1. cjvitek's Avatar
    Money, by iBearSoft.com
    $9.99, ****


    • Full featured budget/finances tracking
    • Nice (albeit complex) interface and graphics
    • Includes almost everything that you can think of


    • Sometimes adding items is less that intuitive
    • Easy to get overwhelmed

    Money, by iBearSoft.com, is a full featured financial management tool designed to help you track all your expenditures, income, bank accounts, credit card accounts, and anything else that might be involved in day to day financial transactions. Whew, that’s a mouthful. And that’s what you get with Money – a robust, complex app that seemingly does it all but can be someone confusing or complicated at times.

    Money graphically appears very nice. It has a faux leather design, presumably to try and make you think of those old daily planners or maybe a leather checkbook cover. On the bottom of the screen you have five tabs – transactions, balance, budget, reports, and tools. The app itself is too complex to fully describe each feature or option, so I will simply summarize what it can do, giving some overall highlights.

    In the transactions tab, you can input any daily purchases, payments, and expenditures. You can do this one of two ways. By tapping the shopping cart button, you can choose a “quick input”, simply choosing the category of spending, the specific type, choosing the account the transaction takes place in, and then putting in the amount. So, for example, you can tap the shopping cart, tap the house, select mortgage payment, select “checking account” as the account, and then put in your mortgage payment. You can also choose a more detailed approach using the + button, where you can put in many more details (including taking a picture, voice memo, or writing a note). The more detailed approach is also how you can include income into an account (such as a paycheck deposit).

    The second tab, balance, shows you your current account balances. Here you can have your different bank accounts, credit card accounts, and so forth. These are the accounts that you will use when selecting an account for the transactions. You can get a nice summary view of the total amount you have (or owe, if it is a credit card account).

    The budget tab allows you to check total monthly expenditures compared to an expected (or budgeted) amount. You can identify if you are over budget, under budget, or right on the money. This was one of the areas I had difficulty, because I was trying to find a simple way to enter the budget – in reality you add a budget item by simply adding an expense that hasn’t been added in the transactions yet.

    The reports tab gives you an overall report on your financial status (over budget, under budge, by how much). You can also choose to filter certain items or get a more details look (to see where you money is actually going!). The tools tab gives you some tools, including a sync option so you can sync multiple devices (which is how you can find out how much a spouse is actually spending!!). In addition, you can export data, import data, and backup your data.

    There are much more details about how to actually enter data (such as choosing an “agent” when you spend money, so you know who it is going to). This was one of my gripes – I would have liked a simpler starting up process (maybe a tutorial) to help you figure out some of these features. As it was, starting up the app felt a little like trying to swim upstream – there are SO many things you can do, that it becomes a little overwhelming trying to figure out where to start.

    If you are concerned about the price ($9.99 is a fair amount to spend on an app) there is a free version you can try.

    All in all, this is a strong financial app that lets you track your income and expenditures. It has a huge variety of features which can really help people who want to really track their money. If you are looking for a simple “budget app” this is not it. The app looks nice, and if you spend the time to sit down and figure it out, works very nicely as well. But it doesn’t have a good tutorial option, and so the complexity can be a little overwhelming. And for $9.99, the app is on the pricey side. Still, for people who really want to spend the time to track every penny, this app will do it in style. Four out of five stars.

    Rating scale:

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. Please comment on these reviews. If you own the app, tell me what your opinion is. If the review prompted you to buy (or not buy) the app, let me know why. If you want more information about the app, go ahead and ask.
    08-12-2011 04:01 PM