I’m not necessarily the best person when it comes to managing money, which is why I really need to devise a good system for organizing and tracking my income, expenses and various “miscellaneous” expenses (read: lots of apps, books and way too many pairs of shoes).
In the past, this has meant trying to reconcile various Excel spreadsheets with bank account information and notes scribbled on endless note pads on which I devise various budgets and expense scenarios.
That said, I’m a pretty good candidate for MoneyWiz, an iPad app designed to streamline my process. To that extent, MoneyWiz is a good solution for most people’s personal finance needs and this latest version of the app offers a new, streamlined interface that’s at once elegant and fun. With its use of illustrated charts–pie charts! graphs! stat sheets!–MoneyWiz gives home budgeting a corporate boardroom feel, but in a manner that’s fun, not stuffy. You can even forecast your financial future or estimate your net worth (warning: that last trick can have depressing results, however).
More specifically, the app allows you to track multiple accounts and lets you enter in a monthly budget for all expenses and schedule the dates payments are made and income is received. A warning, however: Each account and its corresponding budget information must be inputted manually. Unlike Mint.com, you can’t simply link this app to your bank accounts and let it do the dirty work for you. Depending on your thoughts about Mint.com, this can be a drag–or a good thing. On the one hand, I did find the initial set-up process to be long and tedious. On the other hand, I often find there’s a lag between Mint.com’s information and what’s actually in my bank account, which can be really frustrating when you’re trying to reconcile budget information.
What I liked: Clean, eye-catching interface. The ability to track multiple accounts in various currencies and tools that allow you to import files into the app.
What I didn’t like: The lengthy set-up process isn’t as intuitive as I needed it to be. I didn’t find the app’s help section to be very, well, helpful so I resorted to using the company’s website to walk me through some of the more confusing steps–a bit counter-intuitive. The budgeting categories also leave something to be desired. The standard list of budget categories, for example, doesn’t even include credit card payments–I had to go and add those new categories manually. That seems like a really odd oversight. You also can’t classify multiple payments in one category. For example, I couldn’t itemize three separate monthly payments under the the “Bills / other” category–I had to go in and manually create two new subcategories after scheduling the first budget item in that category. Little quibbles, perhaps, but those extra steps seem very unnecessary and annoying.
To buy or not to buy: Considering that the wildly popular Mint.com app is free, MoneyWiz’s $4.99 price tag seems a bit steep.
- App Name: MoneyWiz
- Version Reviewed: 1.3
- Category: Finance
- Developer: SilverWiz LTD
- Price: $4.99