Money is near and dear to my heart. I don’t spend money frivolously, which is why I’m the resident Mac360 Value Vixen™. One eye is on quality, the other on value.
In between, I have a nose for what’s new, different, and potentially better than the status quo. I use my Mac to manage money. Since ditching the anemic, buggy, and overpriced Quicken a few years ago, I use a simple, inexpensive checkbook application. But maybe there’s a better way to manage cash.
Mac Money Managers Galore
Quicken maker Intuit has mostly ignored Mac users with an of-again, off-again tumultuous relationship through the years.
Scorned and burned, many Mac users have opted to try any one of the dozen or so very good financial software tools for the Mac.
Most of the financial apps work the same way, and the price tags range from $15 to $60, always undercutting Quicken, while making money management more accessible for the rest of us.
Here’s the Cashculator story. It’s a little different but might be the money software you’re looking for.
Money Management Should Be Easy & Fun
Too many Mac money tools try to emulate Quicken by loading on feature after feature, obscuring what most of us truly want. Simplicity. A quick look at where our money went and how much we have.
Cashculator says that other apps focus on past transactions, so it’s not for Mac users who want to maintain a detailed, daily record of spending. Besides, there are plenty of those tools available already.
That doesn’t mean you can’t track expenses. It can and does, but gives you a view, a perspective that is refreshing. Take, for example, the interface. Simple. Enter where your money comes from each month, and the amount (click on any image to see a larger, pop up view).
Cashculator takes a simplified approach to give you a one click view of your cash balance, a quick look at the difference between your expenses and income. The second step is to enter your recurring monthly expenses.
Those are the basic steps. Income and expenses. After that, it’s a one click view to see your balance, details, and the all important difference between what you bring in and what goes out. For me, it’s always been too much month left over at the end of my money.
Month after month you can see exactly the difference between expenses and income. Once you’re a few months into tracking both, you’ll be able to see if you can afford a new gadget, car, TV, new clothes, or a vacation. Or not.
Cashculator comes with four basic views. Your income. Your expenses. A one click reconciliation (a big word for the difference between income and expense). And, a compare view, which lets you look closer at new expenses, and how they compare.
That’s it. Learning to enter income and recurring expenses takes minutes. The focus is not on every nickel and dime; just the difference between what you have to spend vs. what you bring in.
What Cashculator Does Not Do
It isn’t often that I run into a genuinely handy, pleasant, effective, and focused utility that also tells me what it doesn’t do.
Cashculator is not Quicken. It won’t connect to your bank account or credit card accounts and it won’t track all your expense details.
So, you won’t be able to prepare your taxes, or pay your bills, or balance your check book. It also won’t ask you to do something that isn’t easily understood by anyone except IRS agents or accountants.
It’s simple. Enter recurring expenses. Enter recurring income. Click to see the difference between the two. There’s no portfolio to manage, no accounts to set up and manage, and nothing that says credit or debit.
That’s refreshing. And simple. Cashculator is easier to use than my easiest-to-use Mac money manager, CheckBook Pro. If you’re adventurous, the two go together quite well; the latter for details, the former for a big and quick picture of your money.