Mvelopes Review 2023

Manage Your Budget

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There are many different budgeting systems out there, but one of the more popular methods for getting your finances back on track is the envelope budgeting system. The envelope budgeting system, made popular by Dave Ramsey, uses a cash-based budget that is divided into several different categories.

For example, you’d have an envelope for rent, an envelope for groceries, and an envelope for discretionary “fun” money.

To get started, you would withdraw the cash allotted in your budget and separate it into several envelopes.

By dividing up funds and placing money in an envelope, you are actively monitoring your funds, and once the money is gone for a category, it’s gone and you don’t overspend.

While this budgeting system might seem a bit outdated, there is new web-based software on the market that has infused this traditional classic with a little more life and a whole lot of technological prowess.

What is Mvelopes?

Mvelopes is a web-based personal finance software that takes the traditional envelope budgeting method to the next level by using digital envelopes to manage your budget and cash flow. Goodbye paper envelopes!

As stated on their website, Mvelopes enables you to:

  • Gain control over finances and recover as much as 10% of your income from hidden spending.
  • Create peace of mind as you get a real-time view of all your accounts and transactions with anytime/anywhere secure access in one simple tool.
  • Build financial freedom by eliminating existing debt and increasing savings.

The software was chosen by Kiplinger as the ‘Best Budgeting Site for Over-Spenders’ in October 2012. Mvelopes is geared towards people who are overspenders or in debt, and it helps people see their overall budget and financial picture using their system.

Creating an account with Mvelopes is fairly easy, but it’s also time-consuming.

How Does Mvelopes Work?

After signing up for Mvelopes, you’ll be asked to put a check mark next to goals that are most important to you. By doing this step, you are letting Mvelopes know what your goals are for using the system — this can also help you see where there are budget leaks outside of your main goals and priorities.

mvelopes works

After establishing your goals, Mvelopes will take you through a 4-step process to get started, which includes adding your accounts, defining your income, creating a budget, and adding money to your envelopes.

mvelopes assistant

The final step in the process is funding the digital envelopes, which are conveniently separated by categories: Bills (ex: Rent, Utilities), Everyday (ex: Groceries, Clothing), Giving (ex: Donations), Goals ($1000 Emergency Fund), Periodic (Vehicle Registration). The Mvelopes system tracks your expenses, so you’ll have a visual picture of how much money from each envelope has been spent.

Mvelopes Features

Cost $6 – $19.95/a month
Budgeting Yes
Online Synchronization Yes
Bill Payment No
Investment Monitoring No
Mobile App Yes – Apple iOS and Google Android
Promotions None

Mvelopes offers various versions to get started. For people in debt, their Premier account, at $9.95 per month, has a Debt Roll-Down option which enables users to input their debt totals, and examine several different payoff options, which can then be integrated into the envelope budget. And with their Plus plan, you can get guidance from a personal finance trainer every three months.

Mvelopes has many features at all price points and is compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems — Mvelopes also has an iPhone and Android app, so you can access your financial info at anytime.

Creating an account with Mvelopes is easy, but it is also time-consuming to set up an account, choose and sync your accounts, establish goals, and go through the 4-steps to get started.

The Mvelopes system isn’t too difficult to figure out, but it’s not necessarily intuitive either. There are many different resources and pages to explore and you can get lost in the many different things Mvelopes offers. While the resources and information provided are helpful, I believe a simpler system would be beneficial for this type of budgeting.

In addition, the Mvelopes system can take a while to log in and process your information. It took more than a few seconds and at first I thought there was something wrong with my computer, but it just loaded slowly.

Some benefits of the Mvelopes program include a complete picture of your bank accounts and extensive reports which cover your envelope spending and funding, your envelope balance, account balance, net worth over time, envelope spending per month, and more.

Being able to see a snapshot picture of your account balances, as well as visuals of your net worth and spending month-to-month, add value to the program by providing useful information in an easy-to-digest format.

Mvelopes Review Summary

Mvelopes has done a great job at taking the classic envelope budgeting system and making it into so much more with their web-based software. The resources available for the paid accounts are impressive, including a community forum and one-on-one coaching sessions, while the free version offers the basics of what you need to get started.

Mvelopes is a good option for anyone looking to overhaul their finances, get out of debt, find budget leaks, and really see where your money is going. While technology can be helpful, it can also be cumbersome, as Mvelopes has an initial learning curve to get started.

Some of the tabs seem fairly self-explanatory while others are not as clear. The design and implementation are not that user-friendly or intuitive, which can make it difficult to understand everything that Mvelopes has to offer.

If you are looking to try a new budgeting system because your current one isn’t working, Mvelopes might be a good option. But if your current budgeting system is working, consider sticking with what is working for you.

This review was researched and written with the help of assistant editor, Melanie Lockert.

Carrie Smith

Carrie was an accountant for the past 10 years and has a background in editing. In 2011 she founded a site that helps other entrepreneurs and small businesses make more money in less time. She puts her keen eye for detail and editing skills to good use, by managing all the blog posts and content here on Investor Junkie.

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  1. Wow…. I am sorry to see all of this but sadly I’m in the boat. I’ve been using Mvelopes for 15 years so I’m willing to be very tolerant and patient to avoid starting over with a different program. I’m even willing to overlook some of the features that have disappeared, such as auto-assigning transactions and having the notes visible for transactions. But now I’ve not been able to download checking or savings transactions for over 2 weeks, although my credit card from the same bank is downloading fine. I have opened a ticket but since it still hasn’t been resolved, I started looking into alternatives. Seems like alot of us are dealing with that same frustrations. This makes me sad.

    I will look into YNAB since that seems to be recommended here. I want to keep it as “Mvelopes-like-minus-tech-problems” as possible since I was very comfortable using Mvelopes.

  2. I have been a lifetime member of mvelopes and have loved it up until about two years ago. I’m ready to be DONE! Has anyone found a good alternative?????????

    1. No.

      Finicity is sitting on a software patent that covers, among other things, how “money for” works. No one can (commercially) deliver a live alternative to zombie mvelopes.

  3. For about a week now my envelopes in Mvelopes have had incorrect balances. For instance, one envelope should have $100 and it says $3153.91. Totally random numbers out of thin air. I chatted with CS and was assured the issue was being looked into. I also created a ticket on the Support website. That was four days ago and …crickets. This system is totally unusable at this point. I have no idea how much is in any of my envelopes. Some of them appear to be correct, but some are off by thousands of dollars.

    1. I’ve been having the same issue. I have submitted tickets and chatted with customer support. They assure me they are working on it but it is a very technical issue and it is going to take time to fix! So frustrating!

  4. I canceled before the end of my paid month and lost access. Yes, it warns you and I wasn’t going to use again but I think it’s just wrong regardless. I wasn’t a good budgeting solution for me, but I may have revisited in the future – never again now.

  5. I used to use Mvelopes, but they rushed out version 5 and it’s absolute garbage. Nothing like the old program. I finally had enough last Oct, and quit. I am not a beta tester, and I need my stuff to work. Period.

    I now use YNAB, and while it has a bit of a learning curve, there is ample help available. It’s a much better program, and if you follow the method, it will pay off big time. Their forum is active with lots of folks who can answer questions, plus they have free classes you can sign up for, videos to watch about the system, etc. I have gone further in 6 months with YNAB, than I did in years with Mvelopes. If you have debt and want to pay it off, YNAB is the ONLY way to go.

  6. I think Mvelopes is dying. Customer service used to be readily available by chat. Now no chat is available even in the times listed. I’ve sent an email and received no answer. That’s unfortunate as I have used Mvelopes for 10 years. I am switching to YNAB, which seems to be what Mvelopes should have become.

    1. i’m in the same camp as you. have you switched to ynab? what’s your experience been?

  7. Mvelopes is exhibiting signs of serious business troubles.
    Customer chat is no longer available. I tried calling the Personal Finance Advisor number; message was “wait for next available agent”. After being on hold for 15 minutes, the music stopped playing and I was left with dead air. Gave it another couple minutes before hanging up.

    Called the support line for Premier and Complete customers and received a recording. Email support, or schedule a call on Tried to leave a message, but it cut me off after 10 seconds. Went to schedule a call; first appointmen is 8 days out.

    A banner on the top of their FAQ page states that they only do support via email.

    This is so sad to see. I used their program years ago and loved it.Everyone else only does monthly layout, loved that their program let you allocate each paycheck.

    Looks like I’m back to spreadsheets again.

  8. I’m sorry, but I cannot recommend mvelopes after using it for 10+years as a lifetime member. They are having serious internal problems that have left the software unusable for weeks at a time. Support is all but non existent the past few years. Mvelopes of old saved my financial life, but as of Sept last year after not being able to use it for two months, if left them for another product.

    1. Robert, I, too, am a lifetime member that is really struggling with this program. have you found another envelopes based app that will download transactions from your accounts?

      1. I am in the same boat and am using YNAB. It is a little different, but has so many features that Mvelopes should have developed.

        1. I just decided today to quit Mvelopes after 15+ years as a customer. I kept hoping mvelopes 5 would fix some of their issues, but it didn’t. I’m so disappointed as I loved them!

          1. I’m in the same boat! Been using for around 6 years and loved it. However, features started not working and there was no support. I also had high hopes for Mvelopes 5 but as soon as my account was upgraded I realized it’s just a hot mess. Many missing features and multiple issues. I’m in the search for a replacement now. I would definitely avoid Mvelopes at this point.

    2. I’m also a long-time lifetime member and would like to know what you have found instead? Totally agree with the frustration of the company lately.

    3. I am so happy to hear others are having issues. I, too , have used them for years. I have not been able to access for months. I keep getting the run around. I will gladly change, but I am wondering about the data I will be leaving behind. I did not print anything out before all of these issues started happening.

  9. I’ve been using mvelopes for 3 years and I’m done. They keep losing contact with my accounts, duplicating transactions and won’t let me link my bank account. I’ve tried to set certain transactions to auto file into the correct envelope, but that never seems to work. I have issues logging in from my PC and the app is not user friendly. I’ve submitted numerous tickets but don’t get any real response.
    I think they have a great idea, but they don’t have the technical support to sustain their software. I’m paying for the privileged to use their product but feel like I’m a beta tester. If that’s the case, then I shouldn’t have to pay them. It has greatly increased the amount of time it takes to do my bills and keep a budget.

  10. I’ve been using mvelopes for 3 years and I’m done. They keep losing contact with my accounts, duplicating transactions and won’t let me link my bank account. I’ve tried to set certain transactions to auto file into the correct envelope, but that never seems to work. I have issues logging in from my PC and the app is not user friendly. I’ve submitted numerous tickets but don’t get any real response.
    I think they have a great idea, but they don’t have the technical support to sustain their software. I’m paying for the privileged to use their product but feel like I’m a beta tester. If that’s the case, then I shouldn’t have to pay them. It has greatly increased the amount of time it takes to do my bills and keep a budget.

    1. I totally agree with you. I have been a long-time Mvelopes user and loved it so much that I used it as my business accounting program. However, as of lately, they have “upgraded” (feels more like a downgrade!) their software and now I don’t even have the ability to export my envelopes, it doesn’t give totals. Currently, it doesn’t even import my bank transactions. I have to import them manually. A very frustrated user. I love the idea of allocating my money and transactions and how it has worked for many years, but now it is a total frustration! Not to mention the last time I logged in, the unallocated 250 of my transactions. Don’t know what’s going on over there at Mvelopes.

  11. Mvelopes as an app is fine, but as a company they are very poor. I cancelled my subscription and was charged the month after. I then asked them to delete my credit card information and two separate customer service reps confirmed it was deleted in February 2019. I was then charged again in December 2019… So buyer beware!

  12. I have been using mvelopes for at least 2 years. Starting 3 months ago I have been having trouble logging on from desktops and laptops. Both Mac and PC. I have been contacting them throughout to still be having the same issue. Has yet to be resolved. I have chosen to write about it because the only solution they can give me is to elevate it to the developers. 3 months later, I still can’t log in. Talked to a supervisor (finally) today and he is going to look into it personally, something I have been told by 3 others already, and he will get back to me. When I asked for a time frame of when I would hear from him again, he said he can’t give me false information. Long story short 48-72hours. I have had NO issues with mvelopes and have referred many to this software until recently. SO, this long winded statement in its entirety, to those who look into this as their budgeting software……Mvelopes support is S L O W! Online chat available only.

  13. I just created Divvy Money Manager. Basically like Mvelopes but not extremely difficult to use. Way more freedom. We need people to test it and give feedback so we can add features.

  14. I tried mvelopes about a year ago… Had great difficulties and with little help and inadequate support, i finally gave up after many hours/days/weeks of trying to resolve the issues.

    After a year, i thought i would try again… Surely they would have improved – right? Wrong

    For over a week now, i have not been able to even add accounts, i have used the online chat and submitted tickets with detailed information and screen shots. The responses are always incredibly simplistic (showing they didn’t even take the time to really read my email nor investigate the issue). After responding again to them and supplying more clarifying details, their responses still dont help… If you look at their help topics and their support ticket responses, they are very simplistic and always point the problem to you or your financial institution, they never take ownership of the issues within mvelopes.
    After many hours and many attempts, I have once again given up on Mvelopes.
    I am very disappointed because I love the concept behind Mvelopes but the system is not user friendly, there are numerous bugs, and the support is virtually non-existent.

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