If you want to get better at managing your money, you should start with a budget. You must have tried doing the traditional way using a pen and paper or even created a fancy spreadsheet. But from my experience, I can tell you that none of them come close to using a budgeting tool.
The EveryDollar budget app helps you create a monthly budget, track spending, save money and get out of debt fast. Budgeting just got easy — start today
1. Easy To Setup
Whether you are paid every biweekly or twice a month, Every Dollar (hence forth referred to as ED) makes is super easy to plan your budget. You just provide the paycheck you expect to receive that month and start allocating every dollar an assignment. Every Dollar really mimics what someone would do to come up with a budget if they were to use a pen and paper and do it at the beginning of every month. This encourages you to assign every dollar a mission before the month begins.
2. Automatically Import Your Transactions
I also have subscribed to Every Dollar plus which makes life so easy since every transaction now appears like a stream of events and all I need to do is just drag and drop it to the right category. If a transaction involved multiple hops, e.g. Transfer from BankA -> BankB -> Merchant or Credit Card or Savings Account, I usually skip the initial transfer and just use the final hop to register that I did spend the money. This avoids unnecessary head ache involved in managing the multiple transactions and I simply delete the intermediate hops.
3. No Need To Worry How You Paid Something
Every dollar simply doesn’t care which account you used to “spend” the money. For e.g. If I used my checking account to pay my rent and used my credit card to pay my utilities, all ED cares is that, is there a transaction which can prove that this spending actually happened. So what this does is introduce a fundamental change in the way the tool behaves. So what ED is not doing is literally tracking which account was used to pay for a category item. I personally love it.
4. Tightly Integrates With Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps
Since it closely follows the baby steps recommended by Dave Ramsey, you would get nudged to pay back debt in the “recommended order” with planned money and also using anything that’s a left over. I like this concept since it integrated very well with the overall philosophy of “get out of debt” and “stay out of debt”.
5. Every Dollar follows KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) philosophy
Lastly, on a philosophical level, I truly believe this. If you need to watch videos and undergo some sort of training to understand how a tool should be used, it simply isn’t worth my time. A tool should be simple without being simplistic and Every Dollar is exactly that. Good job Every Dollar!
What I don’t like about Every Dollar
Although there are some really user friendly features of EveryDollar, I did find some of the features to be quirky. Let’s go through some of them.
1. Goal based saving is not intuitive
Typically a goal based saving involves saving small chunks of money towards the goal on a monthly basis instead of saving it in lump sum. Although Every Dollar allows you to create a ‘fund’ to reflect your savings, I find I would prefer to have a transaction mapping my transfer of money to the savings fund. Currently adding such a transaction is treated as money spent from the savings fund and not a contribution to the fund.
2. Need To Reconcile Accounts Manually
Since Every Dollar doesn’t really care which account was used to pay for a certain expenses, it is then up to the user to basically choose how to “pay off” money spent using that account. This is applicable if one uses a mix of Credit Cards and Debit cards. I am aware Dave Ramsey is completely against any form of borrowing money or using Credit Card, this is something you’ll have to do it you did it anyway. So basically the amount spent should tally with the actual money spent across accounts. If you just stuck with debit cards and no credit card, ignore this step, since no reconciliation is needed!
If you are a beginner to budgeting and looking to use a tool that can help you get started, Every Dollar is the best choice. It can help you get started on a zero based budget without much overhead.
Disclaimer – This post doesn’t contain any affiliate links and I don’t receive any money from Ramsey Solutions for writing this review.