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Budgeting 101

We Tried 4 Personal Finance Apps For A Week. Here’s What We Think.

We tried various apps so you don’t have to.


There’s an app for everything and budgeting is a chore. Instead of meticulously putting in numbers on your excel spreadsheet, an app is here to save the day. There are so many apps available online, some paid, while the others are free. We have tried all 4 of them and access how useful they are for your everyday tracking.

#1 Wally

Pros:

Wally is 100% free with no annoying advertisements. When an expense is recorded, you can select a category for your purchases. These categories include: General, Personal, House, Food & Drinks, Transport, Clothes, Fun, and Misc. Under each main category, there are sub-categories too. This is especially helpful for those who want to be more specific about where your expenses go.

For example, under Food & Drinks, the sub-categories include: Takeout, Fastfood, Dining Out, Café, and Drinks. Sub-categories are customizable; you can add more categories or rename the pre-existing ones.

Besides categories, you can also label your entries to specify what exactly you have bought.

The app also tells you if you have overspent for the day, which is derived based on your targeted monthly savings.

Other useful features we love include: receipt scanner, passcode, currency, and location setting (you get to record where exactly did you purchase something).

Cons:

We can’t log in using a computer or an iPad for a wider analysis of your spending for the whole month at a glance, or for the year. But their website says that they are working on making a desktop platform available.

Rating: 4/5

Read Also: How To Track Your Spending And Not Feel Like Killing Yourself

#2 Good Budget

Photo credit

Pros:

We like how the budget period is so flexible, with monthly, weekly, semi-monthly, and fortnightly options. The choice of any day of the month to be the starting day is a surprise too.

Good Budget allows you to specify which expenses are fixed monthly expenses (e.g. broadband subscription, phone bill, Apple Music subscription), and which are irregular.

When you register for an account (an optional choice), you can sync your budget on the web or to your partner’s phone. This is a great feature especially for married couples.

Cons:

This app is not as user-friendly as the others we have tried. The choice of envelops (i.e. which categories do your expenses fall under) is not intuitive and visual. We found ourselves taking longer than necessary to record an expense from the time we took to queue for a famous char kuay teow to collecting our food, the entry was still incomplete due to the complexity of the app.

To subscribe to their pro version, it will cost you US$5 per month. In our opinion, this is only worth it if both you and your partner has to be in the loop of your household expenses at all times. Otherwise, this app is not as user friendly as we would like it to be.

Rating: 2/5

#3 Pocket Expense

Pros:

The app reminds you to pay your bills. It is useful when your finances are more complicated. They include your debt, expense, income, cleared debt, and your overall net worth.

The app has a cash flow feature that tells you how much cash flows in and out of your day for the whole year, shown by the month.

The app has extensive categories for your expenses, it includes a unique feature – split. The split function helps you record your expenses into more than one category. This is something we love, especially when we need to use both Credit Card Payment and Eating Out categories.

Cons:

Beautifully designed, but not user-friendly enough to navigate when you’re new to the app. It can put off new users to continue using the app if it takes them much effort to play around with the features.

Rating: 3/5

#4 Toshl

Pros:

It is available on web browser and iPad, which can sync since you need to sign up for it.

There is a lot of attention to detail, (see picture above) you can select the portion of the pie chart you wish to see, and they will tell you how much was spent over the whole month. Since we have only used it for a week, we have spent a total of $72.30 on food, which makes up 37% of our total expenditure. They even tell you what you have spent for every category as a breakdown daily.

Cons:

It is easy to sort out which purchase should be in which category. But we spent quite a significant amount of time finding out about categories such as “grants”, “reimbursement”, “cash” and “credit”. Nonetheless, we like this app for how visual and in-depth it is in breaking down our expenses.

Rating: 4/5

Read Also: 8 Common Money Advice That You Would Be Better Off Ignoring

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