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January 20, 2012

A Great Home Budgeting App.

One of my biggest goals this year is to organize everything in my life. I’ve been working on organizing my house, I’m currently working on my living room, then I’ll proceed to my kitchen. Besides having more order in my house, I’ve also found a way to stay better organized with my family’s finances with the use of an awesome app on my iPhone. When I got my iPhone last year I scoured the app store trying to find the perfect app for me to be able to keep better track of our bills. Before getting my new, extremely smart, smart phone, I used to print out monthly calendars that I would use to write the amounts and due dates of my monthly bills. It helped me keep track of what was due and when, but the calendars stayed on my desk, and would usually get buried in a mountain of other papers. Sometimes I would forget to check them on a regular basis, and may forget a bill until after it was late. There was also the issue of keeping my husband abreast of the finances and what bills were due when, (I automatically assumed he would remember when certain bills were due, like the rent, but I was wrong..lol).

So in my quest to find the perfect app to keep track of everything for me, I stumbled upon HomeBudget by Anishu, Inc. I was mainly looking for something with a calendar that I could put the bills in on their due date with the amount due, and since most all of my bills are due on the same date every month I wanted it to auto populate those bills for me in the future months as well. This app does all of that and way more than I was expecting. I can set up my bills for the month, on their due dates, and have them automatically recur on future months. Some of my bills pretty much have a set amount I pay each month, like the rent, loan payment and car payment, so when I set up the recurring bill I can put the set amount for those bills in. With the bills that vary month by month, like electric, and gas, I can set them up as varies then when I get the actual bill I can go in and edit the amount. This is exactly what I wanted in a home budgeting app, but luckily it doesn’t stop there.



I can also use this app to keep better track of our bank accounts, and see how much money we have available. When you first set up the application, you can add your bank accounts to it (please note, that the app doesn’t ask for any account numbers for your financial institutions). It has a variety of accounts you can add to it to keep track of. The main ones I use are my two checking accounts, and a couple savings account. You’ll set up a beginning balance on the app that coincides with your bank account. Then when you have any income or expenses you can enter them into the app, and it’ll adjust the amount accordingly. It is very helpful when paying bills, since when sending a check, the amount doesn’t come out of your checking account right away, but as soon as you mark a bill paid in the app it will minus the amount from which ever account you mark it as paid from. That way you can see how much money you have available in your account, incase you forget about a check you sent out that might not have cleared your checking account yet.



Another thing I really like about this app, is being able to set up a budget. It comes with some preset categories, and sub categories, like mortgage, utilities, groceries and so on. Every time you mark a bill as paid, it will let you put that bill into a category, same with expenses like groceries. You can set up a specific budget amount for each category, and keep track of how close your getting to that amount. The application also has various charts, so that you can see where the bulk of your money is going each month... I think mine is rent...lol. It’s nice being able to look back each month to see how much we’re spending on things like groceries, or restaurants. It’ll be nice at the end of the year to be able to look back and see how much we’ve spent on our various bills.



I’m sure there are other aspects I could go into about the app, but suffice it to say I absolutely love it. It does take some work, you have to remember to add your purchases to it, mark bills paid, and add income to it. I would say, treat it as you would your checkbook register, just more like a digital version. Since I carry my iPhone with me everywhere, at least I always know where we stand on our finances, incase I really want to buy something...lol. One other thing I want to mention that I really like, is that it can sync with other idevices. I have the app on my iPhone, and my husband has it on his iPod Touch, so he can see what bills are due when and how much money is in our accounts. You can set up what is called Family Sync, with a group name and password, and then you can connect multiple idevices to it, and they’ll all show the same information. It’s a great way to keep your spouse in the know, on the finances. You can also set it up to remind you days before a bill is due, via push notification and badges.

The application is available on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad for $4.99. There is also a free version that you can try out, but I have to say it’s worth every penny, in my book. You can also check it out on the developer's website: http://anishusite.appspot.com/


(Please note: I’m not being paid to write this review. I truly love this app. The views expressed in this post are entirely mine.)



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