How to Budget Using the Every Dollar App (Video Tutorial)

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I’m really excited about today’s post and video, because I’m actually going to walk you through my process of getting ready for our budget meeting, and how to make a budget, using Dave Ramsey’s EveryDollar app.

I’m going to get really fancy on you and share my screen and do a whole tutorial.

Hopefully, this will motivate you to get your budget done.

I like to use paper, but I also like to use this app when my husband and I are doing the budget together because it’s really organized.

Related: How to Make a Budget Binder (free printables)

It saves your budget every month so you can look back at old months.

So, now that we’ve been using it for over a year, I can look back at 2019, and remind myself of anything that’s missing.

It’s really easy and user friendly, and I really love it.

This post is not sponsored.

We started using EveryDollar after we took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University last year, and it’s been really useful for us.

Related: Financial Peace University Review

I usually go in and do a little bit of preparation so that the budget meeting goes faster, and I’m already prepared with our basic budget items that don’t change very much every month.

That just makes things run a little more smoothly.

So head to EveryDollar.com. There is also a mobile app, but I think it’s a lot easier, especially if you’re having a budget meeting with somebody else, to do all of this on your desktop.

There is a free version of this. We got the paid version, the subscription, with our Financial Peace University membership.

It’s an annual membership which we did renew for this year, we started in 2019, because we liked the app so much.

The difference in the free and paid version is that the paid version connects directly to your bank. So your transactions come right in.

Then you can organize your transactions.

The only difference is that the free version you have to go in, and enter the transactions manually, which might not be that big of a deal to you.

It’s just easier to let the transactions auto populate for us.

Whenever you open up your main screen you can go up to the right hand corner and it will show that you have a transaction if there is a new one.

{See video} So I’m going to click on that, and I see Trieagle Energy, this is our electricity. So that cleared and went through. I’m just going to go over here, and I’m going to drag it to our electricity. You can see we budgeted $112.49 for that, and everything’s good. So at the time of this video, it’s the end of the month — almost the end of the month, and most of our bills have already been paid.

I’m just going to show you how I get set up for March and exactly what I do.

At the top it should say “It’s an EveryDollar Budget” at the top because that means you have assigned every single dollar to a job. The only reason I have a little bit extra up here — it’s the end of the month and we’ve already made our extra debt payment and everything, but I still left a little bit of “miscellaneous” just in case anything crazy comes up here at the end of the month.

Then, we’ve got this random refund from a doctor’s office yesterday, so that was an extra $90 that I’m going to leave in the budget and, hopefully, that’s an extra $172.32 that can be thrown at debt.

I’m just going to wait until the last day of the month in case anything crazy comes up like an extra birthday party or something we forgot about.

Usually we’re pretty good, but it happens.

It’s been a year since we first started using the Every Dollar App. When you first log in, there are some categories already there for you to get started.

The nice thing is you can copy over the next month. So you can start off with what you had last month, and it gives you a good place to start so you’re not just blindly doing your budget.

But the first time you do it you are going to have to kind of estimate and adjust as you go along.

How to Budget using the EveryDollar App (Real Life Example)

{See video} The first thing I’m going to do is click on March 2020. These dotted lines means there’s not a budget ready yet.

I’m going to go in and start planning for March. It will copy February’s budget to get you started.

Here’s February’s budget. I already know March is going to be a little strugglish of a month because my husband is not going to be doing his normal side hustle that he usually does. He usually does it every month, but this month he’s not.

My blog paycheck I do not count in our normal budget. Anything extra I earn from that goes straight to debt, so I’m not going to put that in our initial budget.

Related: My first blog income report

If I get extra money later on in the month, then I will put that towards debt or whatever. I’m not going to bank on that because that’s very unstable income.

I don’t think anyone’s getting birthday money or anything like that this month. I’m just going to delete this line because that’s a random thing.

So we know we’re starting off with just under $5,000, and it’s already telling us that we’re way over budget up here.

This is really cool because it tells you exactly what’s going on.

We’re already over budget, so we need to go cut some stuff out right now.

I’m going to go through. We’re going to keep the “church” the same. Actually, it auto-drafts based on how many Sundays there are, so let me look at a calendar. There are one, two, three, four, five Sundays in March. So we’re automatically going to be at $250 for giving.

Related: Debt Free Journey Update February 2020

Then I’m going to go down here. Our electricity bill, it doesn’t come out how much is due for the next month until the fifth of the next month, so I never know going into it. I just leave it the same. If this was August and I knew we were going to use a lot of electricity for air conditioning, I might bump this up just to account for it. But I don’t think it’ll be really much more than that.

Then, the water bill I can’t actually look up since it is still early in February. Yeah, it is kind of still early. I swear, this has been the longest month. I’m not even kidding. The longest short month ever.

It’s still saying zero due, so what I’m going to do for water — water really doesn’t change that much for us. So I’m going to keep it the same, too. What I can do is just go in and adjust. If it’s more, that’ll be just be less that goes to debt, and I won’t make any rash decisions for that payment until I know those bills for sure.

Home security is always the same every month. Internet’s the same. We switched to YouTube TV from PlayStation Vue because PlayStation Vue went out of business. We have YouTube TV, and I have that there.

Kid commissions, we’ve been playing around with doing chores for our kids. I don’t know if they’re just too young, but they’re not really that motivated by money right now. I don’t know, I’m just going to leave that zero for now. If we have extra money, then we might try to go back to doing chores this month or something. It’s going to be a tight month, so I’m keeping everything low.

Some of these things I keep here every month to remind me to do them if we have extra money or something, like a car sinking fund. I am a little worried about one of our cars — not our van but our other car — because it’s doing some weird stuff. So we need to probably get that looked at.

We do have our emergency fund, though, if anything were to happen. But it’s only $1,000. So we might need to start thinking about doing some car sinking fund. We’ll see how much money we have left over in the budget before we do that.

Related: How to save $1,000 fast for Baby Step 1

We always consider things like tolls or oil changes. I leave those categories in my budget to jog my memory.

We grocery shop on Thursdays. Therefore, we need to see how many Thursdays are in the month so we can adjust our budget accordingly.

We typically spend $100 a week on groceries. Sometimes more if we are going to do a big Costco trip. That can sometimes increase the budget.

This month we’re going to have one, two, three, four Thursdays.

I’ll discuss this in the budget meeting with my husband, and see what he thinks, but I’m going to put $500, an extra $100 on top of the $400 a week, to keep us on track. Then I’ll talk to him, and see what he things about it because he likes to do the grocery shopping.

Related: How to Save Money on Groceries (without coupons)

Our gym membership is going to be the same every month. Netflix is the same.

We have our fun money, which we usually do $100 each. That might have to go away if we can’t get this down. That’s just how it is.

We might want to set aside school parties because they always pop up with random parties and fund raisers and stuff at school, and I never know. I’m going to leave that blank and see how much we have left over.

Birthday parties, we will brainstorm that. My son turns two, but we already budgeted for that last month. Titus’s birthday we budgeted for last month.

I don’t think we have we have any birthdays in March. We might have some cards we need to send out for family members. Other than that, I don’t know think we have any. We’ll just have to look and see if there’s — we’ll brainstorm our kids’ friend’s birthday parties.

You can look back at your previous year’s budget. So if you’ve been using this for a year — let me look back at March 2019 and see. We were bringing home more money and spending more money like crazy. Our rent was so much. Oh, my God. It’s crazy. I can look through here and see what we did. We were being pretty frugal by March of last year because we were struggling. We were kind of figuring it out. Oh, we had car payments back then, too.

Okay, nothing really pops up other than my son’s birthday. He’ll need his two-year check-up at the doctor. But we might wait, depending on how much money we have this month, to go do that because we have Christian Healthcare Ministries.

The plan that we have, we just pay cash for our check-ups. We call the doctor ahead of time and ask how much it’s going to be and ask for a self-pay discount. That’s what we do.

Related: How to save money on healthcare expenses

Childcare’s going to be $320.

Budgeting for Miscellaneous Expenses with the EveryDollar App

I just have this to remind us. Does our dog need a vet visit? Are we going to have a babysitter for anything this month?

Printer ink, I have HP Instant Ink, and it is connected to my printer. So if we’re running low, it sends me a new one, which is cool because you don’t run out of ink. And it’s pretty cheap. $10.81 a month, usually, or every two months, depending on how much ink we use. It’s been working out well. I don’t know if we’re running low or not. I’m going to just keep it there just in case.

Amazon Prime renewed last month. So I’m going to delete that. It’s not going to be an issue this month.

We enrolled our children in their spring activities, dance and gymnastics. They were both a one-time fee.

I have “miscellaneous” $3.00 here. I don’t know. I’m just going to put zero right now for that.

We still are at $914 over budget. So it’s a little scary.

Contacts, I use Hubble which is like a contact subscription service that I have that on here.

Then I have this to remind me. Do the kids need a doctor’s appointment? Do we need protein powder? Do we need to go to the doctor for anything or be saving for doctor’s visits for anything?

Then, insurance is always the same. $135 is our Christian Health Ministries fee. Auto, homeowner, identify theft, boom.

Budgeting for Debt Payments with the EveryDollar App

Our minimum payments are going to be credit card, student loan, and Navient is more. I saw that on here. Let me look. $1,662.27 is our minimum student loan payment. Yikes.

That’s why I don’t want to be still paying that 20 years from now. That’s going to be our minimum payment. We’re still $1,055.85 over. So, see, this is going to be rough. Last month we put extra debt. We put $709.79. Delete.

That still puts us $346.06 over. Let’s see what we’re going to get rid of. We’re not going to get fun money. That’s for sure.

The groceries are the only other thing we can really make a variable. So we’re going to have to get creative. I can’t do this math. $353.94.

Now it’s an EveryDollar budget. But we have no money for groceries.

This might stress you out because we’re not putting extra to debt. These are our personal debts here. Then, we have the business, and we have business debt. So we have another $3,000 of minimum debt payments that get paid through the business.

Then what I’ll do is, if we’re having a pretty good month at the office, I might bring home an extra $1,000 from the office as an owner distribution.

Then, that would get paid on our next smallest debt, which our next smallest debt is a student loan which is a personal debt. So that would get paid on the our next month’s debt.

What also is probably going to happen is I’m going to bring home some money from my blog this month.

With it being March, we might do some spring cleaning and sell some stuff, sell some clothes or shoes and different things on Poshmark.

Maybe we’ll even have a garage sale. I don’t know. That’s probably crazy talk.

Usually, my husband does some extra call-coverage and makes an extra income of about $1,500 a month.

Usually, we’re sitting here with $1,500 extra after I do this base. Then I go to my husband, and I say, “Okay, we have $1,500 extra, or whatever. $2,000 extra in our budget. Let’s think about what else we’re forgetting.” Then we go through and start adding in. Oh, we need an oil change. Don’t forget Amazon Prime is up for renewal. Little things like that. That was in February, so it’s fresh on my mind.

That’s how you do it.

You do the basics.

If this was true every month, I would be like, “Alright, we have got to do something. We need to get rid of the internet and the TV and stuff because we can’t afford it.”

It would be really hard.

You’d have to cut more stuff because the gym, Netflix, those aren’t necessities. Most months we do okay to afford them, and pay extra debt.

Then, like I said, we’ll see depending on how the office does. I’ve been kind of checking in with my office budget on the 10th and the 25th of the month. Then I do a percentage of whatever’s in the account which will go to debt. I’m kind of trying this method out. More on that soon.

This is how we do the EveryDollar budget.

Kind of not very exciting because there’s nothing left at the end of this budget.

I’ll try to do another one where we have a higher-income month.

Then show you guys what we end up doing with the extra money that’s left over. But I hope that this is really helpful because then it’s really cool. As income comes in, I drag it over from the “transaction” section.

How to use the EveryDollar App budget with cash envelopes

We, obviously, take out our cash for our fun money, for example.

Then, if I order something online on Amazon like a book or something using my fun money, it’s going to show up in the transactions.

So what I do is I just delete it because I’m taking the cash and I put it in — we have a little bucket.

I put it in there so it’s accounted for. If there’s a lot in there, we either use it to stuff our cash envelopes for the following month, or we put it back in the bank if it’s a lot or something.

So if I end up using my entire $100 of fun money doing online shopping, that entire $100 either goes back in the bank to account for that, then I would delete those transactions here so that it’s more organized, or we use it to stuff the envelopes for the next month.

It’s going back in to the budget because it’s being accounted for with cash.

Related: How to budget with the cash envelope system

I check the Every Dollar App pretty frequently, at least once a week, sometimes more, just to see where we’re at because I don’t want to be overwhelmed and have all these transactions filling up here.

I highly recommend this. I like to do a paper budget, and I also like to do this because this is nice when you’re married and your spouse wants to be able to see everything really clear.

I like to go through and have this already done. I’m going to present — present this? I’m going to present this to my husband and show him that we have no money left. That’s going to be fun.

Basically, not every month is like this. Last month we had a really good month.

If you’ve never used the EveryDollar app and you want to try it, you can sign up for free here.

We love to use this budgeting app to organize our budget and to get on the same page and have our budget meetings every month.

It helps us stay really organized, and it’s been working really well for us.

If you are a paper/printable budget-planner kind of girl like me, I do have free budget printable that you can get here.



2 thoughts on “How to Budget Using the Every Dollar App (Video Tutorial)”

  • You did a great job at showing what you do, but I was expecting a walk through of the site and what it can do. You were making assumptions that the viewer had alot of pre-knowledge. You have a good video presence, great voice and it’s clear you love to show what works. I would just fine tune it to be more reflective of a tutorial.

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