Back in January, I went to a preview class before Financial Peace University started. I was hemming and hawwing about whether or not we should attend, and spent a little time talking to a friend after the preview. He told me that he and his wife had been using an envelope system like Dave Ramsey recommends for a few months already, but with a family of four on such different schedules, carrying around cash in envelopes just wasn't going to happen. So they were using this app called EEBA, where you assign envelopes a certain amount of money per pay period, and then every time you make a purchase (with cash, credit card, debit, etc.), you simply create a transaction in the app and it keeps track of what you have left to spend in each category.
A sample of our monthly envelopes.
So I downloaded it to see if it would work for us. And so far, it's basically perfect for us. It's available for both iPhone and Android, so Matt and I can both use the app under the same account, and it syncs our transactions automatically so both of us can see what we have left to spend at any given point in time. You can also sync it to your bank account so you don't have to manually input transactions, but we haven't done that.
With the free app, you get 10 monthly envelopes and 10 long-term envelopes (and you can purchase more on a monthly basis if you need them).
The only thing I don't like about the app is that if you "deposit" uncategorized money directly into the app, it can be difficult to assign it to a category without screwing up either your total amount or the amounts in your envelopes. Luckily you can do this without a problem on their website, which also links to the app in real time. So every month when we do our budget, I just hop on the website to fill our envelopes. It's been a lot easier for me to keep on budget because of EEBA, and it's also taken away some of my spending guilt — because the money is already there and available to be spent!
Do you use an envelope system? How do you keep track of your budget?
I didn't get paid for this review, I just wanted to share in case anyone else is currently using or planning to use an envelope system for their money.