EveryDollar vs. YNAB [2024]: Simple vs. Advanced Budgeting

SAVING & SPENDING - BUDGETING & EXPENSES
You can try out both of these budgeting apps using their free trials, but only EveryDollar has a free version.
Updated April 12, 2024
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EveryDollar and You Need A Budget (YNAB) are similar apps that allow you to track spending and savings. However, we prefer YNAB because of its advanced budgeting capabilities.

We think EveryDollar makes sense if you want a free and simple app for budgeting or to follow the budgeting guidelines of Dave Ramsey, the financial guru behind EveryDollar. That said, we recommend YNAB for people already familiar with budgeting strategies and who want access to more comprehensive features.

Let’s explore our EveryDollar versus YNAB review to see which budgeting app makes the most sense for you.

In this EveryDollar vs. YNAB comparison

Key takeaways

  • We like EveryDollar as a simple and free budgeting app. If you’re planning to pay for a premium subscription, we think YNAB is the better option because it has better features, including the option to create multiple budgets.
  • EveryDollar and YNAB offer free trials, but only EveryDollar has a free plan. EveryDollar Premium is $17.99 per month while YNAB is $14.99 per month. Both budgeting apps have annual plans that can lower your monthly costs.
  • Both EveryDollar and YNAB offer bank connectivity to make income and expense tracking easier. (But you can’t connect American Express accounts to EveryDollar.)
  • Following Dave Ramsey's teachings, EveryDollar has a debit-card-only payment policy. Technically, it’s an honor policy that they want you to follow, but we were able to sign up for a free trial with a credit card.

Compare EveryDollar vs. YNAB

EveryDollar YNAB
Features
  • Budgeting
  • Insights
  • Bank account linking
  • Savings goals
  • Expense categories
  • Single budget
  • Budgeting
  • Reports
  • Bank account linking
  • Savings goals
  • Expense categories
  • Multiple budgets
Pricing
  • Free version
  • $17.99 a month or $79.99 a year for EveryDollar Premium
  • $19.99 a month (every 3 months) or $129.99 a year for EveryDollar Premium with Ramsey+
  • $14.99 a month or $99 a year
Free trial Yes — 14 days Yes — 34 days
Platform availability
  • On desktop via a web browser
  • On iOS devices via the App Store
  • On Android devices via Google Play
  • On desktop via a web browser
  • On iOS devices via the App Store
  • On Android devices via Google Play
Best for Dave Ramsey enthusiasts and people who want a simple budgeting tool for tracking spending and savings People already familiar with budgeting or anyone who’s willing to learn advanced techniques
Visit EveryDollar Visit YNAB or read our review

Our verdict

If you want a free budgeting app, EveryDollar is the better choice because of its easy-to-use interface. We also think EveryDollar makes more sense if you’re new to budgeting. But if you’re familiar with budgeting or are motivated to learn advanced budgeting techniques, we recommend YNAB.

YNAB (You Need A Budget) Benefits

  • Manage your money easily, simply, and conveniently
  • Tools to help you pay off debt, save more, and budget better
  • Use a simple 4-step method to organize your finances
  • New users save $600 on average in their first two months
  • Try it free for 34 days

How does EveryDollar work?

Pros
  • Has a free version and a free 14-day trial for EveryDollar Premium
  • Doesn’t have in-app ads
  • Easy to get started and use for tracking spending and savings
Cons
  • Can only pay with a debit card*
  • Can’t add American Express bank accounts

*Ramsey Solutions says it doesn’t accept credit cards, but it’s an honor system. They don’t want you to use a credit card, but you can (we did).

EveryDollar is a simple budgeting app from Ramsey Solutions, a company founded by Dave Ramsey. It uses zero-based budgeting — a strategy that has a purpose for every dollar you make — to help you cover your expenses and reach savings goals.

EveryDollar subscription plans are divided into:

Subscription Cost
EveryDollar
  • Free
EveryDollar Premium
  • Free 14-day trial
  • $17.99/mo
  • $79.99/yr
EveryDollar Premium with Ramsey+
  • $19.99/mo (paid every 3 months)
  • $129.99/yr

We think that the premium version of EveryDollar is a decent but expensive budgeting solution for what you get. Fortunately, there’s a free version you can use without a time limit. You can also try the EveryDollar Premium free trial to test the app.

We personally don’t love how connected the app is to Dave Ramsey's financial opinions, including a hatred of credit cards and a grudge against American Express. But we see the value EveryDollar brings for people who are new to budgeting and need a tool to focus their efforts.

Visit EveryDollar.

How does YNAB work?

Pros
  • Has a free 34-day trial
  • Doesn’t have in-app ads
  • Offers multiple budgets
Cons
  • Doesn’t have a free version
  • Can be complicated for new users

YNAB is a budgeting app that tracks your spending and savings, but we found that it can be so much more if you’re willing to use it consistently over time.

YNAB subscription plans are divided into:

Subscription Cost
YNAB
  • Free 34-day trial
  • $14.99/mo
  • $99/yr

We found the app to be a bit overwhelming at first. But after some research and testing, including reading other users’ experiences, we realized this wasn’t beginner budgeting software at all.

Similar to EveryDollar, YNAB uses zero-based budgeting to help you find a use for every dollar you make. But with YNAB, you can create multiple budgets and connect all major bank accounts.

It takes time to continuously check and reconcile your budget (and simply learn how YNAB works), but, as many YNAB enthusiasts can testify, it can yield amazing results.

Visit YNAB...

...Or read our YNAB review.

YNAB (You Need A Budget)
Use This App to Gain Total Control of Your Money

EveryDollar vs. YNAB: What both budgeting apps excel at

  • Track spending: A budgeting basic is knowing how much you’re spending. With both EveryDollar and YNAB, you can easily track all your expenses.
  • Track savings: You can use either app to create savings goals so you have a plan for any extra money you might have.
  • Categories: You have the option to add and adjust expense and savings categories how you want.
  • Bank connections: It’s easy to connect financial accounts to either app, so you don’t have to manually enter income and expenses. YNAB uses Plaid to make connections, while EveryDollar uses Finicity.
  • Free trials: Both apps offer free trials to new users. EveryDollar offers a 14-day free trial while YNAB offers a 34-day free trial.
  • Spending and income reporting: With EveryDollar, you can check the Insights page to see past income and spending. With YNAB, you can see your spending, net worth, and income versus expense amounts on the Reports page.
  • Referrals: Both apps have referral programs. With EveryDollar, your referrals can receive $10 off an annual plan. With YNAB, you and your qualified referrals receive a free month of YNAB.
  • Export transactions: If you prefer working with spreadsheets, you can export your data from EveryDollar and YNAB to a CSV file.
  • Mobile apps: EveryDollar and YNAB are available on web browsers as well as for iOS devices via the App Store and Android devices via Google Play.

6 important differences between EveryDollar and YNAB

1. Pricing

EveryDollar Premium costs $17.99 per month or $79.99 per year, which is about $6.67 per month. You can also get EveryDollar Premium through a Ramsey+ subscription, which costs:

  • $59.99 for three months ($19.99 per month)
  • $99.99 for six months ($16.66 per month)
  • $129.99 for 12 months ($10.83 per month)

YNAB costs $14.99 per month or $99 per year, which is about $8.25 per month.

Winner: It’s a tie because it depends on your needs. EveryDollar is cheaper if you choose an annual plan. But if you prefer a monthly plan, YNAB has the better month-to-month price.

2. Free plans

EveryDollar offers a free plan with basic features, including a customizable budget and savings funds.

YNAB doesn’t offer a free plan.

Winner: EveryDollar because it has a free plan.

3. Free trials

With EveryDollar, you can take advantage of a 14-day free trial of EveryDollar Premium. This plan has more features than the free plan, including bank connectivity, paycheck planning, and goal setting.

There is no free plan with YNAB, but you can take advantage of a 34-day free trial with access to all available features.

Winner: YNAB because it has a longer free trial.

4. Bank connections

Both EveryDollar and YNAB let you connect bank accounts for automatic income and expense syncing. However, you can’t sync an American Express account with EveryDollar because Dave Ramsey doesn’t allow it.

YNAB doesn’t have any such restrictions on the types of bank accounts you can link.

Winner: YNAB because it lets you link all major bank accounts, including American Express.

5. Multiple budgets

EveryDollar only lets you add one budget per account. To add another budget — including for a business or another person — you would need to create a second Ramsey account.

YNAB lets you create multiple budgets using one account. This could be useful if you and your spouse have separate bank accounts and budgets, if you want to help manage the budget of an elderly relative, or if you want your business budget to be separate from your personal budget.

Winner: YNAB because you can create multiple budgets with one account.

6. Payment options

Technically, you can use a debit card or credit card to pay for your EveryDollar or YNAB subscription.

However, EveryDollar makes it seem like you can only use a debit card by stating, “We don’t accept credit cards,” and explaining the reason behind this, which is that Dave Ramsey doesn’t like credit cards. But part of the explanation reveals that you can use a credit card to pay for EveryDollar because it’s an honor system.


We tested it out with a credit card number and it worked fine to start our EveryDollar trial.

We didn’t actually have to provide any payment information to start the YNAB free trial, which was a welcome surprise.

Winner: YNAB because it welcomes debit and credit cards alike.

Which budgeting app should you choose?

When you should choose EveryDollar

  • You’re a Dave Ramsey fan
  • You want to use a free budgeting app
  • You want a simple budgeting app for tracking your spending and savings
  • You only need to track one budget
  • You already subscribe to Ramsey+

When you should choose YNAB

  • You’re familiar with basic budgeting strategies
  • You don’t mind paying a $14.99 monthly fee or a $99 annual fee
  • You’re willing to learn more complicated budgeting techniques
  • You want an advanced budgeting app for tracking your spending and savings
  • You want to track multiple budgets from the same app

What factors to consider before choosing

As you compare different budgeting apps, including EveryDollar and YNAB, consider these factors.

  • Pricing: Subscription costs for budgeting apps vary. EveryDollar and YNAB are slightly more expensive than some of the best budgeting apps, but free trials or free apps could be worth exploring.
  • Features: Most apps offer spending and savings tracking. For example, EveryDollar has Insights to see your spending and income over time while YNAB has Reports that do essentially the same thing.
  • Budgeting style: Both EveryDollar and YNAB use zero-based budgeting, assigning every dollar to an expense or savings goal. Other budgeting styles are available in different apps.
  • Bank connections: EveryDollar doesn’t support American Express due to Dave Ramsey’s personal opinion, not compatibility issues. Users of American Express should consider other apps.
  • Customer support: We tested the chat support options with EveryDollar and YNAB, and they were both lackluster experiences. In general, we were asked to wait one or two business days to receive a chat response.
  • Device compatibility: Both apps are accessible via web browser, iOS, or Android. However, EveryDollar’s Google Play rating is 3.4 out of 5 stars. Compare that to YNAB on Google Play, which has a 4.6 out of 5 rating.

FAQ

Is EveryDollar no longer free?

EveryDollar has free and premium versions of its popular budgeting app. The free version includes features for a customizable budget and savings funds. The Premium version starts at $17.99 per month or $79.99 per year and includes the same features as the free version, as well as bank connectivity, financial roadmap, paycheck planning, and more.

What budgeting app does Dave Ramsey recommend?

Dave Ramsey recommends EveryDollar, a budgeting app with free and premium versions that is designed to help you cut your monthly expenses and save money. EveryDollar was launched in 2015 by Ramsey Solutions, a company created and run by Dave Ramsey.

Can I use YNAB for free?

YNAB offers a free 34-day trial but doesn’t have a completely free version. Its monthly plan starts at $14.99. You can also choose to pay $99 for an annual subscription, which comes out to $8.25 per month.

EveryDollar vs. YNAB: bottom line

YNAB is our overall recommendation because it makes sense as a valuable budgeting app that can lead to real change. You can create multiple budgets, and once you learn how its zero-based budgeting system works, you could create lasting habits that lead to less spending and more saving.

EveryDollar has some similarities to YNAB, but you inevitably run into Dave Ramsey's opinions and beliefs that could sour the experience. For example, EveryDollar has a debit-card-only payment policy and is not able to connect American Express bank accounts to your app.

If these apps don’t seem like the right fit for you, check out our list of the best budgeting apps.

YNAB (You Need A Budget) Benefits

  • Manage your money easily, simply, and conveniently
  • Tools to help you pay off debt, save more, and budget better
  • Use a simple 4-step method to organize your finances
  • New users save $600 on average in their first two months
  • Try it free for 34 days

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.

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