I’ve been trying to use my tablet more often lately, and love trying out new habits with it, such as browsing Reddit (yep, I’m just getting hooked), reading graphic novels and managing my finances more efficiently. As it turns out, tablets are great for keeping tabs on where your money goes — the form factor lends itself to easy perusal of charts and graphs that show your spending habits. Today we’re going to take a look at some of the best apps available for watching over your wealth.
Tracking your expenses with an app can help you budget more realistically, save for large purchases and prevent nasty surprises at the ATM at the end of the month. These apps are great for everyone from salaried employees with fixed incomes, to freelancers with multiple revenue streams, to students who want to keep track of their spending while at school, to travelers looking to stay within their budgets. Many of them are free, and you don’t need to have saved a receipt in your life to get started using them.
With a simple interface that’s easy to learn, Financius lets you key in your transactions quickly and categorize expenses to visualize your spending on a pie chart. You can track multiple accounts if you like and even indicate transfers between these accounts. Plus, you can lock the app with a password to keep your data from prying eyes. Financius sadly doesn’t allow you to export or sync your data, but it’s still a great app for those getting started with managing their expenses.
Another option for users who don’t want to bother with too many features, Your Wallet supports multiple accounts, transfers between accounts and the ability to list both income and expenses. You can view your spending habits on a graph tied to the current month. There’s a free version available if you’d like to take this for a spin before paying for it — but the full version adds the ability to export and restore your data.
An absolute joy to use, Expense Manager makes it dead simple to track your expenses and stay within your budget. You can set a monthly limit, add expense categories, overheads and get a quick overview of where your money goes (and how much you have left) each month. You can even export your data to a CSV file, backup your data to Dropbox to restore whenever (or on another device) and also get additional income management tools and statistics in the full version.
Trackash does away with the traditional multi-step input system of other apps and instead has you key in how much you spent and what you spent it on in a single string — and you can stay organized by adding a hashtag for easy categorization. So if you ate out with a friend last night, you could just type ‘#dinner with Jane 45′ and Trackash will register the amount of $45 correctly. Those tags later help you visualize your spending habits with simple bar graphs, and enable you to find transaction details easily with the efficient search tool.
If you’re serious about your expense data, Keeper might be the choice for you — add transactions religiously over a few months and you’ll be rewarded with rich graphs showing your spending over time, as well as how much you earn vs. how much you spend. The input workflow is very simple and the lengthy pre-populated category list makes it easy to get started. Plus, it includes a selection of home screen widgets that show account balances or recent transactions and allow you to add new data with a tap.
Here’s one for those who swear by a budget: VanillaUtils’ Expense Manager lets you track your spending against a monthly limit, a stipulated amount while you’re on vacation or a business trip. You can even use this for budgeted projects such as home remodeling. A simple pie chart and listing of your expense categories help you get a clear perspective on your spending. Not bad for a free app that looks great to boot.
Kim recently covered this great-looking app and found it to be a swell choice for those who want to add transactions quickly. You can set up a monthly budget, indicate income that will cover it, add transactions with tags and get a simple visualization showing how much you have left to spend, and how much you have for the future if you have extra income. Toshl features a friendly, well designed UI, with neat characters and sounds to keep things interesting. The app syncs with the cloud and can export content in multiple formats, but those (and other features) are available with a Pro account at $19.99/year.
Money Tab is for serious bean counters who want to track multiple accounts and have fine-grained control over how their data is recorded. Between adding accounts and creating categories, it takes a little while to set up, but it’s all smooth sailing after that. Money Tab’s clean interface is perfect for going over long lists of expenses: I found it to be a great tool to keep track of my travel spendings with its customizable categories and icons. Plus, Money Tab can sync your data across devices via a Google account and can export your data in a CSV file too.
Our very own Hagop wrote about Guilt last month, and praised its innovative twist on expense tracking: it helps you understand how essential your spends really are to you, so that you can curb your habits and get back on track towards goals like saving or investing. Guilt is fairly basic in that it only really lets you add expenses and indicate your guilt level, but that’s sufficient for those looking to get a grip on their finances. Be sure to take the free version for a spin before you put down any more money on this!
This app does what it says on the box, with your help: by tapping an icon within the app or on its home screen widget, you can quickly record a transaction’s date and time, and have One Touch Expenser remind you to fill out details of that transaction later. Other than that, there’s a simple tag-based expense tracking and income and budget management system, along with a detailed summary of your expenses, a month-on-month comparison chart, data backup and rudimentary cloud syncing. The app promises to add family expense management in the near future.
Whether you’re clueless as to where your salary disappears before the month is out, or want to save for a rainy day, firing up any of these lovely apps is a great first step towards financial awareness. I personally enjoyed the simplicity of Trackash but found it to be a bit low on features; Keeper seemed to offer a balanced mix of features and usability.
Using these apps, I discovered that I overspend on groceries way too often — an unlikely suspect in my line-up of cash outflow culprits! You too can take your pick of any of these apps, and spend and save with confidence!