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A Review of Dave Ramsey’s New Budget Tool ‘EveryDollar’

Dave Ramsey has produced an amazing product to bring the world of Zero Based Budgeting to the Nerds and Free Spirits of the world.

MeetEveryDollar

If there ever was a digital tool that could help get the earnest seeker of financial freedom to rock solid financial stewardship, this is it. I mean it. EveryDollar is amazing.

Amazewife and I received an invitation to join the site since we are paying members of the MyTotalMoneyMakeover tool. We jumped on it. It was a 90 day free trial of the EveryDollar Plus.

Now, it’s not perfect. It has its cons, which I will review in brief. The important thing is for you to know how great I think this tool is. (By the way, I am doing this review on my own. I have not gone into cahoots with DR. I am not being paid. I really do believe in this.)

The Pros and Cons (In Brief)

Pros:

  • It is gorgeous, with plenty of white space. It is easy to read and very smooth. I think Apple nuts will be proud.
  • It is automated. Heavily. I love being able to say that my “Tires and Repairs” budget item is a fund, and that it will track the balance. I’m a delivery guy. This is important.
  • Three words: Drag and Drop. I love being able to drag a transaction from my bank account (Plus) or a transaction I create (free) and just plop it where it belongs. I can even split the transaction into two and assign each split.
  • Everything is free except for FastTrack benefits, and I believe the convenience is worth the cost if you can fit it into your Gazelle Intense budget.

Cons:

  • Debt items don’t calculate interest accrual. The focus is more that the item is categorized and tracked in the budget.
  • You can’t search transactions by dollar amount. This is more important for Plus subscribers. I search my bank statements by dollar amount for specific transactions. One of the gnomes agreed that it would be useful. They told me that they are mentioning that to their project lead.
  • Transaction pull delays. Again, this is for Plus subscribers, but the banking transactions do not pull in the moment.

The Main Page

After you sign up for the tool and log in, you are taken to the main budgeting page by default. Here’s what it looks like.

 

MainScreenLayout

1. Budget and Baby Steps

BudgetBaby

Did I mention that this site belongs to Dave Ramsey? It is meant to help those who are willing to walk the Baby Steps laid out in the Total Money Makeover and Financial Peace University. For more information on the steps, visit those links. We’ll come back to the EveryDollar specifics on that in a bit.

2. Categories

Categ

The Categories view of the main page is where you make your plan. The categories are flexible. You can add items  or delete them. You can also rename them. Each budget line item has the ability to switch between Planned/Remaining and Planned/Spent views.

Each item has a Card. When you select your budget item, the Card appears on the right with different options. Debts allow you to classify them as such with current balances and minimum payments. This calculates your Debt Snowball.

Here’s one of our Debt Cards (not Debit cards):

DebtCard

Here’s one of our regular Expense category Cards:

ExpenseCard

3. Account and Transaction Buttons

This is where Plus members can link any kind of account using FastTrack. I was able to add all of our accounts with ease. Transactions drop into EveryDollar once every few hours.

***CON ALERT*** It’s not as fast as Mint.com on transaction grabs. But it’s still awesome.

Plus, the transactions line up across the right side of the screen. You can then drag and drop them in their spending category and the work is done for you. The transactions are then categorized as “tracked” and you’re rolling.

Two constants in the world.

4. Planned/Spent/Remaining Statistics

plannedspent

This little wheel of happiness is a great visual representation of where you sit. I haven’t played with it too much. Go play with it yourself. Leave a comment. But I love how I can see where I’m spending my cash by percentages and what that means against the whole.

5. Help Center

Help Center

Oh boy. Oh man. The help center. I HEART the help center. It allows for quick access to the FAQ section, and you can even drop a personalized note to the gnomes at Financial Peace Plaza.

I must confess: I have abused this one. I’ve sent love notes. Sad notes. Excellent notes. Whiney notes. Feature requests. Bug reports. Ok, I’m making it out to be bigger than it is. I think I’ve only emailed them four or five times. One was a bug report. Two or three were feature questions. Every time I got a note back, and every time I knew it was a person. They have been GREAT help.

Now, the Baby Steps View…

BabySteps

When they say in an infographic that they will track your progress, they’re not kidding. Each baby step listed follows a fairly straightforward layout. Here’s BS 1:

BabyStep1

As you can see, it describes the fund. It also provides a graphic that fills up as you register deposits into your savings category on your main screen. Not every step has a dynamic graphic. Also on each baby step is a link to more information on what the step means. Here’s BS2:

Baby step 2

Forgive the red. Our debt is NOT paid off. This picture lies. Our personal graphic is NOT a green check mark. But it will be.

It lists all 7 Baby Steps with similar information. But here’s my favorite:

BS7

I wonder how many people out there think that being debt free is pretentious. That seeking out wealth is evil. That sacrificing to make this happen has a bad end. I don’t believe it. Not any more. This is what God wants us to do with our money: be good stewards of it, work it in righteous ways to make more of it, then give most of it away with plenty to spare for all the great things we want to do before we die. Gives me goosebumps.

Whatever you plan on doing with your financial stewardship, take a second. Think about it. Look into the future. Are you living paycheck to paycheck? My wife and I haven’t been for over a year. Going on two. Are you wondering when the axe will fall on some debt or another, some thing or another, some payment or another? Again, take it from me. I’ve been there. I’m not there.

This tool has made it even easier to get to those places, and get there faster. It’s not a sprint of course. It’s just picking up the pace in the marathon. But man oh man is it worth it. Go check it out. Sign up. It’s free. Pay for the FastTrack. It’s awesome. Get serious about telling your money where to go or you’ll wonder where it went till you’re old and dead.

Until I’m old and dead,

ROE INTENSE

Comments

  1. You are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by! I hope it helps lots of people live the financial lives they may or may not know they can!

      Delete
  2. Thanks for your review. I'm a user of MInt.com but I was thinking about checking out EveryDollar to see it it would work for my needs. This helps!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I used Mint for a long time. I can't state enough how much I appreciate a lack of credit advertisements and so on while having a dynamite, robust budgeting tool. Let me know if you try it and what you think!

      Delete

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