HomeBudget iPhone App Review.
From Anishu came HomeBudget, a must-have app for both personal and family use, to keep track and control expenses, helping you budget accordingly. This iPhone app is fully integrated with your bank accounts, so you're always on top of what you have versus what you spend.
With the app supporting accurate tracking of both expenses and income, HomeBudget is a more complex app that meets the eye. You're dealing with more screens than usual, and a rather hefty configuration, but once you get the hang of it, it's all a matter of getting used to logging every expense you have, so that the app can calculate it and take it into account for the reports.
At its core, the app is designed with 5 basic screens that are always accessible from the bottom task bar: Reports, Expense, Budget, Income and Settings. In the Reports screen, HomeBudget will show you various charts and trends for the past six months. You can also export data by email or via WiFi.
The Expense screen is used for adding and deleting expenses as they happen. There you can also browse through your monthly expenses. As you enter expenses, you can choose to switch to the Reports screen to see instant changes. One important thing to note is the possibility to split your multi-month payments across multiple months, and also set it as recurring or non-recurring.
The Income screen is used for adding and deleting both recurring and non-recurring income. You will be using the income screen to track your income and compare it with your expenses. HomeBudget is designed to automatically generate recurring income on the day the income happens initially.
The Budget screen will let you create, edit and delete categories and subcategories, and then set the budgets for each. You can choose to set an initial budget in your Settings screen, more like a tentative guess at what you're likely to be spending over the next month, and as you get a grip on your actual expenses, you can start editing entries in the Budget screen.
And this is the app's basic layout and options, but it doesn't stop there. HomeBudget supports creating bank accounts (be it Checking, Savings, Credit or Debit), and then link expenses and income to them, for a more precise control over your actual account balance. Expenses will automatically reduce the account balance, while income will automatically increase it, so that you can easily track its balance.
HomeBudget also includes the ability to create, edit and delete Payees and track bills as they come in. Once you create a payee, you'll also be able to link certain expenses to them, and then track all payments made for that specific payee. With Bill Tracking, you enter your bills as they come in, and then see what is paid and what is not.
One important option the app lets you set is the classification of expenses into fixed, variable or discretionary. This will help HomeBudget to compute your disposable income and give you a helping hand with forward planning. Also, you can enable a Budget Rollover from the Settings screen, and HomeBudget will automatically carry over to the next month any unspent or overspent amount.
All this important and private information can be protected by a password, also available from the Settings screen. Other options include setting a default currency, deleting income and expense entries after a set number of months, and even upload receipt images and associate them with certain expenses. Editing and creating categories for Expenses and Budget also comes with the possibility to upload your own icons to distinguish between them.
As I've said, we're dealing with a rather complex app. It has a lot of links from within that need to be set, expenses to be associated to payees, bank accounts, and receipts, and a complex budget categorization. It is by far the most complex app we've seen so far, and a real must-have for any independent and even small families that want to keep a handle on their budgets and need a helping hand with expense planning.
The app is available for download in a lite version, which is limited to 10 expense entries and 5 income entries, but is free to try out. Buying the full version will give you all the options and unlimited entries, and, at $4.99 is really a steal.
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