Here’s a little personal back story on my experience with the app Budget Envelopes.
In the last month my wife and I have embarked on a debt reduction journey with the help of Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University” classes. In the classes Dave teaches you a process by which you can slowly begin to dig your way out of debt. This process is called “The Baby Steps”. I won’t go into full detail on all of them but the the first 2 are:
1. Save up $1,000 in a bank account to use as an emergency fund. This way if any issues should come up that are under $1,000 you can use cash instead of credit to pay for them.
2. Begin paying off your debts using the “Debt Snowball”. The debt snowball is a method by which you pay off all your debts starting with the lowest balance first and work your way up to the highest ones regardless of interest rate. So that way you can take the money from each debt you pay off and apply it to the next one.
Some people would say to pay off the debts with higher interest rates first but Dave would say that while financially that makes sense, most of the methods he teaches are about changing behaviors first and foremost. By paying off the easier debts first it builds a sense of momentum and helps enforce a more disciplined approach to handling money.
You can’t argue with the results because he has had an effect on people’s finances for 20 years and many have gone on to become very wealthy after completing the program as a result.
Anyways, that’s a nice story, but the reason why i’m telling it is because one of the things he teaches is to create a monthly zero based budget and use what’s known as an envelope system to track and keep your cash for what it’s supposed to be used for.
My wife and I don’t usually carry cash around like that so we needed to figure out a way to follow the program digitally and that’s where the iPhone app Budget Envelopes by Mobile Innovations comes in.
Budget Envelopes lets the user setup a complete monthly budget easily and conveniently from anywhere. Users can add items for anything, name it what they want, choose an icon that represents it best, set a recurring time frame from One time to Daily to all the way to Yearly.
We tend to use it on a monthly basis because our budget is done monthly. There’s even a rollover setting that rolls the dollar amount over from the previous month to the next without the user having to do it after the month starts for each account.
This feature itself shows real thought and adds total convenience to what some would feel is a tedious process. I like that a lot and believe users will too.
Users can also track their income each month and also create reports such as “expenses by budget”, “expenses vs income”, and also daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly reports by budget and also income category.
Another nice feature is the ability to track any recurring expenses such as monthly credit cards, loans, mortgage, cars, etc…Each item can be entered into the system to show the monthly amount paid, the name of the creditor, the repeat time frame, and the payment date.
In the settings the user can set a pass-code lock, back up and restore data, send feedback to the developers, setup income categories, setup payees, chance the background texture, and lastly sync the data on one persons phone with another persons phone such as a spouse if the user is part of a couple on a budget. This app really delivers on its promises. You can completely manage your budget with this app.