How We Are Using EveryDollar to get Debt Free in 2023

In October of 2022 I sat down at my desk and filled in our budget for the month. I was appalled. We had spent $1,000 on groceries and $900 eating out. WHY DID WE SPEND SO MUCH ON FOOD? Ben and I have never been terrible with money, but over the last year we were not at our best. With buying new furniture for the new house, going on vacations and completing home improvement project after home improvement project, we began relying on credit cards. And that is not who we want to be. So 2023 is all about our road to becoming debt free. For a Christmas present to us, we bought Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University which came with a 3 month subscription to their budgeting app, Every Dollar. This has changed EVERYTHING and I am going to tell you how.

We started budgeting with Every Dollar in December of 2023. It has been 3 months and we have paid off over $12,000 of credit card debt. That is 59% of debt PAID in 3 months. And honestly, we owe that to Every Dollar.

Before December we were “budgeters” but I am going to use that term loosely. At the end of every month I opened up my trusty google sheet, input our charges for the month, and shook my head. “We over spent again.”

See, I was planning the month, but I was not checking in throughout the month. I also left a buffer. What I mean by that is this, “at the end of the month we should have $600 just sitting in our account.” This thinking made it so easy to make impulse buys because…we have extra money in there! But I didn’t really know because I wasn’t checking more than twice a month. Every Dollar has helped take us from “budgeters” to BUDGETERS. And now, we are on track to have all of our consumer debt, yes even our cars, paid off by February 2024. And we think we can even push that up to December 2023!

Here’s How Every Dollar Changed How We Budget

Every Dollar is the budgeting app created by the Dave Ramsey Team. It is really simple at it’s core, but the app makes everything so simple.

An every dollar budget, quickly explained, is this formula:

Income - Expenses = 0

This has been huge for us. Ben gets a monthly paycheck, and honestly we love that because we know exactly what we have and when we are getting low. But Every Dollar has made budgeting, and checking the budget daily, so easy!

If you are constantly looking at your accounts at the end of the pay period, and wondering where all of your hard earned money has gone I 100% recommend checking out Every Dollar (you can also totally do this with just a google sheet workbook, there are a bunch of how-to blogs out there!) With this method of budgeting you are telling your money where it is going, and not seeing where it went at the end of the month. It’s a small change in thinking, but it makes all the difference.

And that leads me to my next point for this blog post. So many people hear the word budget and instantly feel restricted. Rachel Cruz, Dave Ramsey’s daughter, talks about this all the time. A budget is not a restriction on how you spend your money, it truly creates more freedom! Maybe not at first, but very quickly you start to feel the financial shackles loosen.

Sticking to a Budget Means Financial Freedom

Before we started budgeting the Every Dollar way, I had a really hard time spending money on things I wanted, or needed for myself. I often felt like I couldn’t spend the money on a new shirt, pants, shoes or makeup and then would splurge months later because “I never buy things for myself.” And Ben was the same. Our thought process was stuck here: “we make all this money, why can’t we spend it?”

Now that we switched to the Every Dollar Budget, we are not only paying off debt, but we have spending money and multiple funds collecting money each month. For example, never before have we put aside money for possible future car repairs. Now we have a sinking fund that gets $25-$100 monthly.

We also each have “fun money” that we can spend in whichever way we choose. Last month I used my fun money to purchase new leggings and go out to dinner with my girlfriends.

We have a sinking fund for travel. This year we aren’t doing any grand family vacations because we are focusing on that debt, but we are slowly putting away money for next year’s spring break as a reward for this years hard work!

Making Goals & What Happens After

As I said earlier, we spent almost $2,000 on food in one month and that is what kickstarted this mega budget overhaul for our family. We have been using our money, and credit cards, like the rest of the population and we don’t want to be like everyone else. We don’t want to be tied down by our money, or held back in anyway. We have goals for our future and even though we lost sight of those goals in the past year or so, we are right back on track after just a few months.

Right now our big goal is crushing all consumer debt. We are on track to have credit cards GONE by August of this year, and are hoping to push paying off the cars to the end of this year. From there we will be following Dave Ramsey’s seven baby steps so that we are setup for success in the long run.

And as for the budgeting, Ben and I will be using the Every Dollar budget for the foreseeable future. I would love to get to the point where we don’t even worry, but I really don’t think that thinking will every be the wise move. We want to be prepared with our money for the good and the bad, and this way of budgeting is, so far, really working for us!

Again, if you want to get ahead with your money or even just caught up, I really recommend checking out some of the Dave Ramsey thinking but mostly that Every Dollar way of budgeting. And if you want to tag a long on this journey with us, stay tuned! I am really excited about our financial future, and hope to motivate you to take control of your money as well!

For more regular updates on our budgeting journey and family life, make sure you’re following along over on Instagram!

Similar Posts

One Comment

Comments are closed.