I have a little problem with money. I know where it comes from. I don’t know where it goes. Like clockwork, I always have too much month left over at the end of my money.
So, I’m looking for a solution. Not just any old solution, but a solution that fits with my lifestyle, tracks my money coming and going, and lets me do so wherever I am—on my Mac or on my iPhone.
Got a solution to this kind of problem? Or, do you have the same problem? I thought so.
If you’ve been a Mac user for a number of years then you’re probably familiar with Intuit’s nearly ubiquitous Quicken. Windows PC users have Quicken, Microsoft Money, and a gazillion other money tracking applications and utilities.
Guess what? It’s mostly the same for Mac users, except Quicken has become much hated (because Intuit ignored feature parity for Mac users, like forever) and Microsoft doesn’t have Money on the Mac (which we would probably hate if it did).
At my husband’s urging I’ve been devoting time to tracking down and checking out money management applications for my Mac. It’s easy. There are many available; some complex, some simple, many in between.
With a begrudging nudge from Alexis I chose simple to start. I chose the popular and inexpensive CheckBook because of what it does best—it operates like a checkbook.
Over the course of a few months I found it much easier to balance my checkbook using CheckBook. Enter a deposit, it adds it up. Enter a check amount, it subtracts, and gives you a total. Simple, huh?
For the really daring Mac users CheckBook also has categories and description areas, reconciliation, a scheduler, and summary capability. But, first and foremost, CheckBook is a digital checkbook.
Except for one very important problem, and a view of where the world is going, CheckBook falls short. I really want CheckBook on my iPhone. Wait! Isn’t there a similar application called Checkbook already in the iTunes App Store?
Yes. Alas, not the same one from the same folks who made my digital checking life a little easier. Recently I’ve been trying out different check book applications for the iPhone and one thing most have in common is this—they ignore the future.
The future is now and it’s all about seamless synchronization. I can sync my music, TV shows, movies, photos, apps between Mac and iPhone. It’s a click. I can sync my passwords and login ID’s and serial numbers between Mac and iPhone.
Why can’t I sync my checkbook between the two? Bambi Alert™ to iPhone and Mac application and utility software developers—synchronization between the two is important.
I’m trying out Cha-Ching 2.0 for Mac and Cha-Ching for iPhone precisely because it does allege sync between Mac and iPhone. It’s not as simple as CheckBook and has far more features for me to ignore, but so far, so good.
One thing to note between the two—the Mac version and the iPhone version—is the Cha-Ching website and how it describes each. The Mac version gets a page with details and feature lists and all the things Cha-Ching can do for Mac users and their money.
The iPhone version of Cha-Ching gets a web page with a video which describes what it does and how it does it.
Cha-Ching for the Mac is a whopping $40, which is about $25 more than I paid for my Mac CheckBook. The iPhone Cha-Ching is a measly $2.99, which is right on my high threshold of throw away money (which may explain some of why I have trouble knowing where my money went).
Why is important to sync the two, Mac to iPhone and back again? Because I don’t carry my Mac to Walmart or the drug store. I carry my iPhone everywhere except around the house and the Mac is already there. Sync is important. Seamless is better.
That brings up the questions for the day for Mac360 readers. First, what do you use to track your money on your Mac and why? Second, do you track expenses, checks, credit card receipts on your iPhone, and if so, how (I can figure out the “why” by myself). And, finally, is it important to you to sync money tracking between Mac and iPhone?