Since we are focusing on the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps we figured it would be a good time to review his budgeting service Everydollar. We have been using this service for over 2 years now and while we really like it, we have outgrown what it can do. Let’s break it down below.
Why we were attracted to it- If you are new to starting a budget and you share your budget with someone else, Everydollar is straightforward and solely focused on budgeting. It is one of the few apps that uses a zero based budget approach and it even ties in with the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps. In terms of planning out and making a budget it is a great tool. The syncing is flawless as well. If budgeting scares you and the thought of tracking every transaction seems overwhelming, rest assured Everydollar will put you at ease with how easy it is to understand and actually do.
Why we have started to look elsewhere- This isn’t really a knock on Everydollar, but something to keep in mind of. Once you make a budget at the beginning of the month, you can’t just ignore it and only look at it sporadically. You need to manually enter each transaction that occurs. Now there are some pros to this. You know EXACTLY what is going into the budget because you and maybe one other person are putting everything in. It makes you really think of when you need to buy something because you may not want to put in the budget because it requires an extra step and extra work. It has definitely worked for us a few times. Enter Everydollar Plus. This will sync transactions from your bank to the app. It has almost always been priced at $100 for a year which just adds the bank syncing. In our opinion that is a pretty steep price. We wanted to save the money and thought manually entering would discipline us more. Now we are to the point where we want the convenience of bank syncing and were ready to try Everydollar Plus, however the cost is now $130!
Granted you get access to Financial Peace as well so that is a great extra value at $30, but it depends on where you are in your financial journey. If you are all in on Dave’s system and are trying to get out of debt, you were going to pay for Financial Peace anyway which was $100. $30 extra for Everydollar Plus seems like a great deal. We have nothing against Dave Ramsey, but we want to learn more than what Financial Peace offers. We feel like we have gotten as much value as possible out of Financial Peace as well so $130 for Everydollar Plus syncing seems like a lot if we most likely would not use the other resources. It would be nice if for $75 a year you could un-bundle Everydollar Plus from Financial Peace.
A few other reasons we switched-
- No searching on IOS app for categories- This is super annoying. It is minor, but a big time waster as every transaction you have to scroll through to find the correct category. The Android app does not have this problem.
- Can’t easily see how much money is remaining in each category- There are planned, spent, and remaining tabs on the top of the app. It is like this on the web page as well. The problem we have with this set up is we really care about how much is remaining in a category which means we always have to go over to the remaining tab to see how much is left in a category. In YNAB for example (this is the service we are testing out now) in one view you can see how much was planned and how much is remaining. If we really want to know how much we spent, we can do some simple math to figure it out.
- Hard to move money to different categories- You can move money around from category to category in Everydollar, however you have to take the money from the category, find the category you want to add it too, and than change that amount. It works and you can do it, it just is not easy and requires more steps than it should. In YNAB, if you are in a category there is a move money option. It opens up another menu that will show you how much is in your other categories so you can select which one you want to pull from, put in the amount, and it makes the change for you. You could argue that the whole point of a budget is to stick to it, but especially in the beginning it is hard to know how much you will spend and in general life happens. The budget will never be perfect unless you have an excess of money. If you are new to budgeting or your budget is tight each month, you will probably need to change money over to different categories. Everydollar is more difficult to do this then it should be.
- Check #s????- Dave is old school, but why is the check # field above the note field? We have never put a check # in, but almost always want to put notes in.
Some Pros of Everydollar-
- Syncing- Across Android, IOS, and the computer. Everydollar has never given us a problem with staying in sync.
- Very easy to understand- Make your budget, give every dollar a job, update the budget as you spend money, and see where your spending is going. This does not go as in depth like some budget trackers do. It is very simple to understand and follow.
- Can easily see transactions in a category.
- Graphs are basic, but functional. Tell you percentages of where your money in your budget is going.
- Favorite categories for easier finding.
- Funds for setting savings goals.
- Baby step goals (although we could never get this to work as easily as it we thought it should)
We are going to give You Need a Budget (YNAB) a try and will report on that. It was a great run with Everydollar and we still would highly recommend it. We may even come back to it, but even Dave would say, if something isn’t working as good as it should/could, don’t keep doing the same thing over and over!