September 3, 2014

EEBA For Virtual Envelope Budgeting

eeba_620x310

When it comes to budgeting I prefer the old fashioned cash in the envelope method, but in this day and age of debit and credit cards, it just isn’t practical.  That’s where the EEBA (Easy Envelope Budget Aid) app can help.

With this free app you can create a set of envelopes on the web site that represent the areas you spend money on for a month (or week, or every two weeks).  You can set up envelopes for Groceries, Android Apps and Fun Money (though what’s more fun than a new Android App?!) and then take money out as you spend it, no matter what form of money you use.

One of the biggest drawbacks of any budgeting system is usually the amount of time it takes to enter and expense.  EEBA makes it easy.  Using GPS it automatically pulls in things that are close by OR places that you have input from that location. So even though the Hess station I always get gas from is next to my house, it shows up at work since I normally fill up on my way to work and then input the expense once I get there.

When you want to refill your envelopes at the end of your chosen time period, you can chose whether to roll over any remaining (or negative) balances and add those in to the refill amount or start from scratch.  You can choose this separately for each envelope and then save those settings for future use making refills a quick and easy process.

You can also split expenses across envelopes.  So if the Android app you have purchased is also super fun you can take a little out of each envelope.  I also use this feature or the transfer between envelopes feature (only available on the website) when I’m a little over on one budget and a little under on another.

Options Screen

You do have to set up an account on the web site.  The benefit of this though is that you can set up a household account and both you and your significant other can install the app and deduct expenses from the same envelopes.  This completely takes the confusion and mis-communication out of household budgets (unless someone forgets to input an expense of course).  Right now the account is free, but it sounds like a subscription service could be down the road for “power users” (not sure what that means) when the app is out of Beta.

The downside to the web site is that there are certain things that you can only do on the website such as transfer between envelopes or  add a newenvelope. The app also doesn’t remember saved refills, so even though I could do refills on the phone one envelope at a time I find myself going to the web site anyways. You can refill en masse if you’re going to perform the same action on each envelope, I just happen to have some envelopes that I roll over and others that I flat out reset.

EEBA also doesn’t have the ability to automatically deduct expenses, but the ease of input makes it just as easy as double checking that everything has come out of the right pocket on ‘automatic’ budgeting systems.

Overall EEBA is very helpful to those that want a simple budgeting aid in the spirit of the old fashioned envelope. This is not a hands off budgeting system, but it is easy and effective. EEBA is compatible with all versions of Android.

Scan to download EEBA!