EveryDollar Review 2021: A Free Budgeting App for Canadians
Looking for a new budget app? There are several great options to choose from. Today, I’m reviewing one you may not be familiar with – EveryDollar. Like other online budgeting tools, EveryDollar makes it easy to set money goals and track your spending. In this article, I’ll let you know how EveryDollar works, how it compares to another leading budget app, and who I think it’s best suited for.
What Is EveryDollar?
EveryDollar is a budgeting app for your desktop or smartphone. It’s similar to other budget apps that you may be more familiar with, like Mint or YNAB. EveryDollar is Dave Ramsey’s brainchild, the enormously popular American personal finance author and radio show host. There is both a paid and free version of EveryDollar, and it is available in Canada and the US.
Getting Started with EveryDollar
To start budgeting with EveryDollar, you need to create a new account. This only takes a minute or two. On the EveryDollar website, you’ll be asked to provide your name, email address and create a password. You’ll also need to provide your address. Once that’s out of the way, you’ll be well on your way to creating your first EveryDollar budget.
How Does EveryDollar Work?
Like YNAB, another popular budgeting app, EveryDollar takes a zero-sum approach to budgeting. In other words, every dollar has a job. You start by inputting all of your income, and the budget isn’t complete until you’ve allocated 100% of the funds to an expense category. This could be anything from your mortgage or credit card to your retirement savings account.
There are eight preset spending categories in EveryDollar, but you can add as many of your own categories as you’d like. The first amount you input into each category is referred to as the Planned amount. Popular categories can be favourited for added visibility.
Categories don’t have to be for traditional expenses only. For example, if you wanted to build an emergency fund, you can create a savings category known as Funds. This is how you create savings goals within EveryDollar.
Once your categories are fully funded, you can switch between two different views; Remaining and Spent. While it’s likely obvious, the former lets you know how much money is left for the current time period, while the latter lets you know what’s been used.
I love the simplicity of how the different components of the budget interact with one another, and to me, this is the beauty of EveryDollar.
There are two versions of EveryDollar: FREE and EveryDollar Plus, which is $129.99 for 12 months. As I mentioned earlier, the paid version is only available in the US. I should point out that the price recently increased from $99.99, but so has the value. In addition to EveryDollar Plus, members get 2 other apps; Financial Peace and Baby Steps.
Here are some of the other features you get with EveryDollar:
- Create unlimited budgets.
- User-friendly mobile app.
- Links to Baby Steps by Dave Ramsey
- Email support (phone support included with Plus)
- Connect your bank accounts (Paid version only))
- Automatic syncing of debit and credit cards (paid version only)
Dave Ramsey’s Seven Baby Steps
Something unique about EveryDollar is that it incorporates Dave Ramsey’s patented Seven Baby Steps into the app, which is a simple guide to help people out of debt and set them on a path to financial freedom. As you use EveryDollar, the app lets you know how you’re progressing with Steps 1-3. In case you’re unfamiliar with the seven baby steps, here they are:
- Save $1000 as a starter emergency fund.
- Pay off all debt (aside from your mortgage) using the debt snowball method.
- Increase your emergency fund savings to 3-6 months of expenses.
- Invest 15% of your household income for retirement.
- Save for your children’s college fund.
- Pay off your home early.
- Build wealth and give to charity.
EveryDollar vs. Mint
When people think of budgeting apps, Mint is often the name that first comes to mind. And for a good reason, as the name has been synonymous with budgeting for almost 15 years, boasting over 10,000,000 users. You may be wondering how EveryDollar stacks up against Mint. Let’s find out by comparing their key features.
EveryDollar vs. Mint Pricing
EveryDollar has both free and paid versions, the difference being that with the free version, you have to track your transactions as it doesn’t sync to your debit and credit card accounts. The paid version, called EveryDollar Plus, is $129.99/year after a 14-day free trial but isn’t available in Canada.
Until further notice, Canadians can only use the free version of EveryDollar, with manual tracking. On the other hand, Mint doesn’t have a paid version and allows for automatic syncing of your accounts and transactions. The tradeoff comes in the form of annoying display ads on your screen, which is how Mint makes money.
For Canadians, the lack of a premium EveryDollar makes for a pretty clear choice. If you prefer the control of tracking your budget manually, EveryDollar may be the way to go. If that sounds cumbersome, and you’d rather the app do the heavy lifting for you, Mint is the best choice.
EveryDollar Pros and Cons
No budgeting app does everything perfectly, which is why it’s important to have a pros and cons list in any review. With that in mind, here’s what I love about EveryDollar, and what I’m not as fond of:
- Clean, easy-to-use interface.
- Clutter-free (unlike Mint, no annoying ads).
- Ties budgeting to Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps.
- Dedicated to budgeting, with no confusing bells and whistles.
- Manual tracking of account balances and transactions (free version).
- EveryDollar Plus (paid version) is not available in Canada.
Who Is EveryDollar Best Suited For
Because I’m writing this review with a Canadian audience in mind, I’m referring to the free version of EveryDollar when considering who it’s best suited for. In my mind, EveryDollar is perfect for anyone looking to gain control of their spending using a standalone budget app, without any extra bells and whistles. They’re comfortable with a zero-based budgeting method, and they don’t mind having to enter transactions manually. In fact, they probably see it as a benefit. If that isn’t you, and you’d rather have the app do the work, you’re better off sticking with Mint, which is also free.