Curious about a better way to build a budget? Check out this EveryDollar app review to learn more about how this zero based budgeting tool can help.
Creating a budget is one of the best things you can do if you’re looking to improve your personal finance, even on a fixed monthly income – and using a budgeting app can help.
However, many of the world’s leading budget apps require a fee – even those with a free version often require some kind of input in order to get started.
EveryDollar is the budgeting app that can help you get ahead. Compared to other budgeting apps, EveryDollar is one of the best when it comes to tracking your spending, keeping tabs on other aspects of personal finance, and even planning for monthly expenses and an emergency fund.
In this Every Dollar review, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this revolutionary free budgeting app launched by the top financial guru himself, Dave Ramsey.
What is EveryDollar?
Unless you’ve been living under a budgetary rock when it comes to your finances, there’s a good chance that you’ve probably heard of Dave Ramsey.
This ubiquitous personal finance guru created a famous system known as the 7 Baby Steps, which is meant to help you save money and gain financial freedom regardless of your current financial standing.
Ramsey created the EveryDollar budgeting app to help people learn how to manage their money by taking simple little baby steps. The free version of this app should give you everything you need on your zero based budgeting journey, although there’s a paid version, too.
The paid version of the app is known as “Ramsey Plus,” and it provides extras like account balance monitoring, the ability to see transactions auto-populate, and an option to connect the app to a bank account.
The free version offers many of these same features but with less automation. You’ll have to enter transactions manually, for example.
This app is strictly a budgeting tool – unlike some other money management apps out there, it doesn’t let you do things like pay bills or monitor stocks.
What is Zero Based Budgeting?
The main premise of this app focuses on zero based budgeting. A popular budgeting system, it is not a term that was coined by Dave Ramsey. Essentially, with this system, you give every dollar a job.
Before you spend any money, the money you have will be assigned to a savings account or a particular expense. That way, you’re forced to plan out your spending ahead of time. It also encourages you to avoid impulse purchases and splurges.
How Does Every Dollar Work?
Every Dollar is an app and website that allows you to budget your monthly finances. Once you sign up, all you need to do is input your budget amounts into the available categories under the “Planned” section. Once you spend money, you would input the quantity into the “Spent” section. The “Remaining” section automatically updates as you input your spent money. This section lets you know how much money you have left before going over budget.
That’s for the free version.
The paid version allows you to connect your bank accounts so that you don’t have to manually input the information yourself. If you want the paid version, it costs $129.99 a year. If you are wondering why the price tag is so high, it may have something to do with the creator being Dave Ramsey. Therefore, some loyal fans may be willing to pay the price to use an app created by him.
To sign up, you must create an account using your name and email address. You’ll also have to input your zip code, state, and country. Once you confirm your email address, you can start budgeting. Immediately, you will need to enter an estimate of your monthly payments per category.
There are 11 main categories that Every Dollar expects you to fill out:
Within each of the spending categories (except for savings), there is more than one subcategory to help you allocate your money each month.
Within each category, you can track transactions, set a due date, make notes, and make it a fund. You can also add categories to “Favorites” if it’s one you plan to update frequently. When you “favorite” one, the category will show up at the top of the screen, so you can access it more quickly.
It is important to know that Every Dollar is currently only available in the U.S. and Canada.
The Pros Of Using Every Dollar
Now that you know how Every Dollar works, you can read on to learn about the pros of using Every Dollar.
Great For Budgeting
While there are other personal finance apps out there, Every Dollar is focused explicitly on budgeting. So if budgeting is what you are looking for, this is one of the top apps/websites for that. The subcategories provide the majority, if not all, of the possible expenses you’ll have. Therefore, you can quite literally keep track of where every dollar is going (no pun intended).
The Every Dollar App Design
The app has a clean design that is easy to use. Additionally, the app is well-organized. You can also sync the app with multiple users in your home. That way, everyone knows how much is being spent and how much is left. Another neat feature of the app is the ability to split transactions. This feature is useful for when you shop at a store like Walmart and spend money on multiple categories such as clothes, groceries, and cosmetics.
You can also do this on the website, but according to eMarketer, the average person spends 90% of their mobile time using apps instead of the mobile web. Therefore, a company that has an app is already more competitive than a company that does not.
Pre-Determined And Customizable Categories
Another excellent feature of Every Dollar is that the categories and subcategories are already pre-determined for you, so you don’t have to do as much work. You don’t need to sit there and think of all of the ways that you spend money. Every Dollar does that for you! The best part is that you can also customize the categories by adding or deleting subcategories.
While the free version is email-only customer support, you can get high-quality customer support with the paid version. That’s because the paid version comes with phone support.
Allows Split Transactions and Multiple Users
Sometimes it can be hard to figure out where an expense might belong in a budget because it technically falls into two categories. For example, maybe you spent $150 at Walmart but $100 was for food and $50 was for clothing.
EveryDollar has a work-around to this dilemma – you can split the transaction and log it in many different categories.
Not only that, but EveryDollar syncs between multiple users so couples can track their finances simultaneously too.
Ability To Create A “Fund”
The ability to create a fund allows you to save for the long run. If you have categories that you didn’t spend all of your money in, you can transfer the money to the “savings” category, where you can either add it to the “Emergency Fund” subcategory or create your own, such as a retirement fund.
The Baby Steps
The Every Dollar app and website integrates with Dave Ramsey’s baby steps. There are seven of them, and the app will let you know how you are progressing with those steps. The seven steps are meant to help you achieve financial freedom; they are as follows:
- $1,000 emergency fund.
- Pay off all debt using the debt snowball.
- Save 3-6 months worth of expenses.
- Save 15% for retirement.
- College fund for the kids.
- Pay off your house.
- Build wealth and give.
Lets You Meet Any Financial Goal
Using EveryDollar will help you work toward just about any financial goal you have in mind. Whether you’re saving for a car or just trying to build up your emergency fund, this budgeting app is flexible enough that it can be used toward any goal.
The Cons Of Using Every Dollar
Now that you know the pros, it’s time to talk about the cons of using Every Dollar.
Only For Budgeting
Other apps allow you to do more outside of simply budgeting, such as investment tracking and bill tracking. Every Dollar is only for budgeting, so if you are looking for an app that can do more, Every Dollar might not be for you.
Limited Free Version
The free version is extremely limited. Not being able to link your accounts in the free version is a significant con because not everyone wants to manually input the information. After all, it is more time consuming, which takes away from the convenience of using an app.
The paid version of EveryDollar isn’t exactly cheap, and if you don’t spring for the paid version, you’re going to have to upload everything manually.
That can be frustrating and time consuming – and it’s a major downfall of the free software version.
Expensive Annual Fee For Every Dollar Plus
Even if you decide that linking your bank accounts is a must and you are considering getting the paid version, the paid version is expensive. There are cheaper apps out there. However, if you are a huge Dave Ramsey fan, maybe it’s worth it to you to buy it so you can support him.
No Investment Tracking
Finally, it’s important to note that, unlike other financial apps, this zero based budgeting app doesn’t do anything when it comes to investments.
There are other budget app programs out there that let you do this, such as Mint and YNAB, so you might want to consider them instead if you’re more interested in investment tracking than creating a spending plan as you build your personal capital.
At one point, EveryDollar was a stand-alone product from Dave Ramsey that cost $99 per year. That is no longer the case. Now, you can choose between the free version of the program or you can download the Ramsay Plus app for $129.99 per year.
This budgeting tool is a bit unique from other mobile app programs that offer similar tools. When you pay for the Plus membership, it’s not just the app you are getting but also other features like access to the BabySteps app (a similar program with slightly different goals) and access to the Financial Peace University.
In addition to the Financial Peace University, the Plus membership also lets you tap into the resources of the Debt Snowball Calculator and Ask a Coach. It’s a great overall deal, especially if you’re already using or considering using one of these other services.
Again, the cost of all of this is $129.99 but you can also pay for a 3-month version for $59.99 and a 6-month plan for $99.99 if you don’t want to commit to a full year.
Is the EveryDollar App Safe?
You won’t be depositing any money or providing any personal information when you download the EveryDollar app. It only takes a few minutes to get your account up and running and there’s even a 14-day trial to see if this app is right for you.
All information you do provide is secured and protected. The only thing that is a bit odd is how you pay if you choose to download the Plus membership.
Because Dave Ramsey doesn’t believe in using credit cards, the option to pay for your membership with a credit card is hidden. The option is there, but it’s tough to find.
Are There Apps Better Than Every Dollar?
While Every Dollar has its benefits, it does have some fierce competition. If you want to use an app strictly for budgeting and don’t mind doing it manually, then Every Dollar is your best option because the free version allows you to do that.
However, if you want an app that allows you to budget, monitor your investments, and manage your bills, you may want to use Mint or YNAB.
Mint is completely free AND allows you to link your bank accounts. It also allows you to check your credit score. You can also set financial goals that the app tracks.
YNAB only has a paid version. However, out of the three, their customer service is the best. They are also the best for very detailed budgeting. If you had to choose between YNAB or Every Dollar’s paid version, you are better off going with YNAB because not only are they cheaper annually, but you can also pay month-to-month. That means if you decide you no longer want to use it, you can cancel without having to pay for the whole year (unlike with Every Dollar). YNAB is best for users who want their budgeting app to be a bit more advanced, though. Since this app can create budget categories and categorize each expense as you go it can give you a better picture of your finances but it can also be overwhelming.
Some other options include Qube Money and Tiller Money. Qube Money is similar to the cash-in-the-envelope method of saving, but digital. It’s great for budgeting and banking and also has a free version. Tiller Money is an app that’s wonderful for people who enjoy a more integrated approach to creating a budget. You can create spreadsheets of your monthly income and choose from dozens of templates and other features to find the right budgeting format for your lifestyle and financial goals.
Customer Service at EveryDollar
Customer service at EveryDollar is better than you might expect. There’s online customer support available and the support team has excellent online reviews for its responsiveness.
It is important to note, however, that if you have paid for the app, you’ll get priority customer service versus those who have not.
Who Should Use Every Dollar?
Someone who wants an easy-to-use budgeting app that doesn’t mind manually inputting their expenses information should use Every Dollar. Some people prefer this method because it allows them to see where all of their money is going each month, and, therefore, have more control over their personal finances. It’s also good if you want to be able to sync your app with other people in your home.
Lastly, if you love Dave Ramsey and his baby steps, then Every Dollar is the app for you.
Is EveryDollar Worth It?
This budgeting app created by Dave Ramsey is definitely worth it if you’re looking for professional financial advice.
While Ramsey solutions might not be ideal for everyone, this is an app that can help you create a custom monthly budget – and actually stick to it – without having to go the extra mile and pay a financial advisor for independent financial advice and services.
Give the zero based budget a try – start by seeing if the EveryDollar app is right for you!