Frequently Asked Questions
Envelope budgeting, also known as cash budgeting or zero-based budgeting, is a simple and effective way to manage your finances and control your spending. You create Envelope to represent budget categories, fill them with money from your income, and record your spending as it happens. When an Envelope runs out of money, you stop spending in that category.
With EEBA, Envelope budgeting meets the 21st century with virtual Envelopes you can take with you on the go and share in real-time.
Read more about Envelope Budgeting.
Sure! If you’re new to budgeting, then it’s best to start simple. Pick just a few budget categories you want to track and create Envelopes for them. “Eating Out” or “Entertainment” are good choices. Then, fill the Envelopes to full and record all the expenses you make in those categories. You may be surprised at what you find!
If you’d like to get started on a more advanced budget, you can read our blog post on How to Make a Budget.
Yes, you can. How you start will depend on how you want to budget with EEBA.
If you just want to track your expenses you can create your Envelopes, fill them to full, then enter the expenses that you’ve made since the beginning of the month.
If you want to budget off your income then create your Envelopes, fill them with your last paycheck, then enter the expenses you’ve made since then.
Read more about starting in the middle of the month.
EEBA makes handling multiple or variable incomes easy! When you receive an income, use the Add Money / Receive Income page and choose Keep Unallocated to store your income.
At the beginning of the next month, or as you need to, use the Distribute from Unallocated page to distribute your pooled income into your Envelopes. You may need to prioritize certain Envelopes over others. This will let you control your spending and build up a one month cushion you can use to fill your Envelopes all at once at the beginning of the month.
Read more about handling multiple or variable incomes in EEBA.
We’ve given debt management a lot of thought. So much so that we’ve given it a category of its own down below.
Once the app is installed you can create a new EEBA Household straight from your phone, or login to an existing EEBA Household. EEBA will automatically sync all of your Envelopes, Transactions, and Accounts across your mobile devices and the web.
The free version of EEBA allows you to access EEBA from up to two mobile devices. You can check out our Paid Plans for more.
Yes! You can use the same EEBA Household Username and Password to access your EEBA Household through any of the mobile apps or on the web. EEBA will automatically sync all of your Envelopes, Transactions, and Accounts.
You can find the APK for the latest version of EEBA here.
To install it, allow apps from third party sources in your Android settings then open the APK. Your phone will ask you if you want to install the file, say yes.
The free version of EEBA lets you access your Household from up to two mobile devices. You can check out our Paid Plans for more. Once that limit is reached, you will get the “Device Limit Reached” message.
To change which devices have access to your EEBA Household, login to your EEBA Household on the website, click on the “My Account” link on the top right, then on Manage devices and logins. There you can “Revoke access” on the phone you would like to remove. That will allow you to login with a new phone.
Use the Add Money/Receive Income page to refill your Envelopes. There you can choose to Set your Envelopes back to full, Add the budgeted amount to each Envelope, Specify a particular amount for each Envelope, or choose Keep Unallocated to pool your income to distribute later.
You can set savings goals and track your progress toward reaching them with Annual/Irregular Envelopes. Just head to the Edit Budgets page and create an Annual Envelope, setting the Envelope’s budget to how much you’d like to save each year.
Fund the Envelope as part of your regular budget and over the course of a year you’ll reach your goal. If you want to reach your goal in less than a year, you can either pre-fill the Envelope for the months that have passed or raise the budget amount.
Read more about Setting Goals in EEBA.
You can track bills in EEBA using scheduled expenses, which are available on the Plus and Premium plans. Just create a scheduled expense for each bill you want to track, set to repeat whenever the bill is due. There you can check a box to “Remind me by e-mail” to remind yourself when each bill will come due.
On Android and iPhone, your Envelopes are represented by a green bar with a line that crosses through it. The green bar represents the funds you have left in each Envelope. When the Envelope is full, the bar will be fully green. As you spend out of the Envelope, the green bar will decrease to the left. The little line that moves across your Envelope bar represents where you would be if you were “on budget.”
You can read more about how to use the little line to help you keep pace with your budget here
If you are not using the Accounts feature in EEBA, you it’s best to only record the purchase portion of your transactions, as you didn’t spend any money. You only transferred it from your bank account to cash in your hand. Later, when you spend that cash, you can record it as a normal expense.
If you’re using the Accounts feature, you can keep track of where your money actually is. As you enter transactions, you’ll choose both the Envelope and Account the money should be deducted from. You can create a Cash Account along with your other bank accounts so that you can keep track of your cash transactions. When you make an ATM withdrawal, get cash back or deposit cash into a bank account, just create an Account transfer.
Read more here
You can download your Transaction history as a CSV at the bottom of the Transaction history page.
The money you have in your Accounts is what you have to budget with in your Envelopes. As you add new Accounts, or add funds to an existing Account, you’re telling EEBA that you have more money to budget with. That money appears in your Unallocated Money pool, ready to be distributed to your Envelopes.
Distributing the money to your Envelopes organizes for specific purposes. Because no money is actually being gained or spent, there is no change to your Accounts.
On the Accounts page, create Accounts to represent all of your checking, savings and credit card accounts. Use the “current balance” you see on your bank’s website or latest statement. Then, enter any transactions that have happened since.
It’s a good idea to have a Cash account as well to track ATM withdrawals and cash transactions.
Read more about Getting Started with Accounts.
EEBA supports importing bank activity for checking, savings, and credit card accounts. You can import QFX (Quicken) and OFX (MS Money) files, as well as CSV files as an alternative.
Just download the recent activity from your bank’s website on your desktop. Then, head to the Accounts section to “Import Bank Activity” to import and EEBA will match existing manually entered transactions to imported transactions. You will be able to manually match transactions that didn’t match and create new transactions simply through drag-and-drop.
Read more here
EEBA can support foreign bank accounts that you can download OFX, QFX or CSV files types from.
Once you are able to download the files, you should be able to import them.
EEBA currently does not automatically sync with your bank accounts. You can track your Account balances by recording transactions as you make them, or by importing banking activity you download from your bank’s website.
To record credit card purchases, record the expenses by choosing the corresponding Envelope and Account (in this case the Credit Card Account). This will reduce the amount in your Envelope and increase the debt on your credit card.
To pay off your credit card, create an Account transfer from a Checking Account to your Credit Card Account. This will reduce the balance in your Checking Account and eliminate or reduce the debt in your Credit Card Account.
Read more here
If you’ve added Checking and Savings accounts, and you only want to spend from your Checking, you can keep the funds from your Savings account off of your budget by moving it to a Savings Envelope:
- Go to the Edit Budgets page and create an Annual / Irregular Envelope called “Savings” with a budget of “0.”
- Then, go to the Distribute from Unallocated page to distribute the balance in your Savings account to the Envelope.
Read more here
First, be sure to fund your “Debt payment” Envelope. Then, you can record your payment as an expense to simply keep track of payments, or create an Envelope transfer if you have a “Debt Payoff Envelope.”
Read more here
To change which credit card is billed for your subscription, simply cancel your current subscription and create a new one with the new credit card. Your current subscription will continue for as long as you’ve paid for, and your new subscription will begin once it ends—we won’t double charge you. You won’t lose any time with your current subscription or any data you’ve entered into EEBA.
Cancel your existing subscription here.
And create a new subscription here.
You can see your current plan and options on the subscription page
To upgrade, create a new subscription for the plan that you want. EEBA will charge you the prorated portion of the month or year that you are on the new plan. The amount you paid for your existing plan will count toward the new plan.
You can use the Free version of EEBA for as long as you like. You will never be charged for it.
When your Free Trial or subscription ends, your EEBA Household will be switched back to the Free version which you are welcome to use for as long as you like.
If you have questions, check our our Help Site. You’ll find web tutorials, videos, and our community support forum.
EEBA should sync automatically each time you open the app or record a transaction. If EEBA doesn’t seem to be syncing properly, first make sure that your phone has a stable internet connection. If the EEBA app detects that you do not have a stable internet connection, it will not try to sync.
You can also try logging out / logging in to your EEBA Household on your phone. That will clear out the local data on your phone and download a fresh copy from the web, which should resolve any problems with the sync. Note, however, that this will cause you to lose any information on your phone that has not yet synced to the web.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have more questions.
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