Budgeting using Every Dollar (or other Apps)
I instantly loved Every Dollar, Dave Ramsey’s budgeting app. It is one of the apps on my phone that I use regularly (P.S. This is not a sponsored post). Every Dollar charges a $99 fee to download my bank transactions directly into their app, which I find to be worth it. In the past I have used Mint.com, but they had trouble importing transactions from my particular bank.
If you read my Cash Envelope System post earlier this week, you might wonder why I opt to budget apps instead of using cash. The main reason we use Every Dollar is that we find ourselves in need of airline miles lately.
So yes, after 7 years of no credit cards, we signed up for a card that earns us miles. My husband flies to California once a month for continuing education, so we found this to be the most affordable way to go.
Why Every Dollar?
✅ I can use a credit card responsibly
Yes, seriously, Dave Ramsey’s software helps me use a credit card! (If you don’t listen to Dave Ramsey, just know he is completely anti-credit or debt, which I would agree with him about!)
The danger of a credit card is the feeling it gives us of financial stability. In our minds we might think it’s a fall-back, but end up living above our means with credit.
Using Every Dollar and importing both our credit card and our checking account transactions puts all the expenditures into one pool where I can organize them into our budget categories. That way I’m sure to have the money to pay the credit card completely to zero several times a month and never to accrue interest.
✅ I don’t go to the bank anymore
With small children at home, eliminating extra errands for myself is very helpful.
✅ At-a-glance budgeting
Budgets that I can view how much we’ve spent, how much is left, and any overspending at a quick glance are the only budgets I will use. Paper budgets just can’t compete! Every Dollar and Mint.com both have capabilities to show spending at-a-glance.
Having my budget in my phone means that I can check it anytime. It also means my husband, who I signed in under the same login, has access to the budget as well. (Now to get him to check it now and then! But I’m the spender of the family, so it’s not a big deal.)
💸Tips for budgeting with Apps💸
First, connect all spending accounts to the app.
We connected Every Dollar to only our primary checking account and our credit card. These are the only accounts we make regular budgetary purchases from. I don’t connect our savings accounts, it just gets too messy with transfers.
Every Dollar imports all our transactions from these two accounts and provides a drag-and-drop system for categorizing each transaction. I can then categorize each swipe of the credit card or every Amazon purchase.
Be sure to get on the app every few days to keep track of where you are at with each spending category.
If I am not sure where the budget is before making a purchase, I open my phone app and make sure I have enough in the budget.
Make an “overspending” category under your expenses, and an “underspending” category under your income.
Each month we have one of two outcomes. We either go over budget a little, or stay under budget a bit. Here is how we rectify that:
-Under income we have an “underspending” category. If we underspend one month, then the following month I enter that amount in “underspending”. This way I am adding the unspent money back into our budget.
-Under expense we have an “overspending” category. The months that we go over budget, I take that amount and enter it into “overspending” for the following month, that way it is deducted from the budget.
Frequently check your bank account balances and make sure your budgeting software / app is tracking the transactions accurately.
It happens occasionally with using apps that I get duplicate transactions, or I categorize it incorrectly or accidentally delete one. I like to check our bank balance at the end of the month to make sure that I calculated correctly.
Finally, be sure to attach an overage account for any last-minute transfers needed.
With a zero-based budget, it’s super important to attach a savings account or leave buffer money in my checking account. If we have an unexpected fluctuation in expenses, I can quickly transfer money over to cover the expense. Some banks will connect an account to cover overdrafts for free. When we get paid, I transfer the “borrowed” money back to savings.
So how is a digital budget working for us so far?
- We love it! So far there has never been a month where we were over our head in credit card expenditures and couldn’t pay it off. Win! I have transferred every payment I can to the credit card so we can rack up the airline miles.Do you have a budget that works for you yet? If not, try using Every Dollar’s free version (if you don’t mind entering your own bank transactions), or Mint.com.If you are struggling to get out of debt, I recommend the following products. I know it might seem weird to spend a little money to get out of debt, but believe me, you need some tools for this journey!
This Dave Ramsey bestseller will inspire you to get on track with budgeting and debt repayment. Through his debt snowball, we were able to pay off $61,000 in 19 months!
(The link above is an affiliate link, but I only link to products I absolutely believe in!)
- This Skillshare course by Will Parker opens with a news story in which he shows up at a young couple’s house to help them get out of debt. I think you’ll enjoy having Will explain to you how to apply simple budgeting techniques, zero-based budgeting, and budgeting with apps.
- You can watch this course with a free trial to Skillshare for 1 month – watch as many video courses as you want in that month!
This debt snowball calculator is in my Etsy shop. It is a super easy-to-use Excel spreadsheet where you can enter each debt payment and see the numbers drop. I designed this calculator back when we were paying off our debts, and it was extremely helpful. At only $5, this is one of my shop’s top sellers.
Not reconciled to the idea of online budgeting? I also have this monthly budget spreadsheet in my shop, another popular seller at $5.