EveryDollar Review 2021 – Baby Steps to Budgeting

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EveryDollar Building a budget is one of the basic premises of personal finance. A budget can help you come up with a spending plan so you can give each dollar a job and actually know where your money is going. EveryDollar strives to be a budgeting software that helps you give every dollar a job and provides a game plan for achieving your financial goals.
Cost - 8
Customer Service - 7.5
Ease of Use - 8.5
Tools & Resources - 7.5
Synchronization - 8
Accessibility - 8

7.5

EveryDollar is a good choice for those who are in search of simple, back-to-basics budgeting software. There's a free version that lets you enter your transactions yourself. However, if you want the app's full functionality and automatic sync features, expect to pay up.

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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.

EveryDollar Features

PriceMin: $0.00, Max: $99.00, Term: year
Budgeting
Bill Payment
Investment Tracking
AccessWeb Based, iOS, Android
Credit Score Monitoring
Bill Management
Retirement Planning
Tax Reporting
Reconcile Transactions
Custom Categories
Import QFX, QIF Files
Two-Factor Authentication
Online Synchronization

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.

EveryDollar Screenshots

    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:

    1. Save $1,000 emergency fund.
    2. Pay off all debt using the snowball method.
    3. Save 3–6 months of expenses.
    4. Save 15% for retirement.
    5. Start a college fund for the kids.
    6. Pay off the house.
    7. 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.

    HighlightsPersonal CapitalYNABEveryDollar
    Rating9.5/108.5/107.5/10
    Budgeting
    Investment Monitoring
    Retirement Planning
    Bill Payment
    Manual Entries
    Bill Management

    EveryDollar Pros & Cons

    Pros



    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.







    Cons



    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.










    Summary

    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?

    Kara Perez

    Kara Perez is a freelance personal finance writer. She is the founder of bravelygo.co, a company that connects women and money. Kara lives in Austin, TX and believes in the power of budgeting and peanut butter.

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    25 Comments

    1. Does anyone know if you can have multiple accounts with this. For example, I do the financial, bill pay, savings, etc. But my husband and I have always had separate checking and saving accounts plus we have a Mountain checking account which is used solely for building and work we have done on our future home. In other words, that equals 3 checking accounts and 2 savings accounts. It’s pretty much the only thing that’s holding me back from trying out the “plus”.

      1. I have a similar situation to yours and am wondering if you ever found out if this is doable? Realize your question was posted a while ago, but didn’t see any follow-up.

    2. I have been using EveryDollar Plus ($99) for 9 months. If the free version allowed automation of bank transactions into the budget then it would be ok, but it doesn’t. Paying $99 is not worth it because there are many problems/limitations with the software. In addition to the syncing feature not working properly (many of my transactions don’t show up in my budget), and the fund option also doesn’t work properly, there is no capability to change the email address on your account. I know this sounds absurd but it is true. I will not receive any notifications from them anymore (i.e., my account will be debited in March $99 unless I cancel – pretty important notification), and if I forget my password , or if I can’t access my account for any reason, I can’t even reset my password because the verification would go to my old email address which I can’t access. Customer support leaves a lot to be desired and is only available during the week from 8 am – 5 pm. This was their reply to me about the email change:

      There isn’t a way to change the email on your account, and we can’t even do that yet. That’s something we plan to add in the future, but I don’t have an ETA for you on that. For now, you’ll need to keep using this email to sign in, or sign up for a new account. If you ever forget your password and don’t have access to this email, you won’t be able to reset that, and if you sign up for a new account, you won’t be able to transfer any of your budget info to your new account. I can transfer your EveryDollar Plus time to the new account, but that’s it. Let me know if you have any more questions.

    3. The simplicity is key for me! Finally I feel prepared to face the unplanned things of life and its created a more positive structure for my husband and I to discuss money and spending. And the app is a MUST – thank goodness I have it for my android phone!

    4. I’ve been using Everydollar since October 2015. Since then, I’ve paid off about $7,000 in family debts (car and student loans) and have saved about $8,000 for a rainy day fund. Everydollar makes it easy to track and focus your expenses. I’ve done most of it with the free version, tracking transactions manually. But, I’m planning to get the plus version because they do such a great job making tracking expenses so easy in both the mobile and desktop apps. I’ve been trying YNAB and have tried Mint. Neither are as easy to do the simple tracking I’m looking for, even though they may offer more advanced features.

      1. Curious, did it help you to figure out the best way to plan your debt payoff? I’ve tried other apps and they seem to require me to come up with the plan — that’s the part I need the most help with.

    5. The plus version of this Software ($99) is horrible! I have been dealing with tech support for the last 3 months because transactions just stop flowing from my bank to the tool. Tech Support resets my account and I am good for about a week then it happens again. They like to blame my bank but if you read the reviews in the app store the problem is rampant and runs across all banks. It appears to have started when they released a software “upgrade” a few months back. Don’t waste your money.

    6. The technical support for everydollar is abysmal. I’ve had several problems with their (terrible) bank sync . Each time their customer service is slow to respond and always ends with me going in and fixing everything myself. When it duplicated over a month’s worth of transactions, that took a few hours. They are useless.

    7. I just downloaded & installed the app from the Google Play store (free) for my Android phone! I was glad to see that it wasn’t just available for the ubiquitous i-Phone. 🙂

    8. There is an Android application and works well. They some things like security when closing the application that need to be address but overall I really like. The cost is worth it since manual entry is bogus ad time consuming for the monthly pre-planning is the ticket

    9. This software was great when it launched, but about 5 months ago it stopped communicating effectively with my bank (5/3rd), usually taking 5-15 minutes to import the transactions. Starting about 1 month ago (March 2-16), it stopped accepting them entirely. I have had no choice but to cancel my renewal. Do not buy this until they get the bank situation figured out.

    10. We’ve been using EveryDollar since August and love it. We use the free version, partially because we use Amex as a primary card so Plus wouldn’t help us a whole lot. But the main reason is that I LIKE having to input expenses manually. We use the iPhone app and enter as we spend. This way I feel the money leaving my hands. I have often decided not to purchase something because I would not want to enter it (bag of chips, some new tool at HD that I don’t really need, etc.).
      The other huge benefit that some have complained about is planning the budget at the beginning of the month. Tracking spending AFTER it happened is not a budget. It’s like having a heart attack isn’t the way to avoid one. My wife and I talk together each month about how we’re going to spend. Then we stick to it. We don’t fight about spending anymore. We are happy for each other when I buy a new gadget or when she buys new clothes, as long as it is within budget. It provides freedom to spend according to your plan, rather than guilt for spending too much and having no idea how it happened…
      The last benefit is planning ahead for Every Dollar (zero based budget). that way we know if we need more in one category, we have do TALK about where that money comes from. Are we going to go over on our Restaurant budget? then maybe we need to take some from our Clothing or gadget budget.
      It’s not a great tool if you only want to track your spending, especially automatically, because even if you use PLUS, you still have to categorize all your spending manually (drag and drop).

      But EveryDollar is a GREAT tool if you want to plan and control your money.

      1. Do you and your wife both keep the app on you phones? If so, when one of you inputs a purchase does it sync to the others device

    11. I was excited to use everydollar but I’m beginning to seek alternatives (after 2 months) for 2 reasons; the fund feature is difficult to understand – the contributions I make toward the fund aren’t featured as deductions to the balance, but additions and it’s difficult keeping track for an entire month, rather than a pay period.

      1. They are totally revamping the “Fund” feature because, as you pointed out, it doesn’t work right, or at least intuitively. I was told this in December in a support ticket so maybe in the next few weeks or months they will roll out the feature fix.

        I just have categories set up as funds and just let my transfers to funds be recorded as expenses out. It works well. Everydollar isn’t good at tracking account balances as it stands right now. Even then, some of my “funds” are really investment goals at Betterment, so Everydollar couldn’t hope to keep up with market fluctuations. I would think any fix would really be suited mostly to savings accounts.

    12. Good review. I’ve tried the free and the trial version of plus. It’s good for what it does but I need a program that will so act as a check register and allow me to print transactions for the end of the year. While this is good for budgeting, I’ll not spend $100 a year just to do that when almost everything thing else out there will allow me to budget, track and print, and in some cases completely free. It’s basically a pretty excel spread sheet, although an expensive one at that….

    13. I tried Every Dollar – free version – for one month. It was an adjustment period to budget PRIOR to the month, but really put me in the right perspective and helped me so much! I found it time consuming and tedious to manually enter the transactions from my bank. BUT, I liked the website, and budgeting tool, so I thought I would give the Plus version a try. There is a free 15 day trial of the Plus version. I LOVED IT! It is so worth the cost. I just open the app once a day, drag & drop, and BAM, my budget is up-to-date. It takes a minute or two each day for transaction logging, and a few minutes to set up the upcoming month (which automatically estimates based on the month prior and you just have to tweak for anything unique for the upcoming month). Previously, I would spend an hour or so every week logging with my dang excel spreadsheets.

    14. I love this budgeting tool! I still have a long way to go, but it has sure helped me keep track of where my money is going. I recently had car trouble and while I didn’t have a completed Emergency Fund, I had enough to get me through this otherwise stressful time. Thank you Dave Ramsey!

    15. Unless something has changed in the last 2 months, Everydollar will NOT sync with American Express, even with the Plus version. Ramsey has a particular hatred for Amex after a bill collector from Amex called his wife during his bankrupt years and asked how she could stay married to a liar and a debt cheat – or something to that effect. So, initially, he refused to even allow Amex to connect with Everydollar. I don’t know if that has changed, but if not, that is a big negative for Amex users.

        1. Cannot do it. Right from the EveryDollar support page:

          – How Do I Add my American Express Account?
          Last Modified on 08/13/2015 10:38 am CDT
          American Express is not a banking institution EveryDollar currently supports. So you will not be able to link any of your AmEx issued cards or accounts. If you need help connecting to any other account, try these search suggestions, or contact support.

        2. Did not work for me. An error message came right up and said they do not support American Express cards at this time.

    16. What I prefer about EveryDollar over Mint is that I can set up my own budget *before* I spend, in my own percentages. Mint to me is only a place to track all my expenses in one place, which I can do anyway on my own bank’s website.

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