EveryDollar Budget App Review

ADVERTISING DISCLOSURE

One of the most important first steps towards achieving financial freedom is to build a budget. Budgeting allows you to make conscious decisions about how you spend and save money. But, there are a ton of tools out there to help you learn how to build a budget. EveryDollar is one of these tools.

EveryDollar Review

everydollar app logo

Name: EveryDollar

Description: is Dave Ramsey’s budgeting app designed to help you make more intentional decisions about using your money. EveryDollar’s way of breaking down your monthly expenses helps you easily see which categories you may be overspending in.

Overall
4.5
  • Pricing
  • User Experience
  • Ease Of Use
  • Customer Service

Summary

EveryDollar is Dave Ramsey’s budgeting app designed to help you make more intentional decisions about using your money. EveryDollar’s way of breaking down your monthly expenses helps you easily see which categories you may be overspending in.

Pros

  • Simple & user-friendly UI
  • Free
  • Setting up an account walks you through the basics of budgeting
  • Zero-based budgeting to ease making a budget
  • Specific expense categories give more structure to budgeting
  • Quickly switches between total spending and amount left in for each expense

Cons

  • Cannot synchronize your bank accounts or credit cards
  • Only allows for monthly budgets
  • Premium version costs $129 annually

By taking a more precise approach to budgeting, EveryDollar aims to leave no dollar unaccounted for, but how does it work? Is EveryDollar safe? And, most importantly, should you use it? Our EveryDollar review will answer all of these questions and more.

What Is EveryDollar?

EveryDollar review introductory image

EveryDollar is Dave Ramsey’s budgeting app designed to help you make more intentional decisions about using your money. For anyone unaware, Dave Ramsey is one of the biggest media personalities in the personal finance world.

His app, EveryDollar, is based around his financial teachings. These are known more commonly as the “Baby Steps.” The Baby Steps are seven short and easy to follow tips for getting your financial life in order, starting with making a budget to save money.

The overall goal of EveryDollar is to help you quickly create a budget in a way that makes sense. While it can sometimes feel tedious (and there’s a paid version of EveryDollar that helps this issue), the methods EveryDollar uses have proven to work for some people.

How Does EveryDollar Work?

With EveryDollar, your budget is separated into different expense categories. These categories are broad costs like “Food” and “Utilities.”

EveryDollar’s way of breaking down your monthly expenses helps you easily see which categories you may be overspending in. If you find yourself needing to cut back in a certain area, you can take advantage of EveryDollar’s planning tools.

By simply typing the amount you want to spend in the “Planned” category, you’ll let EveryDollar know exactly how much you want to spend on, say, coffee.

Then, as you go through the month, you can sort your expenses into their respective categories and see if you’re on track to meet your goals.

If you end up needing different categories than EveryDollar’s default choices, you can also add a custom one.

When it comes to saving money, EveryDollar is geared towards the 7 Baby Steps method. This means it’ll push you towards first building an emergency fund

As you progress towards your savings goal, you can also check and see how much money you still need to save. This is useful if you’re goal-oriented and get motivated by having that virtual finish line in sight.

Luckily, you can also use the “Remaining” feature on EveryDollar to track how close you are to overspending in a category. Depending on whether you prefer to see that “Expenses” number tick up or the “Remaining” amount fall down, you may get more use out of one than the other.

EveryDollar review "remaining" tab image

Before you get started on EveryDollar, however, you’ll have to sign up for an account. Don’t worry. This process only took me two minutes!

How To Get Started On EveryDollar

First, you’ll have to give your name and email address. EveryDollar will be sending a confirmation email to whatever address you put. So, make sure it’s an email account you can access.

After filling out your name and email, you’ll put in some basic geographic information about your country and zip code. Then, pick a password to use for your EveryDollar account.

Lastly, just check your email and click the confirmation link. That’s it, you’re all done!

Note: The following steps are all optional, but they help EveryDollar track your progress for you.

When you first sign in to your new account, you’ll choose from a handful of financial goals. These include paying off debt, saving for retirement, breaking out of the paycheck to paycheck cycle, etc.

Then, you have the option to tell EveryDollar more about your current financial situation. If you own a home or car, have a family, or own pets, this information helps EveryDollar get a clearer picture of both your start and endpoints.

After that, you can list your paychecks for the current month. This gives you an idea of how much income you have coming in so that you can budget accordingly.

Now, it’s time to start building a budget! EveryDollar does a great job walking you through this process step by step, but here’s an overview.

Building A Budget On EveryDollar

The first thing you always want to take care of when building a budget is making sure your basic needs are met. These include costs like food, shelter, and electricity.

EveryDollar breaks down your housing expenses into your mortgage or rent, water, electricity, heating, and cable. I found these categories to be enough to cover my own expenses, but if you need to add more, there’s a handy “Add Item” button at the bottom.

EveryDollar review housing breakdown image

After taking care of housing, EveryBudget moves you along to transportation expenses. These only include gas and maintenance costs, not any car payments you may have.

Next up is food. Don’t worry, you’re almost done!

Here, the default options are quite broad, only separating between groceries and restaurants. Again, if you need or want more options, you can add in a custom category.

Finally, you’re on to so-called “personal expenses.” This area includes everything from clothes to fun money to makeup. After this, you’re done listing expenses. It’s time to start paying off debt and saving money.

What Makes EveryDollar Unique?

EveryDollar is based around a simple core premise: give every single dollar a job to do. Whether that job is helping pay for groceries or saving for retirement, the idea is that you’re using every dollar effectively.

In budgeting terms, this method is called “zero-based budgeting.”

Does this mean you never put any money towards fun expenses like going out to eat? No. EveryDollar’s philosophy is not to eliminate all luxuries, it’s to help you pick and choose which luxuries are actually meaningful to you.

Pros & Cons Of EveryDollar 

EveryDollar Pros

  • Simple & user-friendly UI
  • Free
  • Setting up an account walks you through the basics of budgeting
  • Zero-based budgeting to ease making a budget
  • Specific expense categories give more structure to budgeting
  • Quickly switches between total spending and amount left in for each expense

EveryDollar Cons

  • Cannot synchronize your bank accounts or credit cards
  • Only allows for monthly budgets
  • Premium version costs $129 annually

How Much Does EveryDollar Cost?

The basic version of EveryDollar is completely free, including from ads. There are no hidden costs here.

But as we talked about earlier, EveryDollar has both a free and a paid version. While this review focuses only on EveryDollar’s free version, let’s take a look at what you can get if you opt for a paid account.

EveryDollar Plus

EveryDollar’s paid version, EveryDollar Plus, currently costs $129 per year.

For this admittedly hefty price tag, EveryDollar Plus lets you link your bank accounts. The app will then automatically track your expenses, helping to automate the process of putting in each bill.

The main selling point of EveryDollar Plus is the subscription to Financial Peace University. This online and in-person program includes courses that walk you through each of the 7 Baby Steps.

With Financial Peace University, you’ll also get to join a virtual group of other individuals to help support you as you learn to manage money. You even get a coach who gives you advice.

While your results with the service may vary, there’s also a 14-day free trial. So, if you’re curious about whether EveryDollar Plus is right for you, feel free to check it out!

Is EveryDollar Safe?

The short answer is, yes. Because EveryDollar does not actually move money into or from your account, there’s no risk in someone hacking your EveryDollar account and pulling your money from within the app.

While a security breach is always possible with any company, EveryDollar encrypts your personal data and has staff on-site guarding the local servers. This means connecting EveryDollar to your account involves minimal risk.

How Does EveryDollar Make Money?

EveryDollar makes money solely from EveryDollar Plus. They don’t charge any fees for using the free version of the app, and they currently host no ads on the platform.

How Is EveryDollar’s Customer Service?

EveryDollar only offers customer support via email, unless you pay for EveryDollar Plus. If you do opt for the paid version, you’ll get to speak with a customer service representative over the phone, as well as the other support services provided through Financial Peace University.

What I Wish Was Different About EveryDollar

While EveryDollar is great for letting users carefully and strategically plan out their budget, I wish they gave more flexibility.

Currently, EveryDollar only lets you create monthly budgets. This may not seem like a big deal, and admittedly, if you have a regular income, it may not be.

But, if you get paid biweekly, work varying hours, or have any other circumstance that makes your income change a lot month to month, EveryDollar may require a lot of effort to use.

Outside of the rigidness, the one other change I’d make to EveryDollar would be to automate your expenses. 

Having to input every single expense one by one is useful when it comes to making you painfully aware of your spending habits. However, when it comes to creating an efficient tool to use over the course of several months or years, that level of effort starts to get tiresome.

How Does EveryDollar Fare Against Competitors?

With popular budgeting tools like Mint and Personal Capital already available, does EveryDollar do enough to make it stand out?

Depending on your preferred budgeting style, the answer may be a resounding yes.

Most other budgeting tools focus more on giving you a broad overview of your financial situation. EveryDollar instead has a very simple goal: helping you create and stick to a budget.

EveryDollar accomplishes this goal very well, too. It’s created a simple and easy to understand interface that helps teach the basics of budgeting to those who may be less experienced.

But, this simplicity ultimately comes with it’s own drawbacks. EveryDollar doesn’t have the same investment analysis or tracking tools as Personal Capital. 

EveryDollar also lacks the same breadth of tools as Mint, which has several features beyond budgeting like credit score trackers, investment tracking, and bill alerts.

If you’re looking for an app just to get a handle on building a budget, though, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a free service that works better than EveryDollar.

Should You Use EveryDollar?

EveryDollar review overview screen image

If you’re someone who wants a simple and user-friendly budgeting app, EveryDollar may be a good fit for you. It cuts out a lot of the bells and whistles (and ads), presenting you with an easy to use tool to build a budget.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a tool to help analyze your investments or be a one-stop-shop for all your financial needs, you may be better off with a different tool.

If you’ve struggled in the past with sticking to a budget, EveryDollar’s zero-based budgeting method and it’s in-depth system for tracking expenses could be just what you need. Combine all of this with the educational resources, and you’ve got yourself one great way to budget.

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