I’m not going to lie — EveryDollar has some stiff competition. Personal Capital, Mint.com and YNAB (You Need a Budget) are huge in the budgeting software space. But I believe that EveryDollar does have several unique selling points that could make it a good option for you.
|Price||Min: $0.00, Max: $99.00, Term: year|
|Access||Web Based, iOS, Android|
|Credit Score Monitoring|
|Import QFX, QIF Files|
What Is EveryDollar?
EveryDollar is a budgeting app along the lines of Personal Capital, Mint and YNAB. It was created by personal finance guru Dave Ramsey to help users make the budgeting process easier and find the financial freedom they want. Following the principles of the zero-sum budget, the software aims to “give every dollar a job” so that everything is accounted for and you know exactly where your money’s going.
There’s a free version and a paid version of the program. There’s a free 15-day trial for the paid version, so you can try it before you shell out the $99 a year for it.
How Does EveryDollar Work?
First things first: You need to create an account via the website. You input your name, email address and password, as well as country, state and ZIP code (note, however, that currently EveryDollar is available only for those in the U.S. or Canada). Then you’ll receive a confirmation email and you’re ready to budget!
EveryDollar comes with eight spending categories, but you also have the ability to create custom categories. You can also set up saving accounts (such as for emergencies), which EveryDollar calls “Funds.”
Next to each category, you can input the amount that is “Planned.” For things like your emergency fund, you can input your current balance as well as your savings goal. Within each category, you can make notes, track transactions or make it a fund. If it’s a category you will be updating frequently, you can “Favorite” it so that it shows up at the top.
When you make a category a fund, you are making it a savings goal — similar to the Mint Goals feature.
Next to the “Planned” portion of each category, which is how you start your budget, is the “Remaining” category. You can also toggle between “Remaining,” which is the default setting, and “Spent” to see how much of your budget you’ve used.
After setup, comes the maintenance. If you have the paid version (called EveryDollar Plus), you can sync your bank accounts with funds and spending categories. This way, the accounts update themselves. If you’re using the free version, you have to do all of your updating manually. EveryDollar helps demonstrate if you’re spending is on or off track through graph displays of your spending.
After all of your income and expenses are set up, you have the option to assess where you are in the Baby Steps journey. Baby Steps are Dave Ramsey’s signature and are intended to be a guide to help you get out of debt and build wealth.
The Baby Steps include:
- Save $1,000 emergency fund.
- Pay off all debt using the snowball method.
- Save 3–6 months of expenses.
- Save 15% for retirement.
- Start a college fund for the kids.
- Pay off the house.
- Build wealth and give.
EveryDollar is clearly focused on being just a budgeting software. Its purpose is to help people get their money in order. It’s not trying to be anything that it’s not. And the result is a simple, user-friendly interface that’s also easy on the eye.
EveryDollar Pros & Cons
Easy to Use—The interface is user-friendly and easy to understand.
Budgeting Only—It focuses only on budgeting (which can be good or bad, depending on what you want).
Dave Ramsey Approach to Debt—It features Dave's Baby Steps for those getting out of debt.
Additional Help—EveryDollar connects you with local experts if you want advice on important financial information.
Ad-Free Service—EveryDollar doesn’t bombard you with ads or recommendations like Mint does.
Limited Free Version—You have to manually track all your transactions with the free version and cannot sync up with your banks and credit cards.
Paid Service Not Cheap—The paid version is $99 per year — while that is not very expensive, it’s hard to swallow considering all the other free budgeting tools out there. This is especially true for those getting out of debt.
EveryDollar is a good option for users looking for simple, back-to-basics budgeting software with little to no frills. It doesn’t strive to do wealth management or investing. It’s best suited to those new to budgeting who need to get their finances organized. The Baby Steps are also a fantastic way to introduce users to the basics in arranging financial security.
But if you want a more comprehensive financial picture with your budget? You’re better off with Mint, Personal Capital, or another alternative.
Have you used EveryDollar? What are your thoughts?