We live in a money crazy world. Everybody is out to get what little money we have. That means we need to watch our money carefully, budget appropriately, track the nickels and dimes (in addition to the dollars), and be able to account for every penny.
If we don’t, the people taking our money will. I’m trying out Mac money and budgeting apps this week. I want something that runs on Mac, iPhone and iPad.
How Much Is That Budget App In The Window
Jack game me a list of apps he thought worthy of a demo. Maybe he’s not the best person to recommend an money tracking app (he, the man who only tracks dirt into the house; not money).
On his list of apps to review was a throwback money app with a modern twist. It’s called, appropriately, Budget. You’ll like the looks of this.
Budget does what Quicken does. A single window displays where your money is going (or went). It handles multiple accounts, from checking to savings to credit cards, including bank account management.
What’s different, and something of a throwback, is the budgeting system. It’s envelope based. Rather, digital envelopes. My grandparents used a similar method a few generations ago.
All their bills were placed into envelopes. Whatever was left over could go into a different envelope.
Budget does the same thing.
This easy to use app also import OFX/QIF data so it’s mostly compatible with data from other money apps. You can even download transactions from your bank (if your bank is on the list; mine isn’t).
Envelopes can be grouped. Reports are a click away. It even converts currency (so you’re not stuck on dollars).
Plus, Budget integrates with iCal so you get alerts to when a bill needs to be paid. There’s a built-in reminder, too, as well as an investment portfolio tracker.
What makes this app more attractive than most is the iPhone and iPad versions sync data via WiFi. Not iCloud or Dropbox. But WiFi (please Mr. Developer, go with the flow and give us an automatic sync option; not manual).
It doesn’t take much time to learn to love Budget. For most Mac users, it does what Quicken does, but it has the option of going mobile.
Finally, what’s the problem with Quicken? Intuit let Quicken for Mac users languish for years, the last good version was Quicken Mac 2007 (Quicken Essentials is the latest, widely panned by users and critics, and not fully compatible with previous Quicken versions).
Guess what? Intuit heard your prayers (or curses) and just released a Mac OS X Lion compatible version of Quicken which is called Quicken Mac 2007. That’s right. It’s an updated version of the 2007 Quicken that will run on Lion.
Wait. There’s more. Quicken Mac 2007 is only $15. Quicken Essentials, which isn’t as feature laden (unless you count the eye candy) as the old Mac Quicken sells for $50 on the Mac App Store. Customers are actually downgrading from the more expensive Essentials to Quicken Mac 2007. And Intuit gives instructions on how to do it.
Intuit is a strange company.