EveryDollar Review - A New Free Budget Tool

EveryDollar – A New Free Budget Tool

By Scott Alan Turner

Mar 24

Do you want a way to manage your money that’s both easy and free? A new tool named EveryDollar and created by the Dave Ramsey team will allow you to do just that.

I’ve been a Mint user for eight years, so I wanted to spend some time in-depth with EveryDollar to see how it compares.

UPDATE, May 13, 2015: I’ve got an updated EveryDollar review for Dave Ramsey’s Budget Tool. Once you’re done here check it out. Bottom line – I’ve made the switch from Mint to EveryDollar.

You’ll be amazed at how easy EveryDollar is to use. I hardly had to spend any time at all using it to figure that out and try out all the features.

According to the website:

EveryDollar allows you to focus your money on what matters: day-to-day spending, knocking out those pesky debts, and building wealth.

Using EveryDollar

You can access it from any web browser, and there is an iPhone app.

There is no software to install (yeah!) and the information syncs between your devices.

Create a budget in under 10 minutes

I was doubtful of this claim when I read it on the homepage.

But, believe me, it’s the truth.

The main interface is just one screen. There is no switching between pages or digging around to get to what you need. It’s one of the most well thought out user interface designs I’ve ever seen – and I’ve worked in IT and interface design for 20 years.

It was super-easy to fill in the default budget planned amounts, add new budget items, and rename existing budget items.

EveryDollar Budget

Is EveryDollar really free?

EveryDollar Basic is free.

However, a big time-saving feature of online budgeting for me has always been importing transactions automatically from banks and credit card companies.

EveryDollar Plus has this feature, but you will have to upgrade for $99/year to get it. Here is the feature comparison chart:

EveryDollar Free vs. EveryDollar Plus

EveryDollar iPhone app and synching

The iPhone app for EveryDollar is every bit as impressive as the website.

  • The interface is clean and intuitive.
  • Do what you need to with minimum clicking
  • Know what’s left in your budget wherever you are
  • Data syncs with all of your devices

EveryDollar iPhone App

Splitting transactions made easy

When I go to WalMart, I may be spending cash on groceries, pet supplies, and baby supplies. EveryDollar makes splitting up the receipt easy into the correct budget items.

EveryDollar Split Transactions

Drag and drop transactions

When I used this feature, I was blown away. I’m used to Mint where you click a transaction, then scroll through a huge list of budget items to find the right budget category.

In EveryDollar, the drag-and-drop transaction feature is simple and smooth. As you hold the transaction over the budget item, the REMAINING amount even decreases.

EveryDollar Drag and Drop Transactions

Funding your big expenses

The one thing I found slightly confusing was the terminology used for one-time expenses and savings goals.

For example, my property taxes get paid once a year. EveryDollar tracks this by having you create a Fund.

A fund has a:

  • starting balance
  • budgeted amount
  • savings goal
  • spent amount

It made more sense after setting it up. Typically you think about funding your retirement, but not funding your property taxes.

The fund feature makes saving for things like vacations or yearly property taxes easy to setup and easy to track.

EveryDollar Funds

Baby step tracking

Baby step tracking is a neat feature if you’re following the baby step plan. EveryDollar uses the budget to track your progress with the Baby Steps. For example, if you are working on building your $1,000 emergency fund, EveryDollar will show you your progress:

EveryDollar Baby Steps Integration

Summary

If you use paper and pencil for doing your budget or Excel spreadsheets, stop doing that right now. Check out EveryDollar.

If you’re currently using Mint for budgeting, read my comparison of EveryDollar vs. Mint.

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