EveryDollar Review – EveryDollar vs. Mint

EveryDollar is a brand new web-based tool for budgeting. It was created by Dave Ramsey’s company and released on March 23, 2015.

I’ll give you my detailed EveryDollar review comparing EveryDollar to Mint. You’ll be able to decide which solution is best for you, even if you are already using budgeting software. You will be surprised by what I have to say.

History

EveryDollar is a brand new budget tool.  According to the EveryDollar website:

Budgeting should be easy and—dare we say it—FUN! Focus your money on what matters: day-to-day spending, knocking out those pesky debts, and building wealth.

Mint has been around for a long time. A loooooong time.

I’ve been a Mint user for eight years, but I’m always open to something better. Have you heard of or used Mint?

My biggest complaint about Mint is ever since Intuit purchased Mint in 2009 there has been virtually no new features or upgrades to the product.

Budgeting ease of use

Budgeting with EveryDollar

Right on the home page of EveryDollar it says:

Create your first budget in less than 10 minutes

Let’s test that statement.

Once you login you’re presented with the screen below to setup your budget:

The page is clean and easy to understand. I can see immediately that I can just start typing in values to get my budget going.

EveryDollar Budget

10 minutes? It’s true!

Everything is categorized and easy to find. I like how this budgeting works.

EveryDollar budget category

Budgeting with Mint

To be honest, I’m ready to throw in the towel with Mint and start a new account. I’ve had a problem with their budgeting software for four months that they still haven’t resolved. I made a YouTube video for their technical no-support team to look at, and they still haven’t fixed it.

Abysmal.

But their budget software does work for most people. I’m just the unlucky one I guess.

In Mint to create a budget, you set up every budget item yourself. There are no preset budget items like in EveryDollar. Mint allows you to set budget items that carry over leftovers from the previous month.

Mint Budget Item Creation

While Mint has categories for budgets, they just list them all in alphabetical order. A green bar means you are under budget.  A yellow bar means you are on budget.  A red bar means you are over budget.

Mint Budget List

Budgeting in EveryDollar is easier than in Mint and faster. There is just less clicking to do because you can edit your entire budget on one screen without the browser having to refresh constantly.

And as I stated – I can’t get Mint’s budgeting to work anymore even and haven’t had the issue resolved in 4 months.

Winner: EveryDollar

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Reporting

EveryDollar

EveryDollar doesn’t have a lot of reporting features as of its initial release. I would expect that in a first version. As users provide feedback, and new releases occur, more reporting options will probably become available.

Mint

Mint has amazing reporting features. It’s one of the best aspects of it. See the nice pie chart here which shows a breakdown in every category of spending. You can create a report for any period you like.

Mint Reporting

Then – you can drill down into any piece of the pie to see additional breakdowns. For example, if I click the Home pie slice it will show me all of the sub-categories of home, such as home insurance, home upkeep, property taxes, etc.

Then – I can click on a single sub-category to see every transaction in the report.

Sub-category views provide you with an incredibly powerful amount of information. When you ask – ‘what am I spending the most money on?’ – drilling down into these reports gives you the information quickly. You can go back in time for years to see where the big expenses were.  It can help you set plans and goals for the future.

Winner: Mint

Eye appeal

The EveryDollar website is new, updated, and fresh. It’s simple. It’s pretty. It’s easy to read. You’re comparing a 1970’s warehouse to a newly completed start-of-the-art office building.

As I mentioned, Mint hasn’t upgraded anything since 2009. It’s looked the same ever since with minimal improvements.

Winner: EveryDollar

Support

EveryDollar Plus ($99/year) gives you an option to receive a phone call from a real person. The free version comes with email support.

Mint provides email support. Remember when I said I’ve been waiting four months for an issue to be fixed? That’s great support for ya. And when I say four months, that’s me emailing them every two weeks asking for an update and then replying back with some lame response.

Winner: EveryDollar

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Planning

Below is from the EveryDollar website:

Don’t be fooled by the other so-called budget tools out there. A budget is not looking back at how you spent your money last month and thinking, Whoops, looks like I spent too much money eating out!

However, it’s not accurate when it comes to Mint.

Both EveryDollar and Mint allow you to plan ahead.

Winner: Tie

This doesn’t add up

I’m a fan of most of Dave Ramsey’s teaching. He is adamant about not using credit cards and not even owning credit cards.

He preaches this every day. It’s a core part of Financial Peace University.

Does EveryDollar let you connect your account to credit cards?

Yes.

As soon as I signed up and viewed the 4-page welcome screen it shows the Plus (paid) version of EveryDollar will allow you to connect your account with both bank accounts and credit cards.

Can you pay for EveryDollar Plus with a credit card?

Yes.

This is the exact opposite of Dave Ramsey’s website where you can only buy with a debit card.

Dave preaches about staying away from credit cards to get out of debt.  However, the paid version of the tool his company created allows you to track credit card transactions, and you can buy the service with a credit card.

Product access

If you want to be successful at budgeting it has to be easy to do. Any budgeting tool without access from any computer or any phone isn’t easy.

Both EveryDollar and Mint run from a browser and have smartphone apps.

Winner: Tie

Account balances

EveryDollar

The EveryDollar Pro version ($99/year) allows you to connect to your credit card accounts and banks. It also provides you with your account balances.

However, it’s not on the main screen, and it’s not in the free version.

Mint

When you login to Mint on the main screen is a snapshot of every account you have connected. The screen shows the balance of the accounts on the main summary screen.

It’s a nice quick snapshot of your overall financial picture.

Winner: Mint

Reconciliation

Neither product has a reconciliation feature that allows you to mark transactions as matching your statements.

Winner: Not you

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EveryDollar

When I entered a sample mortgage payment into the budget, immediately I get the following ad in EveryDollar:

EveryDollar Advertisement

It’s an advertisement for one of Dave Ramsey’s Endorsed Local Providers.

Mint

Mint is full of advertising too. With Mint, you’ll see ads for better insurance, saving money on banking, investment companies, etc.

No matter your choice you’ll see advertisements. The ads just look prettier in EveryDollar.

Winner: Not you

Seven Baby Steps

EveryDollar was designed to help you follow Dave Ramsey’s Seven Baby Steps.

Of course Mint can’t do that.

Winner: EveryDollar

Cost

EveryDollar

EveryDollar Basic is FREE.

To connect it to your bank and credit card accounts to automatically import transactions costs $99 PER YEAR.

EveryDollar Basic vs. EveryDollar Plus

Mint

Mint is and has always been 100% FREE.

I don’t know about you, but for me I want my budgeting to be both easy AND fast. I pay 20–30 bills per month and use my debit and credit card for 50–100 other transactions.

Manually entering 100+ transactions per month using a laptop and/or smartphone is anything but easy.

It’s horribly time-consuming.

It’s painful.

It ain’t easy.

And if it isn’t easy, you aren’t going to do it, right?

Winner: Mint

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Overall scorecard

EveryDollar Basic

Pros

  • Awesome interface
  • Super easy budget creating
  • User friendly

Cons

  • Manual transaction entry

EveryDollar Plus

Pros

  • Automatic transaction entry from your accounts
  • Account balances

Cons

  • Price – $99/year

Mint

Pros

  • FREE
  • Automatic importing of transactions
  • Account balances
  • Superior reporting

Cons

  • Ugly
  • Hasn’t been upgraded since 2009
  • Budgets take much longer to create
  • Budgets are not as intuitive or simple
  • Budgets are buggy (my personal experience)

Summary

EveryDollar Basic (the free version) is a great product. The budgeting feature is much simpler and easier to use than Mint, especially for the first time user of budgeting software. It’s a great choice if you have the time and discipline to enter manually your spending transactions every month. It’s the manual transaction entry you may find painstaking.

EveryDollar Plus ($99/year) adds the additional feature of automatically importing transactions from your bank accounts and credit cards. This is a huge time-saver and will make it much easier for you to track your spending easily and keep your budget up-to-date.

I’ll be sticking with Mint for now. I’ve already got my budget created, and it’s free.  But since my Mint budget is broken I’m either going to start with a new Mint account or just switch to EveryDollar.

The bottom line is EveryDollar is a much better product. But for automatic transaction importing it’s going to cost you $99/year.

Have you tried out EveryDollar or Mint? What do you think? Please leave a comment below.

106 Comments

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  • I really wanted to like EveryDollar, but there’s no way I’m paying $100 a year for something Mint does just as well for free. I’ve not experienced any glitches with Mint like you have but I’ll bet there will be annoying glitches with EveryDollar too, except they’ll cost $100! Thanks for the review.

  • Mints support is laughable. Being in IT, their SLA would drive business away; Which I don’t understand from intuit. Maybe it’s the price tag that keeps the program around. Also, I like Mint’s ability to track liabilities and assets, with direct connection to your debtors, and most financial institutions including Investment Accounts. The property assessment from Zillow added is a cool feature too. The budgeting is tricky, but once it’s configure, it works ok.
    I’m still playing with Every Dollar basic. I keep spreadsheets too for amortization schedules & a true snowball snapshot, so what’s adding one more data entry input into Dave’s new toy? It is easy to setup, but maybe too simple as some of us are looking for a bit more. I am a big Ramsey fan: enjoying his books, suggestions, & talk radio. For that I will continue to work in both apps, making my own assessment. Dave may be throwing more development into Every Dollar, in which its use will probably surpass Mint’s! If so, I’ll gladly switch & pay the $100 annual cost.

    • Mark, thanks for great comments. It’s always been my opinion Intuit bought Mint just to prevent it from taking users from Quicken. Then they did nothing to enhance the Mint service so that people will eventually move back to Quicken. I envision EveryDollar becoming even better over time.

  • Do either of these let you create your own budget categories and split a transaction between categories? Like if I go to costco and spend $150 on food, clothing, groceries, can I enter is a total a $150, but charge $50 to food category, $50 to clothing category, and $50 to food category?

    • Komrad – yes both EveryDollar and Mint have the ability to create your own categories, sub-categories and split transactions. Both products implement these features well. There are less mouse-clicks with EveryDollar which makes it faster to use.

  • Hi! I normally don’t chime in on these reviews and such, but as a complete newb to budgeting I thought I would chime in with my experience with the EveryDollar app. My husband and I just started with Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and are getting used to budgeting. I too find the EveryDollar website and app very easy to use as you stated. It does have a chart on the side of the screen (on PC, not mobile app) that shows percentages and whatnot of where your money is going. So I guess that was an update since your posting of this review? I am a stay at home mom of 3 and I homeschool as well, so time saving is huge for me. My husband makes the money and I do the budgeting. I like how I can set it up on the PC and it syncs with our phones and is very easy for us to pull up while we are out to see how much is allocated for things, or to quickly add a transaction. We have the basic app for now (for about a month) and are considering if we want to pay the $99/yr to sync to our bank accounts. I like how the website also coincides with his babysteps. So I can have my handwritten copy of our debt snowball and the website also tracks how much of the debts we have paid off. Anyways, as someone new to the game of budgeting and financial responsibility, I find EveryDollar amazing. I find it super easy to use, and the preset budget items are helpful as well. I also like the emails received with tips and the articles that I find on the EveryDollar website. The entering transactions isn’t too annoying for us because we really don’t have many daily transactions. I would be happy to pay the $99/year for the syncing and being able to swipe the purchases into the proper categories on the PC and keeping tabs on other accounts. I think for someone who is just starting with budgeting that EveryDollar is perfect. The only think I would want at the moment is a way to print out the detailed monthly budget so I can check things off and stuff.

    As for Mint, I have never heard of it until now. I will look into it since it is free, because really, who doesn’t like free?
    I find it comical that this is the 3rd review I read that someone commented on the being able to use and sync credit cards since Dave is so adamant about getting rid of them and never using them. I bet it wasn’t his idea to include it and he cringed when they added them to the software. It would be pretty silly for him not to include the option.

    • Melissa,

      Thanks so much for your first-time-budgeter review of EveryDollar. I’m glad you are enjoying it. I am too. Since writing this article, I have actually made the switch to the $99/year paid version to try it out. I’m a firm believer that if budgeting isn’t easy, people aren’t going to do it. Despite mint being free, it does take more time. And the more transactions you have the longer it takes (5 minutes with EveryDollar vs. 20 minutes with mint, every week). If you’re already debt-free I now recommend at least trying the paid version of EveryDollar if someone has tons of monthly transactions (I do).

  • “Can you pay for EveryDollar Plus with a credit card?
    Yes.
    This is the exact opposite of Dave Ramsey’s website where you can only buy with a debit card.”
    That statement needs a qualifier: Products on Dave’s site for complete newbies accept credit cards for purchases because people unfamiliar with the plan will likely have no other way to pay for their order. It would be quite odd to use what you are teaching about as a barrier for people to access your information.
    After you’re “in the plan,” products you wish to purchase can only be purchased with a debit card (and something else, I think, besides credit). I wouldn’t consider someone trying to budget for the first time, or only doing the budget part (of the DR plan) to be gung-ho on ditching their credit cards, or even be aware of the recommendation.

    • Thanks for your comment. I just went through the checkout process and The Total Money Makeover book and FPU online anytime can only be paid for with a debit card / bankdraft on daveramsey.com. Those two products are for people new to the DR plan. What products allow you to pay with a credit card?

  • Why would Intuit spend money to upgrade a product that they are earning no revenue from? Dave Ramsey’s group charges for the ED Pro Version because the banks charge him. He has said as much on his radio program. I would also imagine it is to create a revenue stream allocated to improving ED and ED Pro.

    • Intuit does make money on Mint: “We make money when you save money with the Ways To Save feature on Mint.com. If you sign up for a checking, savings, credit card or brokerage account marked as sponsored, we earn a referral fee.” It would be in their best interests to improve a product when there have been about 5 new – and good – competitors over the past few years that are taking customers from them. And yes, any software that pulls in transactions from banks has to pay a fee (including Intuit) to get access to that data from the clearinghouses that provide it. Intuit doesn’t pass along the charges because they make their money with referrals.

  • I think we are the 2 out there with issues using Mint. For some reason an account would always tell me the password was wrong, when it wasn’t. Also, I get paid on the 1st & 15th but receive the money a day earlier. Mint thinks my check on the 1st is for the end of the month instead, messing all of my numbers up.

    I gave EveryDollar a try when it launched and really liked it, even though it was manual. I record everything in excel manually already so it wasn’t an issue. I’m looking to revamp my budget with my wife and I think I’ll give ED another try now that they’ve had time to update some features.

    Thanks for the comparison!

      • How can you get it free for a year? I am new to EveryDollar Basic and am hesitant to purchase anything. I came across your review in looking for personal finance software reviews. We are doing Dave Ramsey’s program and I want to stick with him, but $99/year seems like a lot. I looked into Quicken, but it has terrible reviews.

        • Traci,

          EveryDollar gave me some free vouchers for the Plus version to give away. I randomly select a newsletter subscriber once a month to give one to. Please make sure you subscribe to my newsletter for a chance to win.

          • Scott,
            Thanks for your quick reply! I did subscribe already to your newsletter. Thanks also for the review. I was so overwhelmed with all the programs available and the mixed reviews. The only thing keeping me from doing the EveryDollar Plus is the $99/year price. When trying to get out of debt that’s the last thing I want to see. However, I need something easier to use than EveryDollar Basic. Entering each transaction is just too much. I need something more streamlined.

            I looked through your website. Thanks for the great information!

            Traci

          • Traci,

            Yes I hate paying the yearly fee too. I understand you being in debt and not wanting to pay it. You might check out You Need A Budget (YNAB). It’s $60 one time. You still have to enter in all the transactions manually, but it has some type of learning algorithm to speed up the process. Many people like YNAB.

            I appreciate the kind words on the website! Please let me know if you have any questions I can answer for you – scott@scottalanturner.com

  • Thanks for this breakdown. I have read about both before and this was so helpful 🙂
    I am still doing a budget on paper (and then falling behind because it’s not yet a habit). For a long time I have read about different websites and apps to try to make budgeting easier and automatic, but can’t seem to do it… Perhaps Everydollar is the right step.
    Will my husband and I be able to synch accounts so we can work on it together? I don’t want it to end up where only one of us is entering/monitoring data.

    Also, found “You need a budget” app, but haven’t tried it out. any thoughts?
    thanks!

    • Hi Jamie! If you’re using paper definitely give EveryDollar a try (over Mint). It will be much easier to use and the free version will work fine. EveryDollar is cloud based so if you share the login you will stay synced between your computers, tablets, and smartphones. I’ve read plenty about YNAB but it doesn’t have automatic transaction importing. It’s $60 one-time. I’d try EveryDollar if I were you, it doesn’t take any time at all to get set up. If you feel like you fall behind it’s easy to whip out your phone/tablet while you watch TV and update the budget in 10-15 minutes a week. And it does all the math for you.

      • Thanks for the quick response! I look forward to trying out everydollar…
        Also,
        My husband’s concern… Is it necessary to share our banking account numbers? Is it secure? Have accounts been compromised?
        I might just have missed that in the reading…

        • The free version doesn’t require giving any account information (bank, credit card) so there are no issues there. Being from the IT world I can tell you the only secure computer is one that isn’t connected to the Internet. I trust EveryDollar/Mint with my data. They are secure and haven’t been compromised. But much larger companies like Home Depot and Target have been hacked. Companies do the best they can, but there are no guarantees something won’t happen someday.

  • Scott,

    One big hitch with EveryDollar – they will not hook up to american express cards! Since I use the blue cash card, and we have 6 mouths to feed, that is a lot of grocery transactions which don’t show up in my “Fast Track”, and which I really don’t want to have to put in manually. This is a deal breaker for me; so I’ll have to stay with MINT for the meantime. But once they cover AMEX, I think I’ll switch over to EveryDollar.

    Bruce

    • Bruce,

      Thanks for that tip. People should definitely be aware of lack of AMEX coverage. I find that odd since most online budgeting tools use a 3rd party clearing house for the transaction import. I’ve looked at the Blue card myself but they don’t accept WalMart supercenters where I shop the most. Glad you’re finding Blue works for you, though!

      • Yeah – we use the Fidelity Amex (2% back on everything) at Walmart. But we buy enough at Kroger (there are 6 of us) that the extra percent back with the Blue card is worth it. We really try to maximize our cash back rewards, using the Penfed Visa for 5% on gas, the Citi Forward card for 5% on Restaurants, book stores and movies, the quarterly 5% bonus categories from Discover & Chase, Blue for 3% back on groceries, and the Fidelity Amex & Chase DoubleCash for 2% on everything else.We use most of our rewards for various gift cards.

        We’ve taken the whole family to several movies this year (with snacks) and it hasn’t cost us a cent!

        • It sounds like you are like me, I use reward cards with no annual fee everywhere possible and have them automatically paid off in full each month.

          I don’t factor the rewards into my budget , so I only budget money that I have each month. When I deposit cash back into my checking account, my available funds get a small boost.

          Last year I got about $700 in rewards, which far outstripped the interest that I earned on my 1% savings account for the year.

    • Confirmed: “Right now, we don’t support any AMEX accounts. That’s a business decision we made years ago, and we just don’t support any AMEX accounts at this time. That may change in the future, but I don’t have any details on that. For now, you would need to track the AMEX transactions manually”

      • I hope that it’s not because of Dave’s personal run in with Amex many years back. It should be a business decision and not a personal one!

        • That’s an interesting take (too bad if it’s true). Amex charges higher transaction fees for merchants (3% vs. 2.2% typically). They may charge higher fees for software companies looking to pull data from their systems.

  • Android has over 52% of the US smartphone market. Not having an app is a significant detractor for EveryDollar in my view; I can’t agree with “tie” here, particularly in the world of mobile-first.

    Thanks for the comparison. Good writeup.

  • Thank you for thorough review and comparison. I was almost ready to switch to the ED Plus from Mint but then read that they don’t support Amex. That’s unfortunate, I use Amex for everything but keep strict tracking of expenses. I guess I have to stick to Mint. Dave needs to make a business decision not a personal one regarding Amex.

  • Thanks for this great and balanced review. I was thinking of giving ED a try, however, my husband and I have a Costco Amex card that we use for most of our monthly transactions. Perhaps after Costco makes the switch to Visa next year, we’ll be able to test ED. I’ll give Mint a try for now.

    • I have almost the same issue , except that I have several American Express cards that are also my main cards, so the CostCo switch will not solve anything.
      I’m currently use mint To monitor savings , goals, and investments, but I’m going to try it for budgeting as soon as I get time to switch from ynab .

      • The best feature about Mint’s budgeting is you can select several months worth of data and it will sum the totals for you. For example how much did I budget/spend on Gas from February to the present? It makes it easy to track the total over/under for variable spending categories.

  • I just went and signed up for Dave Ramsey​’s ‘EveryDollar’ budget tool and I don’t like it at all. I can’t figure out how to tell it I have the $1000 savings (1st Baby Step). There are a lot of budget tools out there that work much better. He said it took years and a lot of money to get this program set up. I certainly hope the premium one is worth it because the freeby is just a waste of time.

    • Hi Fay, Sorry to hear your not a fan of EveryDollar. There are certainly some lacking features (reports). The Plus version only adds auto import of transactions – a big time saver.

      Regarding the $1,000 for Baby Step 1 from what I recall in the budget setup there was a line item to record that information. In my budget for Baby Step 3 (3-6 months) the Emergency Fund shows up under Savings. It’s a special type of ‘Fund’ that carries over month-to-month.

  • I like Every Dollar and don’t ned to sync my transactions so I don’t need Plus. BUT what I can’t do is start the month on a different day, I get paid once a month on the 15th of the month and I would like my budget to run from the 15th to the 15th. Right now I can’t quite figure out how to have the unpaid and unspent $$ carry over into the next month. Any suggestions?

    • Kathy, Unspent money can carry over month-to-month by setting the budget item as a Fund. If you have a Fund the way to tell if the bill has been paid would be to look at the balance of the fund and see if it was zero or not. That might work for you.

      • Can you explain that a little more clearly? 1) Turn my bills into funds 2) In the next month, pre-populate? I’m not exactly following how to do this.

        • Hi Sherri, From what I recall (I switched back to Mint) when you click on a budget category on the right you will have some options. You can switch the category to a fund and enter a starting balance, target goal, and monthly contribution. Then it will track your progress. On the 1st of each month you have the option to create a new budget based on last month’s budget. The Fund’s will update and carry over the prior month’s balance as you work towards your goal. It’s like a virtual savings account for a specific category like dues you may pay once per year.

          • Thanks Scott. I’m fairly certain I’m going to go with the premium version of YNAB. I truly love the pretty interface from EveryDollar but it’s not as robust as I’d like.

            How in the world did you ever decide to return to Mint.com? Their software was so confusing for me, I just quit. Their best feature is that I can count on them for bill reminders and an accurate balance from my linked accounts. Unfortunately, I need much more than that.

          • Yes it was painful to go back to Mint. Not to get it setup, but because it’s so poorly maintained and the support is non existent. I tried the new YNAB in January when they rolled it out. I couldn’t figure it out in a reasonable amount of time. I’ve heard since then improvements have been made. I will try it again in January when my budgeting year ends. For me it’s picking the best from three products that either lack features or cost too much.

    • Being this is 10 months from when you posted, I don’t know if youll see it or care. But you could start your budget on the 15th and go to the following 15th. when you post your transactions just post them In the starting month. You can post any date range in any month.

  • Can anyone offer a comparison between ED and the Mvelopes budgeting tool offered by Finicty? Ramsey had previously recommended it and I’ve been using it for the last few years. It works fine but there is some clunkiness to the navigation and look to it. I’m wondering if ED is an improvement to that particular platform.

    • I have not used Mvelopes so I can’t comment on the comparison between the two. I’d suggest signing up for a trial of EveryDollar and see what you think about it. If you don’t like it, stick with Mvelopes.

    • I tested Mvelopes before stumbling upon EveryDollar. I could not get the app off my phone fast enough. I really need transactions to be pre-loaded. I’m willing to pay $99/year in exchange for the pre-loaded transactions. I’m hoping they add a reporting feature. So far, I haven’t been able to find any report that I can generate at all. But, that still makes it better for me than Mvelopes. The other thing that was important was being able to track my balance beyond just cleared expenses. EveryDollar doesn’t solve for that but it gets me closer than Mvelopes with its “Left to Budget”/”Overbudget” feature.

  • I have never used Mint, but I just went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and followed their recommendation to set up a budget in EveryDollar. I like the ease of being able to create the desired categories (or use the supplied categories) and assign an amount to each category. However, I have several things I don’t like about it. Entering transactions feels kind of clunky and inconvenient; I expected to be able to easily enter the payee and memo, but the memo (note) is hidden under an expandable region off the screen. Also, I frequently copy the amount from another source, like my bank site, and paste it into EveryDollar, but an extra tab or character at the end of the field causes the app to complain that it is not a valid number until I remove the extra character. By all means, don’t save the whitespace in the app, but be smart about automatically trimming it off of numeric fields.

    I was unimpressed with how monthly budgets relate to each other. I would have expected that after I create the budget, when I enter a transaction, it would be applied to the month in which the transaction occurred. More often than I would like, I enter a transaction from the end of the previous month and it puts it on this month’s budget instead. Then I have to delete it from this month and re-add it to last month. Maybe there is some reason that it should work this way, but it is not what I expected. And I would have guessed that for yearly items like life insurance, if/when I put money toward it each month, it would carry it forward to accumulate for the eventual payment, but I am not seeing that it does that. Maybe making the category a fund solves the issue, but still awkward to use.

    I would like to see both the amount spent and the amount remaining for each category, not have to do quick math to get the numbers.

    The idea of paying $100 a year for a budgeting tool seems ridiculous to me. I have been using Quicken for many years now, and though I have not used the budgeting, I think it has budgeting, and costs closer to $60 for its 3-year lifespan. And it is a lot easier to use, report, and track than EveryDollar.

    I can’t bring myself to pay for EveryDollar Plus when the free base model has so underwhelmed me.

    • Hi Steve,

      Thanks for your thorough review and comments.

      It is hard to know what transactions are for with the hidden memo field. I’ve gotten around that no matter what tool I use by editing the payee field. For example I buy a lot from Amazon. My payee field looks like this ‘Amazon – Sons of Anarchy Shirt’.

      The lack of reporting – unrelated monthly budgets – is still a huge hole. In mint you can grab any number of budgets from any period and get a cumulative total to figure out ‘how much was our electricity bill the past 6 months’. It makes it much easier to adjust your budget.

      Have you given Mint.com a try? I bet it will do what you want and it’s free.

        • Let me know how quicken budget goes. A couple years ago I put significant effort into finding a Mint replacement and tried quicken among others. I found Quicken to be even worse than Mint and it drove me crazy, so I returned it during the trial period. But maybe I just didn’t give it enough of a chance. Either way, I sadly couldn’t find a good alternative to Mint, which I think speaks a lot about the terrible budgeting software that exists in the US.

          I really thought I would have been able to find a good replacement without recurring fees, but there’s apparently a huge need in this area. The only thing I can think is that people must only use budgeting software to look at their transactions, not to actually budget, otherwise wouldn’t someone have filled the need for good budgeting software that’s either free or only has a one time charge?

          If Dave Ramsey could find a way to pay for the account connectivity and pass that onto us as a free tool, I would jump on board in a second.

          • Free isn’t possible because there are only 3 aggregators of transaction data, and they all charge money for access. A company needs to either charge an ongoing fee to turn a profit, or figure out another way to make money and not go broke. Mint offsets costs through advertising. Plus Intuit probably sells the marketing information about people. Someone could always go out and get startup funding with the intent (hope) of being bought out. That would take some deep pockets.

  • I’ve used Mint for the last 6 months and love it. Mind you I use the app all the time for my android so I can’t see how any budgeting tool that doesn’t have an android app is missing a large audience.

    The budgeting for Mint is pretty basic, but since I use my credit card for all my purchases. Mint automatically pulls my credit card transactions for all my purchases and automatically categorizes it in the appropriate category. I LOVE automation. Plus it’s free so I think it takes the lead here.

    If you’re curious more about Mint, I did a personal review of the app after using it for the last 6 months and use it every day to check my balances and plan my spending for the day. It’s pretty awesome. http://www.walletsquirrel.com/mint-app-review/

  • This is the most comprehensive review of Every Dollar I have read so far. I’m a big fan of the tool, although I still prefer the old MyTotalMoneyMakeover Gazelle Budget system.

  • Hi Scott! Do you still have vouchers for EveryDollar Plus? I just started using it and would love to say goodbye to the manual input! Thanks for this article. My husband uses mint, but the EveryDollar interface is more my aesthetic for sure. 🙂

  • My wife and I use EveryDollar Plus. The ease of website and the dragging of transactions with Plus make it quick and easy. Baby steps page is nice little feature that I use for tracking balance in 3-6 month emergency fund and paying off some college debt (last debt except for house). Site is simple and easy to use. I also have the app on android. Don’t use app for use of the tools. I will on occasion, when away go there to see where we are with with the budget for the month. I don’t mind the 99 yearly fee. Maybe I shouldn’t look at it this way but I work well over 2100 hours a year and 3.5 hours to a tool that we are comfortable with and enjoy is worth it to us. On the flip side I have never used Mint.

    • Hi Brandon, Thanks for your review of ED Plus. I agree the $99 comes down to if you can swing it vs. the time it saves. In my case I’m too cheap and went back to Mint. If you like ED Plus and it works for you, I can pretty much guarantee you won’t like Mint better.

  • I’ve been using mint for years and I hate it.

    For one, you can’t put cents into your budgets, so at the end of the month when you’re tallying all of the budget items, you are off by some amount of cents in each budget, so my account balance either grows or shrinks slightly each month because I don’t have an exact number to transfer to my debt snowball at the end of the month.

    Also, you can’t work on next month’s budget until you’re already in the next month.

    Also, once the next month begins, you get locked out of making any further changes to the previous month’s budget, so if a debit card transaction clears late or if a return is processed after you get locked out, you can’t go back and fix the budget from last month.

    Also, it’s extremely glitchy and frequently loses my modifications which forces me to go back and re-enter.

    Also, it tries to auto-assign transactions to budgets and is wrong about half the time, so I have to go back and find the mistakes and correct them. It would be easier if it just marked everything as uncategorized by default and allowed me to choose the correct location, that way I’m not having to figure out where I left off on my categorizing last time I was there.

    The one benefit is that it is free and that’s the only reason I haven’t moved over to every dollar yet.

  • Hi just a question – you say “Both EveryDollar and Mint allow you to plan ahead.” – but from my understanding, you can’t enter items in Mint until they’ve occurred and you can’t start working a budget for the month until you’re in that month. Am I wrong about this? Or do you have some way to get around it? This is my number one gripe with Mint and pretty much the only thing making me consider paying for Every Dollar. Thanks!

    • Hi Jeffrey, What I meant by ‘plan ahead’ was to generally plan your spending for the month ahead. No, in Mint you can’t create next month’s budget until the first of the month. I just tried it and I can’t create a budget for November 1st on October 31st. So you can’t plan that far ahead. You can put transactions in the future. I was able to manually set the date to 2 months from now into next year.

  • Thank you for all the great reviews. I was wondering what you are using now (ED, Mint, YNAB, ect.). It seems a lot has changed in the last year. I’m not happy with any of them. I like ED the best, but I hate that you can’t look back and see trends throughout the past year. I wish Mint would use the zero based budget approach. That would be hands down the best. I haven’t quite talked myself into using YNAB and budget on last months income. Again, thanks for everything.

    • Hi James, I’m on Mint right now. I’ll try YNAB again in January because I’ve heard it’s been improved over the past 12 months. Though I’m seriously considering using a Google spreadsheet. Every bank allows exporting of transactions in a text file which can then be copy/pasted into a spreadsheet.

  • Just went through my entertainment subscriptions, canceled one and subscribed for Everydollar. Used Mint for some time – didn’t like it.
    BTW, Everydollar is also on Android now.

  • Super awesome article till this line, when I stopped reading: “You’re comparing the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover model to an 80-year old grandma on the cover of AARP monthly.” Typical sexist BS. Are women only valuable to you if they are hyper-sexualized, photoshopped, and under 20 years of age? That’s the metaphor you pick for something that is superior and worthwhile? You call yourself a family man; what do your wife and daughter think of their husband/father glorifying the objectification of women like this? Your website states: “My show listener’s range from age 17 to 77 (the current record).” I guess that means you’re not interested in keeping the upper age limit of your audience as you are insinuating that aging women have little value to society. You think these comments are funny and harmless. They aren’t. Did you know that when young girls (such as your daughter) are exposed to sexualized images of women for even a few seconds, their self-confidence and self-worth plummets? I’m talking about images like the ones on the cover of Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. You, sir, are part of the problem of women being undervalued by society. You will no longer receive my business and your webpage will no longer receive my clicks.

    • Angry, bitter, and self righteous is no way to go through life. There is absolutely nothing wrong with noticing and commenting on the fact that 20 years olds are generally more attractive than 80 year olds. The review did not equate a woman’s worth with attractiveness. People like you are the problem with the world.

    • I agree. Hey “family man” author: why don’t you go ahead and film your daughter, wife, or mother while they’re dancing around a pole naked…then talk about it in your next article, how does that sound? I guess it’s ok as long as it’s not YOUR daughter or wife, or mother I guess, huh?

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  • Nice review and surprised but glad others are more passionate about budgeting software as well. I have used mint for 8+ years and have looked for other sw and can’t seem to find anything close, unfortunately.. Dumb question, does anyone know a way to export data from Min to any other system. I can export but never able to figure out to import to another system. Thanks for your time. Michael

    • Hi Michael, Most systems will import Quicken format. If you get Mint to CSV, then CSV to Quicken, you might be able to. Word of warning – if you ever stop using mint DO NOT delete a bank/credit account. Doing so deletes all of the transactions and you’re valuable history. What I suggest is changing the passwords for your accounts (like at your bank) and then Mint won’t be able to access any new data. You’ll keep the old data at Mint while preventing Big Brother from tracking you. About once a year I go back into Mint to find something from 4-5 years ago to remind me of how much something cost. Having the old data around can be helpful.

  • I use the free version of Every Dollar and it worked fine for awhile. They currently have a bug that limits how far one can go back to edit or add transactions. Basically, this means one has access to transactions for the current and previous month only. I noticed this problem about six months ago and they claim that they have been working on it.

    By the way, I don’t mind entering my transactions. The pain of entering them manually keeps me from overspending. Plus, I don’t have to worry about security issues.

  • I am just getting started with the free version of EveryDollar this month. I enjoyed setting up all my categories but soon became frustrated when I put in my monthly budgeted amounts and couldn’t find a way to add in that I already had money from an envelope going towards that category without it throwing everything off. For instance I went into it with a savings envelope for auto tabs I add to every month. How do I put in the monthly amount without showing I already have x amount of dollars saved. Customer service is very responsive but I didn’t understand how they said to deal with it…it wasn’t definitive.
    I had assumed I would be able to generate reports – love the pie charts and not being able to see the big picture is way too limiting for me. What are your thoughts on the basic Quicken for budgeting? Thanks for the article.

  • For me the big drawback with MINT is not having the ability to budget upcoming months in advance…a real drawback to effective planning.

  • Mint.com is extremely addicting – when it’s working. But it can make you pull your hair out when it’s not and cost you hours upon hours of time. I dumped Mint two weeks ago for EveryDollar. I am LOVING it!!!

  • How about personal capital. That is the budgeting tool i have started using. I deleted my mint account for it.
    Personal capital also tracks investements.

  • I started seeing bugs in Mint a few months ago. Some of my transactions are missing. Been emailing customer support for over a month and nothing is resolved. Then I started seeing that the totals are not matching with the transactions in each budget line item. I used them for years but something is really off with their software because a friend or two of mine are having issues as well.

    • Yup! They have customer no-service. If they reply back it’s usually with the same question you asked them or something totally unrelated to the problem. “I’d be happy to help you. Can you take some screenshots which will be of no use to us, because we aren’t allowed to access your account and are prohibited from speaking with the engineers. But your business is important to us.’