Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My Favourite Apps - #6 - Account Tracker

Now I know that some of you are brilliant with handling money. At any point in time you know exactly how much is in your account, how much your credit card bill is going to be at the end of the month and how you're going to pay for your next holiday.

I'm not one of those people. I'm an extreme 'N' on the Myers Briggs profile, which means that by nature I'm the sort of person who if I actually get round to opening the latest bank statement will only look at the bottom to see that the final balance looks "about right". I know some of you are rolling your eyes at this point but it's true! I'd have been saved if I'd managed to to marry a Myers Briggs 'J', but sadly Catrina is nearly as bad as I am :)

All that means we need some grace, and some good systems, to keep on top of our money. That's where we've found the CAP Money course so helpful, teaching us to have a budget and use cash to stay on top of our finances (if you haven't done it then I thoroughly recommend it). But alongside those skills I've found a brilliant app called Account Tracker, which allows us to know exactly where we are at any point in time.

At its most basic it allows you to set up multiple bank accounts, enter income and expenditure and then reconcile it all when you get a bank statement (I actually read them now!). You can set up things to happen weekly, monthly and annually - what I've found is that once you've used it for a year then you've got repeating events set up for things like car tax, utilities bills and the like.

Once you've used it for a while you can then produce reports to tell you what you're spending money on, as well as looking into the future to see how much money you might have in six months or a years time. You can also put in things like saving goals to see how that will impact your cashflow and whether you'll be able to save enough for that next holiday or car.

We've found it works particularly well with CAP money where we have two accounts. The first is where our salaries go and all the regular bills get paid from, and then there is a weekly transfer to the second account which we take out as cash for all our weekly spends. It handles all this automatically, making it really easy to keep track of where our finances are going.

I genuinely haven't found anything that I'd like it to do as an accounting app which it can't. It's written by a guy called Graham Haley - I'm quite a fan of supporting individuals producing apps rather than just huge corporations - especially when they're as good as this one.

If you try it I'd love to hear how you get on,

Simon.

 

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