelope budgeting system, and a zero based budget.
Both Mint and EveryDollar are great products also, and have high marks in their app reviews. Since this is not a review of those products, but of Mvelopes, we will not get into all the nuances of each.
However, of the 3 different budgeting apps, we prefer Mvelopes because of the clear and straight forward envelope budgeting system, and “Funding Plan” feature, as well as a few other reasons related to functionality. Any of these apps would be better than not having a budget.
6. Portability – 4 Stars
The primary budgeting is best done on a laptop or desktop. However, for basic handling of transaction assignments to envelopes, it works great on mobile devices.
It is also a benefit that the app can be downloaded and logged into from different devices for the same account, which is a huge plus.
For example, the wife at the store can check the “grocery envelope”, or any other envelope, to help stay within the budget.
The portability was a huge factor for us, as we need to be on the same page with our budget.
7. Product Support – 2.5 Stars
Mvelopes actually has a great deal of “how-to” videos on youtube, all of which were very helpful and pretty straight forward. There is a good explanation of how to handle just about every function, with screen shots and step by step instructions.
They are well produced videos that offer clear explanations, and screen shots as examples of each process.
Also, the few times we did have problems with our bank feed, the chat feature on the website support page was very responsive and efficient. They were friendly, professional, and competent.
The reason we are giving them only 3 Stars in this category, is because it took them almost a full month to resolve one of the bank feed problems that occurred after we had already used that feed successfully for several months.
Something happened, it stopped downloading transactions, and they took forever to get it resolved. Meanwhile, the budget was dead in the water. Eventually they got it resolved, and we were back up and running. It’s been fine since.
Overall, we would honestly recommend Mvelopes to anyone that is looking for a clear and straight forward envelope budgeting app. This works really well for Dave Ramsey advocates, and fits right in with his budgeting plan.
If you decide to go with it, be sure to check out the free version first, and once you get the hang of it, upgrade to the Premier version if you need to.
If you found this article helpful, you may want to check out another GREAT POST – “7 Quick Secrets of Prayer for Financial Breakthrough“
We hope that this Mvelopes product review has been helpful.