Making sense of money

By Meg Rivera

AS FAR as managing my finances go, I would have much better luck piloting a Cessna and getting it to land sideways on the airport in Camiguin. Which, if you’ve ever seen it, is a short strip of cement and a fence to cushion your crash into the bush and beyond.

I’ve always seen money matters as an adult thing. Countless trips accompanying my mother to the bank has given me the impression of money as a chore. The endless lines, the kinds of accounts, paydays…it’s a wonder that she can get it all sorted in less than a decade! I remember dreading the day when I would have to do that for myself.

But as a gainfully employed twentysomething, I highly doubt that a piggybank is an acceptable form of money management. This week we’ll check out three apps that have taken the sting out of looking after your hard-earned money and made it almost enjoyable.

SpendingApp name: Spending

Developer: AppCheer Inc.

Available on: iOS, Android

Easy to use: Large portion yes. The tutorial you get at the beginning walks you through the app and from there leaves you to explore the other features. There is also a user manual, if you need to go back and find out how to do something.

Overall comment: This would be the Forbes of the free finance apps. I love how easy it is to use, and how it categorizes your expenditures so you know what you’re spending, how you’re spending and what you spend money on. The best feature is the Reports function, which generates a graph of your spending. A well-planned out app. Five clicks out of five.

App name: ExpenseFree

Available on: iOS, Android

Easy to use: Not for the rookie app user. This free version of the paid app certainly offers a lot of features, but they are not as easy to figure out as Spending. It will take time to get accustomed to the finicky UI, but once you crack it you should be able to maximize your usage out of it. There is no tutorial, so be ready to explore it.

Overall comment: I can imagine a small business using this app to track down every last centavo. Because the information it needs from you is so specific, it can report back to you a very detailed spending report. This is its strong point, but it has too many features for the single user. Three clicks out of five.

Money-MonitorApp name: Money Monitor

Available on: iOS, Android

Easy to use: Very easy. This app is extremely user-friendly, and you feel comfortable with it after a few minutes of exploring.

Overall comment: This app was designed for keeping track of a household’s expenses and income. It has features for keeping on top of bills, spending categories that include home repairs and just about every possible reason that one might have for spending on a house. Definitely recommended for homemakers wanting to keep track of money without encouraging a meter-high stack of receipts. Four clicks out of five.

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