While Broke may be the new Black, saving money for a rainy day has never been a bad idea. With much of the world still in recession, there’s never been a more appropriate time to save your pennies. And there is no better way to save money and rein in spending than to keep a budget. iPhone apps like Money Diary from developer Aesthology make you accountable for your spending, and enable you to track your expenses with ease.
Money Diary is essentially a daily money-management tool. You can input a monthly budget as well as incomes such as salary, allowances, bonuses etc. Based on this, Money Diary calculates your daily budget (total budget averaged out across the whole month). This is a handy number to have as it lets you know when you’re starting to head over budget on any given day. However, it would also be useful to see how much of the total monthly budget is remaining, as this would make it easier to plan for large upcoming expenses.
Entering expenses into Money Diary simply involves tapping on the little “+” symbol underneath the budget details. Then you just choose your payment method (cash, credit card, debit card etc) and the appropriate category for the expense. There are 9 categories in all, but you can easily add more if needed. Your expenses can then immediately be visualized on the color-coded pie-charts at the bottom of the screen which give you a breakdown of your expenses for that particular day, and for that month. There are four chart types in total in Money Diary – Expenses, Payments, Comparison (this month vs last month) and Six Months (bar chart, income vs expenses). You just tap on “Chart” to cycle between the different types.
Some personal finance apps can be unnecessarily complicated, but Money Diary keeps things simple and does what it intends to do well. The interface is straightforward and features a clean and uncomplicated layout. It’s easy to pick up and get straight down to business. Other features that add to the overall functionality of Money Diary include the ability to password protect the app, monthly budget carry-over and recurring income/expenses. The ability to use photos to keep records of goods and receipts as well as export (CSV) and PC or Mac backup functions round out a very solid personal finance application.
Money Diary requires iPhone OS 2.1 or later and is compatible with both the iPhone and iPod Touch.