Mvelopes, NeoBudget, and Inzolo are all types of software for maintaining an envelope system online. If you haven’t heard of the envelope system, the basic idea is that you put cash in different envelopes for different items in your budget. For example, you put $100 dollars in your grocery envelope, and then you only spend that money on groceries and no more until it is time to fill it again. The idea has been around forever, but Dave Ramsey has made it popular recently.
Today I read a great review from ChristianPF on Mvelopes, and Bob mentioned NeoBudget as an alternative. I decided to check it, and was also introduced to Inzolo. The main idea behind each of the systems is to create a virtual envelope system that can be controlled online. Many people, myself included, don’t really like to carry around cash and prefer using a debit card. It is more convenient in many instances.
The systems allow you to create separate “envelopes” for different parts of your budget. You can then import your transactions online from your checking account, and classify them as to which envelope they should come from. With this you can easily keep track of how much you are spending in each section, and hold yourself to the budget you set.
I had been wanting to try Mvelopes for awhile, but the pricetag had kept me from doing it. It’s not a ton at $12 a month, but it was more than I wanted to spend. NeoBudget and Inzolo are cheaper alternatives, so I am going to give them a shot. Mvelopes does have a free trial which I may try at some point just to do a review, but it was more than I wanted to spend. If want to give it a shot you can sign up for a free trial of Mvelopes Personal here. If you do, let me know what you think of it.
I’ve also considered using Mint as a budget planner. It has very similar functionality, it just isn’t labeled as an “envelope system” so I hadn’t thought of it before. The best part about Mint is it is free. If you don’t like it you aren’t out anything.
I just thought I’d share these alternatives to let anybody who has been considering trying an online envelope system know that they exist. I plan on trying them for a month or two and then I will do reviews for each of them.
If anybody has any experience with any of these systems I’d love for you to share your experience in the comments below. Tell the pros and cons and let us know if you would recommend it.