No More Spreadsheets!
Are you making budgets the old school way? Pen and paper, spreadsheets, or in your head?
Well, now there’s the perfect app to manage your budget and tame your money so you don’t have to muddle your way through a complicated spreadsheet or deal with papers.
It’s called Everydollar. It’s based off the Dave Ramsey platform, and uses the zero-budget technique, It automates your budget faster than you can say “budget.”
Here’s a breakdown on this one-of-a-kind online and mobile application.
What is Everydollar?
Everydollar is an online budgeting tool designed to help you create a badass budget. It uses the zero-dollar technique of planning out your income and allocating money to your expense categories.
With Everydollar, you can quickly see where your budget is overspent or underspent. It’s an efficient money management tool that can be used in conjunction with other favorite money tools like Mint and Personal Capital.
How Does It Work?
Sign up is free, all you need is a name and email address.
If you are familiar with, or are on the Dave Ramsey money plan of Baby Steps, Everydollar can keep track of your Baby Steps.
If you’ve never heard of Dave Ramsey before, Everydollar can still help you become a budgeting boss. You don’t need to be on Baby Steps to use it.
No more spreadsheets!
Everydollar starts you off with the most obvious types of spending categories. Categories like, housing, transportation, utilities, personal categories, debt, and savings. You can adjust every category and fit it to your needs.
After setting up your main categories and subcategories, figure out how much you can expect for income next month (your budget is done one month in advance).
After setting your projected income, a banner at the top will tell you how much you have left to budget. As you allocate money toward spending categories, that number will change. Use it as your guide.
Keep plugging income money into your spending categories until that top banner says $0.00 left to budget and you get a green checkmark that says “it’s an every dollar budget.”
Congratulations! You’ve just planned out your money for the month.
As you spend throughout the month, input your transactions by clicking on the plus symbol at the top right hand corner of your dashboard.
Input all your transaction information and assign it a category.
It’s so easy to input transactions manually, you can do it in a matter of minutes depending on how many transaction you have.
Quick Tip: I spend 1 hour each Sunday inputting my receipts and any bank transactions, instead of opening up the app every time I make a purchase.
If you don’t want to manually input transactions, you can pay for Everydollar Plus. It’s only $99 a year. It allows you to link to your debit or credit card accounts (whichever cards you use to make everyday purchases), and will automatically be downloaded into Everydollar. From there, you just have to drag and drop transactions into the proper category. Easy as pie! And you’ve just become a budgeting badass!
And you’ve just become a budget managing badass!
However, if you’re a cheapo, like me, and you opt for the free version, you will have to input transactions manually. But that only takes an extra 10-20 seconds more than if I had the pro version. I can stand to save $99 a year if I have to type everything in manually.
The only problem I’ve ever had with Everydollar (since starting it in February) is the fact that once I create an emergency fund category, I can’t delete it.
As of this writing, there was no way to delete an emergency fund category, nor can you change it or rename it.
I questioned customer service about this problem, and they said the only way to get rid of it is to start a whole new budget.
I wasn’t going to do that, I spent too much time on it to start all over again. So I just zeroed mine out and left it.
If you end up making an extra emergency fund category, and you’ve already spent the time to create the rest of the budget, just zero it out and ignore it.
What Makes Everydollar So Great
No more spreadsheets and pen/paper budgets. Everything is automated with Everydollar. It was designed for people who normally use spreadsheets.
Alas, if you still want to hold onto this method, there is no harm in it. but you’ll quickly see that’s just making extra work for yourself. The only downside to that is as of this writing, there is no way to export your Everydollar information into spreadsheets. But that’s the only trade off – I’ve never been a fan of spreadsheets anyway.
Another great thing with Everydollar is that it guides you through the zero-dollar budget process by telling you how much there is left to budget, how much you’ve over or underspent, and shows a percentage allocation of where your income is going.
A third reason you’ll like Everydollar is the debt snowball tracking (Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps). When you create a debt category, just tell it how much you owe on it and as you make payments each month, it counts down for you. Here is a visual of what that looks like.
You don’t have to be on the Dave Ramsey get-out-of-debt baby step program to use and enjoy Everydollar.
If you’re not a fan of Dave’s methods, you can at least take advantage of the free ELP service (endorsed local provider – see below), and the debt snowball countdown (above).
Note: as of this writing, the Ramsey team has changed the ELP program around. If you’re looking for investing help, that program is now called SmartVestor. The ELP program connects you to tax, real estate, and insurance professionals. While SmartVestor connects you to investment professionals.
For the logistics on how a zero-dollar budget works, click here.
Everydollar first went mobile on iPhone. Android just went live a couple months ago, and I’m super excited.
The mobile application allows you to manage your budget on the go.
Input and categorize transactions, create new budgets and see all spending and remaining money. It is limited in that you can’t see your baby steps (if you choose to use them) but still allows you to connect to local providers through the endorsed local provider (ELP) program.
Before Everydollar was on Android, I used to print out the budget and keep it with me (yea, I’m a nerd like that).
Now I can check my budget balances, make changes and move money around all on the fly.
What You’ll Love About Everydollar
- Ease of use
- Access to Endorsed Local Providers
- Debt payoff tracker
- Extensive help section
What You Won’t Like About Everydollar
- There’s no way to delete the emergency fund category once it’s created.
- No exporting information onto .csv file.
- Manually entering all transactions (a trade off for being free).
- It will take a couple months to get used to this budget technique if you’ve never used the zero-dollar technique before.
My Final Two Cents
I cannot imagine doing a budget without Everydollar.
After years of doing spreadsheets, paper and pencil, and using different budgeting methods that didn’t work out for me, Everydollar is a Godsend.
It’s perfect for making budgets and managing money. And it perfectly fits in with my other favorite money tools like Mint and Personal Capital.
What money management tool(s) do you use to plan and track your income and expenses?