The cash envelope system is a truly powerful way to manage your money. But using only cash in today’s society can be quite cumbersome. Both Qube Money and Mvelopes have developed digital solutions for this money-smart strategy that makes the process easier.
But what’s the difference between these two budgeting solutions?
Related: Is the Cash Envelope System Right for You?
Let’s dive deep into each of these advanced budgeting apps and discuss how they approach digital cash envelopes in their own way.
What is Qube Money?
Qube Money is a budgeting app that divides your money into separate digital accounts (or “qubes”). By splitting up your money into individual digital categories, Qube allows you to create purpose behind every dollar.
Qube works through an app/debit card combo. Users get the budgeting discipline that comes from cash envelopes and the convenience of swiping a debit card. When you use the app to select which qube you want to spend from, your card is loaded with the funds from that qube and is ready for use.
The Qube Money system tracks all of your purchases as well. This is convenient for remembering what you bought and where you bought it. You can also know what anyone else bought on your Qube Money account, like a partner or spouse.
Qube Money was previously known as ProActive Budget. Their new and advanced budgeting solutions are available to U.S. based customers only.
Click here to create an account.
How does Qube Money work?
1. Place Your Income into Qubes
First, you need to decide how to distribute your income. You’ll place your money into separate qubes in the app like Groceries, Utilities, Amazon, Gas, etc.
2. Select a Qube in the App When Shopping
If you’re at the store or shopping online, select your designated Qube from your app. This action will “load up” your debit card for use and ensure you have enough for your purchase.
3. Run the Debit Card to Purchase Your Items
With your debit card loaded up, you’re ready to make your purchase. Swipe or insert your debit card and you’re good to go. Any money remaining on your card will be returned to the qube it came from.
Learn more about how Qube Money works here.
What are Qube Money’s main features?
Qube tracks your spending, so you don’t have to. No scouring through receipts or remembering what you purchased and when. Since you’ve allocated your cash before you spend it, you’re staying on budget and staying in control.
Using “Default Zero” technology, you’re required to open a Qube in your app before funds are available on your card. This means if your card is stolen, the thief won’t be able to charge anything because there’s no money available.
If you’re in a relationship, the budget needs to work for both of you. Qube makes this easy by allowing each of you to have your own cards that correspond with your joint budget. You’re both able to use the app and spend simultaneously, so neither party feels left out.
How much does Qube Money cost?
Qube money offers a few different pricing options for budgeters to consider:
Yes, free. I know, that’s my favorite price too. This plan is best for single accounts. If you want to share an account with another person or partner, check out the Premium plan.
With Qube Money’s “Free” plan, you receive the following:
- Limited Qubes
- Manual transfers
- One debit card
This level is best for couples and individuals who want more flexibility. It provides more access and more features.
The “Premium” level offers the following:
- Two users & two debit cards
- Partner permissions
- Unlimited qubes
- Automated transfers
- Bill pay
- Savings account
Price: $8/month OR $96/year (or $216 lifetime)
This option is best for…you guessed it! Families!
The “Family” option includes the following:
- All of the Premium features
- Up to 10 kid cards
- Kid view budgeting
- In-app chore tracking
- Parent permissions
Price: $15/month OR $180/year (or $324 lifetime)
What is Mvelopes?
Mvelopes is a personal finance budgeting tool that uses digital cash envelopes instead of physical ones. By designating certain digital “mvelopes” for your spending, you limit your ability to overspend.
The Mvelopes approach is designed to help you:
- Give money a purpose
- Avoid debt
- Plan for tomorrow
Mvelopes and their parent company Finicity have been supporting clients for almost 20 years and they claim to have helped over 500,000 people with their system.
How does Mvelopes work?
1. Distribute Take Home Into Mvelopes
Once you receive your income into your synched up accounts, you then divvy up your money into expense categories called “Mvelopes”.
2. Use the App to Track Spending
Once you start spending money, the Mvelopes app will track your purchases and designate where you’ve spent your money.
3. Hold Yourself Accountable Through the App
When an Mvelope is empty, you’ll have to wait to put more money into it until you receive more income. This holds you accountable and helps you to not overspend.
What are Mvelopes’s main features?
When you’re out of money in a specific category, the app will let you know. This information will prevent overspending and encourage you to load up when new income comes in.
Personal Financial Coaching
With Mvelopes advanced levels, you’ll have access to a personal finance coach that will work with you over the phone. This premium service combined with the accountability of the app gives users an opportunity to eliminate debt and meet their financial goals.
Life happens. So Mvelopes gives you the option to transfer funds from one Mvelope to another. This way, if you need more cash in one area, then you borrow from another. You’ll have to remember to spend less from the borrowed Mvelope!
How much does Mvelopes cost?
Like Qube Money, Mvelopes offers three price points to consider:
“Basic” is Mvelopes’ most economical option and allows you to set your budget with unlimited envelopes and manage your money on the go.
The “Basic” level includes the following:
- Digital envelope budgeting
- Auto transaction importing/live transaction syncing
- Account balance monitoring
- Interactive reports
- Live chat support
- Weekly Mvelopes webinars
Price: $6/mo OR pay annually and get two months free (30-day Free Trial)
Mvelopes’ most popular option is their “Plus” level. With this expanded option, users get a little more hand holding on their personal finance journey.
The “Plus” level includes the following:
- Everything you get with “Basic”
- Mvelopes personal finance trainer: Quarterly checkup
- Debt reduction tools
- Mvelopes learning center
- 1-on-1 setup assistance
- High-level priority support
Price: $19/mo OR pay annually and get two months free (30-day Free Trial)
The most advanced option Mvelopes offers is their “Complete” level.
The “Complete” level includes the following:
- Everything you get with “Plus”
- Mvelopes’ personal finance trainer: Monthly sessions
- Accountability & motivation
- Customized plan
- Trainer-guided financial education
Price: $59/mo OR pay annually and get two months free (try “risk free” for 60 days)
What are the differences between Qube Money and Mvelopes?
Given that both of these companies focus on a digital cash envelope system, it feels like they’re quite similar. But there are a few major differences.
Qube Money Holds You More Accountable
If you’re looking for a true digital cash envelope system, Qube Money has Mvelopes beat. Qube Money’s debit card prevents overspending by limiting available cash, just like a cash envelope. If you don’t have the money, you can’t spend it.
With Mvelopes, their app can help guide you away from overspending but you can still easily overspend with your credit card or debit card.
Mvelopes Provides 1-on-1 Coaching
If you’re looking for more hands-on support, Mvelopes is better set up to support you. Depending on where you are in your personal finance journey, having another person hold you accountable might be best.
With this option, you’ll pay a major premium in comparison to Qube Money.
Qube Money Has More of a Lifestyle Focus
By providing options for couples and families, Qube Money tailors its offering to people in different stages of their lives. Even with their “free” version, they offer a more limited version of the plan, but it gives singles a great starting point as they build their money plan.
Which option is best for you?
Although they seem similar, Qube Money and Mvelopes offer quite a different solution. Ask yourself what type of support you need right now.
Will advanced technology through an app/debit card combo help you to control your spending? Or do you need a coach to help you?
If you’re open to taking on the personal finance challenge yourself, not only will you save more money each month with Qube Money, but you may hit your personal finance goals faster.
Give Qube Money a try yourself. Either way, if you’ve read through this entire article, you’re already taking the first step to financial improvement!