Friday, August 7, 2009

Tracking Cash Spending

For me, part of spending less money is limiting myself to spending only cash. I know that a lot of people like to stick with the envelope system to make sure that they are spending their cash from the correct category, but that really doesn't work well for me. I hate having a bunch of envelopes to keep track of and I feel like it clutters up my purse.

My solution is to track my cash spending on my iPhone. I use the Spend Lite app which is completely free. The Spend Lite program only lets you track daily or weekly budgets. If you want to track bi-weekly, monthly, semi-monthly or annual budgets you will have to pay $0.99 for the full Spend program.

I love that this app automatically puts my budgeted money into the proper category on the specified day. Plus I can export my spending records via a csv file in an email from my iPhone to anyone I choose. You can also password protect your file with a pin. That way if someone else picks up your iPhone you don't have to worry about them seeing your financial information. And, if needed, you can transfer money from one budget to another.

I also setup a "budget" to track my extra income. For this category my budgeted amount is zero and whenever I make extra money I do a deposit to that category. I love it. You could also use this to track your monthly savings and so forth. I can easily zero out this account each month or keep a running total. It's also super easy to see how much "extra" money I've made.

The one thing that I don't like about this app is that you can't rename a category. For example, I have a category "Food" and it should really be "Household." I would love to have the correct name on this, but I can't figure out a way to change it.

I love the Spend Lite app and the fact that it's free only makes it better. Since it is free, if you're looking for something like this and have an iPhone or iPod Touch, why not download it and try it out?

I will note that I do not use this app for tracking my bank accounts. I track them in a completely different application which is the subject for another post.

For more Frugal Friday Tips, head over to Life As Mom. And if you have any recommendations for iPhone apps that you love, I would love to hear about them. Feel free to leave me a comment with the name of the app or email me.

3 responses:

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

Man, iphone has so many uses! I'll have to tell my hubyy (the iphone user in our house) about this one.

Thanks for sharing this.


Stop by and visit me over at Free 2 Be Frugal!

Anonymous said...

That's great if one can afford an iphone! I surely cannot!

Mommy-Wise said...

What a great app! I'm going to forward this to my sis-n-law... she'll love it! Thanks!