I have been using the envelope accounting method since 1990 in a DOS version of a Works database file. To me, it’s the only sensible way to manage household money. Most financial software products work on the basis of a monthly budget with targets. At the end of the month, it shows you where you went wrong but by then it’s too late to fix anything. Envelope accounting is different. Budget $200 this month for groceries but only spend $175? Great, you’ll have $225 next month. But maybe you went overboard on your gasoline purchases this month which means you’ll need to conserve more next month.
Would you like to enter future transactions such as a payroll deposit or large expenditure and see the impact on your envelope (called a Bucket in MoneyWell)? This product has you covered by marking the status of the transaction as Open. Or maybe you want to leave the future transaction entries so you don’t have to re-enter them but you’d like to see the current state of your Buckets without the future entries. No problem — mark the transactions as Pending.
The Direct Connect feature with my bank saves me time by downloading the transactions for me. The setup was about as close to automatic as it could be. I just make a simple edit to the new transactions to assign them to the correct Bucket.
Got a credit card? Download the transactions as they occur and assign them to a Bucket. Then there won’t be any surprises when the monthly bill is due because you will have prepared for each expense before the statement closes.
The user-interface of this software is fantastic with everything placed in a sensible and logical order. The developer is also serious about the MoneyWell app on the iPad, too. The sync with DropBox works beautifully so when I travel I can manage everything from my iPad just like I would from my desktop at home. And if you’re shopping and want to make an impulse purchase but you’d like to check the balance of your Buckets first, use the iPhone app that also syncs with DropBox.
I even submitted a help ticket for a question that I already knew the answer to as a means of checking out the support. The response was quick, spot-on accurate, and it was from the developer. This developer has done a fantastic job with MoneyWell across multiple platforms and brings the user exactly what is needed for effective money management with envelope (Bucket) accounting.