13 Reasons You'll Like Using the EveryDollar App
This post is in no way sponsored by EveryDollar or Ramsey Solutions, but I truly believe it could be the solution to the struggle for women like me who need more simplicity and efficiency when it comes to budgeting.
I’m all about simplicity and efficiency. If there is a simpler or more efficient way to do something, sign me up! For that reason, it’s no surprise that when Dave Ramsey’s team released the EveryDollar app, it was love at first budget for me.
We had tried to get started with budgeting twice before using EveryDollar. Our attempts were all a couple years apart and the first two attempts were with a paper budget. I know there’s nothing wrong with a paper budget and many people have success with it…but not me. It felt too concrete to even write the budget in pencil. I’d have to erase things or scribble them out as things changed throughout the month. And especially in the first few months of budgeting, things are unpredictable as you figure out how to budget and develop a system that works. There’s a lot of changes going on and that concrete feeling made me feel stuck.
I never carried the paper budgets with me and we tried to use cash envelopes for everything but we miscalculated and just created a mess. We gave up budgeting (and paying off debt) after the first two tries because I was pulling all my hair out and seeing no benefit…so why bother?
But EveryDollar was a game changer. Suddenly everything I was struggling with was either minuscule or nonexistent. We attempted budgeting for the third time and after 18 months we had paid off all our debt and used an EveryDollar budget every single month (and we still use EveryDollar, today, even after the debt is gone). This post is in no way sponsored by EveryDollar or Ramsey Solutions, but I truly believe it could be the solution to the struggle for women like me who need more simplicity and efficiency when it comes to budgeting. Between being a mom, wife, having a job, and everything else, I don’t need more on my plate, I just need something that works. I could go on and on about EveryDollar, but here are 13 of the biggest benefits I’ve found.
1. It’s FREE.
We’ll start off with probably the best thing about EveryDollar (ED). It’s FREE! It kills that barrier to entry because there is no cost whatsoever to get started budgeting. It’s available to use on a desktop, tablet, and a smart phone. In my opinion, it’s rare to find accounting software that has as many features available in the free option as ED. There is a paid version, which costs $129 per year (and includes a membership to Financial Peace University). However, we’ve been using the free version for over a year and half and I actually prefer it over the paid version, but more on that at the end. You can absolutely use this free app/software to create a budget every single month and pay off debt, so there’s really no excuse for not doing it!
2. User friendliness.
User friendliness is a relative term and what one person finds easy to use, someone else may not. However, I do think ED is a very user friendly app and the desktop version is even better for getting started and figuring out how to use it. A lot of the features are self explanatory, but ED does a great job of walking you through the process to set up your first budget with them. And this is coming from someone who had never successfully budgeted before using ED, so it’s definitely a great tool for beginners!
3. Real time accessibility.
I love using Excel spreadsheets and while I might love creating my own budget template in a spreadsheet, nothing compares to the real time accessibility of the EveryDollar app. Like I said previously, pen + paper budgets, or spreadsheet budgets may work for some people, but not for me. When we tried budgeting on paper we would be out putting gas in the car or buying groceries and we didn’t have access to know the current balance in those categories (because I was not carrying those papers around with me). The app is on my phone so I always have it wherever we go. If there’s ever a question about what’s left in the budget, it just takes a few clicks to figure it out. This has made life so much easier!!!
4. It’s shareable.
Along with the ease of the real time accessibility, EveryDollar is also very shareable between spouses or family members, whoever is included in your budget. You create one account using an email address and then that account can be accessed from any device. This means if my husband is stopping for gas on the way home, he can pull up the app and see just how much is left in the budget for the month. It’s much easier to have everyone carrying around a real time version of the budget rather than one person trying to keep up with it all and letting everyone else know the limits.
5. It does the math for you.
I am a nerd who loves number crunching, but I also love a good efficient process. EveryDollar makes things go so much faster because it does all the math for you and automatically updates the math with every change you make. Because the app is created by Dave Ramsey, it’s of course based on the Zero Based Budget Method. The ED software does all the math to tell you how much money you have left to budget, or how much you need to reduce the budget by. When you zero out the budget you get a green check mark meaning you’ve budgeted every dollar! I would estimate this feature alone cuts my budgeting time in half rather than manually calculating everything. It’s all about simplicity and efficiency!
6. You don’t have to start every month from scratch.
EveryDollar also saves time because it allows you to copy over the previous month’s budget when creating a new one. This is awesome because most of your monthly expenses will stay the same and then all you need to do is adjust the categories that change from month to month. It copies over the budget categories, the planned budget amounts, and the…
7. Funds roll over.
The standard categories or subcategories in EveryDollar are made to close out at the end of each month. However, any account that you turn into a “Fund” will roll over into the next month so you can keep growing the balance until you need it. The funds are great because you can add to or spend from them each month and it just keeps a rolling balance going forward. We use it mainly for tracking sinking funds, things we save up for over time, such as our son’s birthday, Christmas, annual taxes, etc. However, these fund accounts also work great for categories like fuel/gas because we don’t always use every penny and then we can allow that amount to roll over into next month when we’ll probably need it.
8. Star your favorites.
EveryDollar allows you to star a few of your favorite budget categories. This moves these categories to the top of your spending for easy access. This way, when you’re tracking expenses in the app, you don’t need to scroll through a bunch of categories to find the ones you use most often. I like to get specific with our budget categories, so there’s a lot to scroll through and having the favorite categories at the top is much faster. Our favorites usually consist of groceries, restaurants, and while we were paying off debt it included whichever debt we were currently snowballing.
9. Easily split transactions.
Hear me when I say that I think it’s important to use cash and cash envelopes in the areas you struggle the most with spending. However, we love using a debit card for every day expenses because of the convenience like not having to keep up with change and how much easier it is to make sure every penny of our budget is being used. EveryDollar and the debit card work great together for split transactions and tracking those expenses. A split transaction is any purchase that needs to be divided into more than one category. So if I go to the grocery and buy supplies for my son’s birthday party, dog food, and our everyday groceries I would want to divide that receipt up into the budget categories for birthday party, pet, and groceries. When using cash envelopes it can be hard to figure out which envelope to pay with and how to reimburse the other envelopes and it just feels chaotic to me. But EveryDollar allows you to just track the expenses as a whole and divide by amount into the categories you choose and you’re done! Simple!
10. It shows your budget percentages.
If you’ve followed Dave Ramsey for very long you know he talks a lot about how to allocate percentages of your income to the budget. For example, housing expenses should be less than 25% of your income and food expenses should be less than 10-12%. EveryDollar breaks everything into a few major categories for you when you start out (you can later adjust these if you want) and it will automatically show you the percentages of your budget for each category. This can be so helpful if you really want to dig into your budget and evaluate your spending so you can make adjustments.
11. Look back at this time last year.
Once you’ve been using EveryDollar for over a year, you will start to get a notification every time to create a new monthly budget that allows you to easily click back to last year at the same month and see your budget. Then you just click one button again and you’re back to the current budget. This made everything so fast for me to glimpse at what I budgeted for last year and get an idea of what to include for the current year (like school pictures!). If I had been using paper it would have been so time consuming to dig through and find the paper budget from an entire year ago to compare (and honestly it would have been so inconvenient I just wouldn’t have done it!).
12. Get notifications.
Your brain can only hold so much, especially if you’re a mom, so why not let EveryDollar do some of the remembering for you? ED gives you the ability to set a due date for any of your expenses and receive a notification in the app reminding you the bill is due. In the mobile app you can also set up notifications for reminders to create a new budget or track transactions! I have mine set to remind me to track expenses every Thursday night, so if the week has been crazy and I’ve fallen behind, I can at least be reminded to get caught up. There’s even a feature to add a custom reminder for anything you want! You could set an ED reminder to read the jesstingle.com blog (kidding, sort of)! :)
13. Easily adjust throughout the month.
There’s a lot of things I love about EveryDollar and it’s hard to choose a favorite, but if I absolutely had to it would be how easy it is to adjust the budget throughout the month. Looking back over the last year and a half of using ED, I don’t think there’s ever been a month where I didn’t adjust at least one thing. Sometimes we have extra income coming in like selling something on Facebook Marketplace and I’m not able to add that in at the beginning of the month. Sometimes we are really busy and have to move the budget around to allow us a few more dinners out. Sometimes we spend less than we planned on something and we’re able to adjust the budget to put the money towards our emergency fund (or previously towards debt pay off). It just makes it so easy to adjust everything as the month goes on and this was the biggest struggle for me with trying to use a pen + paper budget.
Overall I love the EveryDollar budgeting app and software because it has saved me so much time and given me so much freedom. It makes budgeting simple and efficient so that it is easy for a busy mama to use consistently. Like I mentioned before, we have been using the free version of the app since the beginning and it has more than sufficed for our budgeting needs. There is a premium version of the app you can purchase for $129 per year and it goes hand-in-hand with a year long membership to Financial Peace University (so if you purchase either EveryDollar Plus or FPU, you get the other for free. The paid membership allows you to sync EveryDollar with your bank account and it automatically loads your transactions. I actually don’t mind the process of manually logging transactions, I’m pretty fast at it and I like the sense of control. And, I prefer to track our expenses at the time of purchase but using the syncing feature doesn’t track expenses until it as cleared (so any pending transactions don’t show up in ED, but you’ve already spent that part of the budget). For these reasons, I actually prefer the free version and the bonus is that is FREE!
Are you ready to give EveryDollar a try? Have you been using EveryDollar to budget, and what do you like or dislike about it?