Have you ever noticed the lengths to which a bank will go to inspire confidence and trust to their customers? Think about the bank’s looks. Marble, wood, plush offices, security guards, visible safe with bars.
All those elements are designed to create a sense of trust and safety. Times change. Many of us seldom go to a bank and prefer to do business online. Intuit has worked hard to create and instill a sense of trust in the Quicken brand, only to demolish it a few times by backing out of the Mac user market, or offering anemic upgrades which never quite match what Windows users have.
Is there a better way?
Inspire To Inspire
Mac users have a number of Quicken alternatives, and some, priced about the same as the latest Quicken, have more features and better support. Other solutions have similar features but are priced less. Here’s an example of one that has more than basic checkbook balancing features but costs far less than checkbook apps.
It’s called Inspire Finance and it has enough money management features to inspire you to try the free Lite version which you may appreciate enough to pay for the full featured version.
Inspire Financial can inspire you by sticking to the basics. Setup Accounts (Wallets) and then assign Categories to track Transactions (money coming in and going out).
Once the accounts are setup, and categories added, just add transactions as you receive or spend money. Transactions can be viewed individually, or monthly and annually as totals. Transactions can be transferred between Wallets (accounts; I know; odd name, right?).
Inspire Financial makes it simple to setup a payment schedule and the calendar view lets you see what payments are coming up and how your actual spending stands in relation to the budget.
And, yes, there’s some eye candy with useful charts that track expenses over time.
The transaction schedule is easy to setup so you can budget your expenses over time and track your payment performance. Financial data can be stored in iCloud or Dropbox to be synced with other Macs.
What’s missing is an iPhone version for on-the-go transactions. That would be a huge plus. Inspire Finance is surprisingly robust and straightforward to use, and you get an opportunity to use the basics in the free Lite version before upgrading to the full featured version.
I’ve been tracking Inspire Finance on the Mac App Store and reviews are mixed, though most of the negative mentions are for earlier versions with bugs and fewer features.