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If you’re trying to follow the Dave Ramsey style of zero-based budgeting, EveryDollar may be the budgeting tool you need. This tool says you can create a budget in less than 10 minutes, and it’s free to use. Here’s the scoop on what EveryDollar offers and why it might be the budgeting tool you’ve been looking for.
How Does EveryDollar Work?
If you’ve ever heard the basics of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University plan, you know that budgeting is about giving “every dollar a job.” That’s what this app, which Ramsey’s company actually designed, aims to do.
With EveryDollar, you’ll start by entering your monthly income. Then EveryDollar gives you a customizable template for budgeting your monthly expenses, and you can add the categories that make sense for your spending plan. You’ll enter your expenses as you spend, categorize them, and make sure you stay under budget or see where you go above budget.
EveryDollar also features some dashboard-style views so you can get an at-a-glance look at your overall spending and each budget category.
Related: Best Online Budgeting Tools
EveryDollar features a simple-to-use interface and a budget you can customize. It also has apps available for Apple and Android, so you can enter expenses from everywhere. That makes it a good option for a combined budgeting app with your spouse or partner, too. You can each use the app to enter expenses as you spend money.
EveryDollar can also sync to your bank account and automatically import your transactions from your bank or credit card statements. This additional option also comes with priority support.
The basic version of this app is free. But it requires you to input your transactions manually. Sometimes, though, this can be a good thing if you’re getting started with budgeting. There’s something empowering and awakening about entering all of your spending as you do it. It can help you really see how much money you’re spending before you over-spend.
However, if you want to import transactions directly from your bank account, you’ll have to pay for EveryDollar Plus. You can sign up for a 15-day free trial, but after that, the service costs $99 per year.
Getting started with EveryDollar is as easy as giving them your email address and password to create an account. Then you can start creating your budget.
However, if you want to sync to your bank account, you’ll need to sign up for the free trial and then connect the app to your bank account. You log into your bank account through the app so that EveryDollar can pull in your transactions.
Getting started with your actual budget could take a bit longer. EveryDollar says you can create a budget in ten minutes. And you probably can if you have a pretty simple, streamlined budget. But if you have a more complex budget, it could take you a bit longer to create your budget. But that’s really about how well you know your own income and expenses and how many budget categories you’re likely to set up.
If you sign up for EveryDollar Plus, your app will sync with your bank account and pull transactions in real-time. Then you can just log in to categorize your transactions as you go.
Regardless of which version you use, though, your budget and inputs will always be synced across your laptop/desktop and your phone or multiple phones. Again, it’s a great option to use if you want to budget along with someone else, since you can both install the apps and enter your spending in real-time.
As with many budgeting apps, EveryDollar uses data encryption techniques and has a multi-factor authentication system in place. It also has a data center where individuals are on site all the time to ensure the physical security of the data stored on EveryDollar’s servers.
EveryDollar has an app available for both Android and Apple. These apps are intuitive and easy to use, and you can do everything on the app that you can do on your laptop or desktop. The apps sync to the desktop/laptop version, as well, so you have access to your spending data from anywhere.
EveryDollar has online customer support available. It’s got decent reviews online, especially if you’re on the paid version of the app. Those who have paid for the app get priority customer support.
Zero-based budget — If you’ve been out of control of your money, a true zero-based budget that gives every dollar in your budget a job is a great way to get back on track. Since it operates off of this principle, EveryDollar is a great way to go.
Flexible budget — Some budgeting apps come with preset categories that may or may not make sense to you. With EveryDollar, you can create the exact categories that make sense to you.
Mobile app — These days, having a mobile app on your budgeting tool is almost essential. You can basically manage your entire budget from your phone.
Good interface — EveryDollar is easy to use and intuitive, and it has a nice-looking interface. I love having a snapshot of my budgets and overall spending, as well, and theirs is very nice.
Pay for syncing to bank — To sync the app to your bank account, you have to pay $99 per year, which is fairly expensive.
No investment tracking — EveryDollar is specifically for budgeting and doesn’t include access to investment tracking or other advanced tools that some other budgeting apps offer.
Zero-based budgeting — This is both a pro and a con. Zero-based budgeting is great if you have a steady paycheck each month. But it’s a tougher model if you have a variable income, and EveryDollar isn’t set up well to deal with that.
Alternatives to EveryDollar
There are loads of alternatives to EveryDollar, some of which are free and some of which are paid. A few options to check out include:
Personal Capital: If you’re looking for an app that tracks your budget but also focuses on your investments and your overall net worth, Personal Capital is an excellent option. It has both a free and paid version.
Honeydue: If you want to track all your accounts along with your spouse or your partner, check out Honeydue, which is built specifically for couples.
Mint: Mint syncs with your bank account and lets you set up customized budgets for free, so it’s a good option. However, it is a bit more complex than EveryDollar, so if simplicity is your goal, EveryDollar might work better for you.
Related: YNAB vs EveryDollar Comparison
Who is EveryDollar For?
If you’re relatively new to the world of budgeting and want a simple, straightforward budgeting tool, EveryDollar is a great option. And if you’re brand new to tracking your spending at all, it can be a great way to start out with the free app where you have to manually enter your transactions. That definitely takes more time, but it also puts you into closer touch with what you’re spending on a regular basis.
EveryDollar is a basic, un-flashy budgeting tool, but it gives you the ability to budget flexibly and is very simple and easy to use. If you want a tool without extra bells and whistles but that gives you nice dashboards and mobile access, this is a great option to try.