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LAST UPDATED: February 26th, 2023
Mvelopes is based on a budgeting concept that is easy for most people to understand. In the old days, you would cash your paycheck and then distribute the cash into separate envelopes labeled with budget categories like rent, groceries, clothing, emergency savings, or electricity. When bills came due, you would remove money from the appropriate envelope to pay them. If you ran out of money in an envelope you would either have to go without that item (e.g., new clothes) or you’d have to take money out of a different envelope to fund it. When you ran out of money in your envelopes, you wouldn’t be able to spend any more until your next paycheck. The envelopes system excelled at helping people stay within their financial means and avoid racking up debt. 

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The Good

  • Encryption Technology
  • Assessment and Consultation
  • Coaching Sessions

Mvelopes starts you off with a budget template with pre-made envelopes which you can add to, edit, or delete. Included in the budget list is a category for Goals where you can add things you're saving for like an emergency fund or a vacation. Mvelopes is based on the budgeting concept that you would cash your paycheck and then distribute the cash into separate envelopes labeled with budget categories. Some highlights about Mvelopes include:

  • Assessment questionnaire
  • Free financial coaching consultation
  • Set up guide
  • Past transactions
  • Automated starter budget
  • Mobile apps
  • Google Glass
  • "Budgeting Bootcamp"

Mvelopes uses the 128-bit SSL encryption technology that online banks use, firewalls around their servers, and regular security audits. You can read more details of Mevelopes's security measures on their website. The Mvelopes startup experience begins with an easy checkmark-style questionnaire in order to assess which financial needs are most important to you. After this assessment you are presented with an offer for a free financial coaching consultation (a $60 value) which you can either skip or proceed to making an appointment. Once you get into the application, Mvelopes provides you with a step-by-step guide to setting up your budget:

  1. Add accounts
  2. Define incomes
  3. Create a budget
  4. Fund your envelopes

After you add your accounts, Mvelopes will sync several months of your past transactions in order to set up a automated starter budget template for you to edit. You can access Mvelopes from mobile apps for Apple, Android, and Amazon and your transaction information syncs across all your devices. Mvelopes is even supported on Google Glass. Mvelopes Premium plan offers a credit card debt roll-down plan to get your charges under control and paid off quickly. Along with the free coaching consultation, Mvelopes offers other educational materials, such as the Budgeting Bootcamp, an extra $49.99 fee. For an additional fee, customers have the option to receive future consultations with an Mvelopes Certified Budget Coach. These coaching sessions provide customers with an additional layer of assistance as they try to master their personal finances in regards to paying off debt, saving for emergencies, and planning for the future. Sessions consist of monthly one-on-one phone calls that help assist clients toward their financial goals. To learn more about Mvelopes Certified Budget Coaches and how they can support you, please click our "Financial Coaching" tab.


The Bad

  • Interface is Complex
  • Free plan is Limited
  • Premier Plan is Expensive

The Mvelopes user interface can be intimidating for those new to managing financial accounts. The typeface is very small, the pages are text-heavy, and everything is rendered in Java Server Pages so that zooming in with your browser won't increase the text size. The overall impression that the interface gives is that of a complex console with very little for the eye to make sense of at a glance. There are very few visual displays of data - even on the reports pages - so nearly everything must be read to be understood. Some concerns include:

  • Complex interface
  • Free plan limited
  • Steep pricing for Premier plan

The Mvelopes free plan limits you to only 4 accounts and 25 envelopes, which might not be enough for some people. Also, live chat support is only available through the Premier plan, leaving the basic plan users to help articles and customer forums. The basic breakdown of plans breaks down as follows: Basic plan:

  • 4 bank accounts
  • 25 spending envelopes
  • Compatible with Windows/Mac

Premier plan:

  • Unlimited bank accounts
  • Unlimited envelopes

At $95/year (approximately $7.92/month), the Mvelopes Premier plan is more expensive than most other premium plans which average around $4 - $5 per month.


The Bottom Line

The Mvelopes free plan is a robust tool designed for people who are already budget-savvy and are comfortable with text-heavy consoles of information. The Premier plan offers more support options and a debt roll-down feature, but is fairly pricey compared to other premium online financial plans. Additionally, the interface may be difficult to read for those with vision problems or people who absorb information best from visual displays. Overall, we recommend using Mvelopes for your personal finance needs. Those that use Mvelopes for their personal finance management needs can expect the following from the platform:
  1. Quality and straight-forward budgeting tools
  2. Organize and manage all finances
  3. Expensive premier plan
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33 Reviews

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Sandra Barger Lansing, MI

I've been using Mvelopes for 1year and am extremely satisfied. It was time consuming to set up, but I was starting a budget from scratch so I had to determine my financial priorities too. I have encountered a few technical issues with connecting to my bank accounts, but that was 8 months ago and I've had no problems since. I use the free version on an iPhone, however I HIGHLY recommend using a desktop/laptop to setup your budget since there are options only available on a desktop that you'll need to create a working budget. Then, I use the phone app for day-to-day activities, like checking my envelope balances and assigning transactions to categories. I have successfully used the free KnowledgeBase many times to find the proper way to: transfer money between accounts, to make credit card payments, to close an account, and tracking non-web based accounts.

6 years ago

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Dorothy Oak Harbor, WA

I have been using Mvelopes for about 8 years now and I find it an invaluable budgeting tool. It serves as a bookkeeping and checkbook tracking device, along with monitoring all your bank and credit card accounts. It has allowed our family to become financially solvent enough that both my husband and I took early retirements. At a glance we can tell exactly how much money we have budgeted. This has been a lifesaver! When the money for eating out is gone for the month we either don't eat out or consciously decide to forgo something else. When the credit card bill comes, I pay it in full on the spot because the money has already been set aside in Mvelopes. I do agree that the learning curve can be a little steep, which is why I did not give it a 10. But if you stick with it and take the time to learn (lots of help available via live chat) I think you'll find it will bring real discipline to your budgeting and allow you to spend money on the things you really value.

8 years ago

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Shay F

Great product due highly to the visual of the envelopes. Since both my husband and I can view , we set up envelopes directly for himm for clothing and personal. If it is in his envelope and vice versa we can spend with out consulting. We have not fought regarding money since the on line version came out. We began utilizing when it was computer based software.

6 years ago

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Travis Austin Spring, TX

So Mvelopes is a little tough to get your head wrapped around. You use templates to fund your Envelopes, use auto-assigned routing to route new transactions into the right envelopes. The reports (which are exported to pdf or excel) tell you how good/bad you are doing. If you are diligent with it, you will like the service. The Mobile App and me are frenemies. It is easy to use when it is working. I've been with them for 5 years I think. I bought the lifetime plan when it was under $200. Money well, well spent.

8 years ago

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I've been using Mvelopes for years. I love that this program places money from my budget automatically into the assigned envelopes. It also immediately pulls each transaction into the program (no matter method of payment: debit, credit check etc) to be placed into the appropriate category. I can't imagine my personal finances without this program.

8 years ago

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Ryan Jarvie Fairchild Air Force Base, WA

I really like using Mvelopes to keep track of my budget. I started out paying and then backed off so I am now using their free service, which meets my needs. I really like how it pulls from all my accounts only with occasional hiccups. There is a bit of a learning curve at first to figure everything out, but once you figure it out, it works well.

8 years ago

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Diana Raleigh, NC

I have been using this since 2010 and love it. Don't know how I would have managed without it!! Keeps me on track. Has helped me pay off debt and save an emergency fund.

8 years ago

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Pamela VonStowver Los Angeles, CA

It is good but it does take a while to really implement it.

8 years ago