I have explored many budget apps and none of them proved their utility. Most of them have faults in one way or another. So, I basically gave up and kept using spreadsheets. I mainly use the LibreOffice Spreadsheet; because it is free. While in college, I used spreadsheets extensively. So, I know my way around spreadsheets in either Excel or LibreOffice.
In this analysis, I'm going to categorize two different types of financial tracking apps.
Link Apps (LAs) are ones that link your bank account to the app or service. Mint.com is a great example of this, and just so happens to be the most trusted in the industry. If I had to choose any option, it would be Mint.com. Furthermore, they are owned by Intuit, whose parent company is Turbo Tax. Mint.com is easily the most trust worthy option.
The other type of financial traking apps are the Non-Linked Apps (NLAs). NLAs are apps that require you to continually input your financial transactions. This the type that I prefer, mainly because of the gas station phenomenon.
What is the gas station phenomenon? LAs categorize all of the transactions from gas station as gas. So, for example, a soda transaction would be considered as gas. You have to keep changing the category with each transaction the system will most likely be confusing. Hence why, I gave up using Mint.com.
I also tried using Dave Ramesy's app, but gave up for the same reason I stopped using Mint.com's. In terms of time-frame testing, Mint.com was a few years ago, whereas Dave Ramsey's app was a few months ago. I simply wanted to try out some of the apps, as a consumer in the market for such software. Of course I know the security of the account I used is slightly at risk considering the purpose was for this blog post. And most banking apps have an option where you can track your spending, and it would categorize it for you, anyway. Having a financial tracking app that links to your bank account is really unnecessary. Now, most of the do give you the option to input the financial information manually, like with NLAs, but aren't really that great at doing it. Many of the NLAs are free but clunky.
Hence why I went back to the spreadsheet model. Mainly because I can have the most options with the spreadsheet; the only downside is that it is stuck with my computer. The solution is to just transfer fil from computer to computer, or just redo the whole thing again. Although, its worth noting, that you only have to do it every 3 to 5 years. The more complex one's financial situation, the more likely an individual might need to have something like what Mint.com offers. But the point is to have a Simple Life, and if an individual's financial situation is way to complicated, they might need to start scaling back, either on the asset side or the liability side. If someone has a simplified financial situation, it is much easier and cheaper to manage. The question I'll answer in next week's article is: how can an individual simplify one's financial situation? Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend!
- Terence S. Kruger Jr.
Edited by https://libertyunderattack.com/
This is a blog that is about living a simple Jesus Center life. This blog will be a personal blog of Terence Shane Kruger Jr. and I will be talking about different things on this blog. I will post stuff weekly either on Friday or Saturday every week.