If you're a reader of WCM, there's a good chance you've heard of Dave Ramsey - bestselling author of The Total Money Makeover and host of The Dave Ramsey Show. Ramsey is arguably the most successful personality in the personal finance business today. One of his go-to advices is to create a budget and stick to it. So it's only fitting for his company to create a budget tool. Today we take a look at the EveryDollar Budget by Dave Ramsey.
Why budget with EveryDollar?
A budget is simply a plan for your income. There are many ways to create a budget. For example, Microsoft Excel has many polished templates for creating a budget for nearly every purpose. So why use EveryDollar? Here is why the company thinks you should use it:
"We believe budgeting should be easy and, dare we say it, FUN! Give every dollar a name and focus your money on what matters. The EveryDollar budget tool is a simple, personalized way to give every dollar you earn a name, every month."
Does it deliver?
EveryDollar's design is friendly and inviting - it definitely delivers on the "easy" part of its promise (see gallery below). However, whether it's "FUN" will be up to you. Despite my love for managing my money and all things personal finance, I still dread doing my budget every month - it serves as a much-too-frequent reminder of how little money I actually have. Overall I would say EveryDollar delivers on its mission in making the budgeting process as painless as possible (but it's still painful). EveryDollar also offers a nifty iPhone App for you to track and manage your budget on the go. Sorry Android fans, there's currently no Android App. (Update: Android App now available!)
How does EveryDollar make money?
The basic functions of EveryDollar is offered for free - anyone can create and manage a budget, all you need is a screen and an internet connection. There are 2 ways EveryDollar makes money:
- EveryDollar Plus - $99/yr subscription if you would like to import your transactions from your bank and credit card accounts. Quite a contradiction for a Dave Ramsey-endorsed product to sync with credit cards since he's long been a champion of NOT using credit cards.
- EveryDollar also serves as a gateway to the larger Ramsey Solutions empire (books, classes, affiliates, advertising etc.) much like how Android funnels you into the Google ecosystem.
If you have decided to take your personal finance seriously, then a monthly budget is a must-have. EveryDollar offers a FREE and simple solution to budgeting that makes that Excel spreadsheet you've been updating obsolete. It delivers on its promise to make budgeting as easy and fun as it could be. The free iOS app allows you to track and manage your budgets on the go (Android app in development). Dave Ramsey's got another winner on his hands. Try it out!
Note: I do not recommend subscribing to EveryDollar Plus for the following reasons:
- $99/year is too much to pay for transaction importing when Mint.com offers it for free.
- I've discovered entering my expenses manually actually reminds me of where and how I'm spending my money. In the world of credit cards and online shopping where it's easier than ever to spend money, this is a nice-to-have.