I’m a little bit late in writing this post as the announcement came a while ago, but I do feel an obligation to let you know that Mvelopes Personal, popular envelope budgeting software, now has a free version. I decided to take a few moments to sign up for a free Mvelopes Personal account to see exactly what they’re offering for their users. I’ve been a long-time supporter of the product and previous user [currently, YNAB], so I’m happy to share my findings with you.
Honestly, I was a little dissapointed to not find anything on the Mvelopes website that outlines the difference between the free account and the paid version. I was hoping they would be more open about this, but I had to sign up for the free account to understand the differences. However, no concern for you as I’m going to share my findings.
I was taken to a confirmation screen that immediately let me know I could sign up for the Premier account if I desired some of the additional features. With the Premier version you get unlimited accounts, which I take it to mean you can link to as many checking and/or savings accounts as you desire. Also, you get access to the debt management program and online bill pay with the Premier account. Outside of those limitations, it appears you get to use the core functionality of creating a spending plan, managing your virtual envelopes, assigning transactions, etc. [Pretty Cool!]
As I logged into my new account, I was surprisingly led to a new interface that provided a step by step guide to add my accounts, define incomes, create a spending plan and fund envelopes. It’s been a while since I’ve used Mvelopes so I’m pleased to see they’ve put this instruction out there for users who I know can become easily overwhelmed by the set up of new software and using technology to manage their finances.
After browsing around a bit, it was clear the makers of Mvelopes have redesigned the entire product with a new updated interface. Overall, it looked clean and simplified. However, I didn’t see any new features available in the product which was sort of disappointing. At the same time, I’ve always felt the basics of the product work great and do believe it can help you manage manage your monthly spending and achieve your financial goals.
So, is the free version a good deal? Absolutely! If you prefer envelope style budgeting this is a great product for you to try. Off-hand I can’t tell you how many free accounts you can have. That might be the only concern for me in using the free product. You can use bill pay through most banks so I don’t think you necessarily need the Mvelopes version. Also, the debt tool feature is nice, but online debt calculators will help you create your DebtGoal [SavvyMoney.com]: Debt Payoff Program" href="http://www.onemoneydesign.com/debtgoal-helps-eliminate-debt/">debt payment plan as well.
Note: read my Mvelopes review for an overview of all the features.