In the second week of my EveryDollar review, I’m going to try my hand at entering some transactions. With summer winding down and school about to start it seems I have been spending more then I recollect on haircuts, uniforms and supplies (school supplies are killing my budget.) Because I had not logged on since last weekend, I wasn’t even sure how to add a transaction. So I went the “help center” which gave me short easy directions.
It was pretty similar to all the other sites I have reviewed so far. You enter ;the amount, transaction date, merchant name and category you would like it to come out of. One interesting feature is an option to split the transactions between different categories. This can come in handy when you go to a big box store, such as Wal-Mart or Target, where you are buying groceries and housewares in the same purchase. On my budget these would be two separate categories so it is helpful to account for them this way.
Another feature to note is if you wrote out a check, you can also denote the check number and add notes under more options. This might be helpful for others. I write few checks and when I do it is for reoccurring charges such as the water bill. So I probably wouldn’t take the time to use this feature.
Once you enter all the transactions you can see them listed on the side bar under the transactions column. Likewise, the amounts of these transactions are subtracted from their respective categories. This leaves you with an adjusted amount in your remaining balance column. This is nice, clear and to the point. You spent that much and you have this much left.
Two issues but overall pretty simple
I only have two issues with the transaction entry process. The first is the pop-up ads. As I enter my first transaction, an ad popped up asking if I would like to upgrade to EveryDollar Plus. That is fine. It’s a free service and I expect a few ads from time to time. However, it happened with the next few transactions.
Even though I did not like the pop-ups, they did have a point. One stated, “this would go faster if you had Every Dollar Plus.” Ok, I will give them that one. It did take a while to enter each transaction and would be much more convenient to import them from my bank to the program. Even thought I thought the ads were annoying, I did see the point in them.
The second issue I have with the transaction entry is the listing of the transactions. The sidebar is neat, searchable and to the point, but it is a side bar. It is removed from your main budget. It would have been more helpful to have your transaction listed out under each category, so you can get a better idea at what merchants your are spending the most.
For example, my grocery budget is always thru the roof, filled with little $20 transactions here and there throughout the week. It would be nice to be able to list out how much I am actually spending under the grocery category per merchant. It would be helpful in assisting me to limit my shopping trips at these places.
Other than these two issues, I do like the program so far. It is very simple and straight forward. It gives a very clear picture of what you think you are spending (Planned) and what you are really spending (Remaining). Next week, I will explore the special features available with this program.
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