Budget, in general terms, helps you plan expenses by making you more aware of your saving and spending. iXpenseIt does that and more with its latest upgrade to version 5.0.9.
Well, the world economy isn’t still back on its feet and it’s less likely that it will be, by the time I finish my review.
There is a free version of app also available, but I am only going to cover the paid version in this article. The idea behind creating iXpenseIt is fairly simple. It is supposed to help you track your expenses as you go. With regular upgrades, FYImobileware, Inc has a very customer centric application.
I have been using some budgeting tools but the biggest hassle with these tools have been
that I had to go to my machine to enter and update the expenses and if I forgot to enter a few values then the whole exercise seemed futile
Among all the other apps under this category, I found iXpenseIt most appealing.
The biggest advantage I found is the mobility that it offered me. Now, I can spend my money and at the same time enter those expenses with just a few taps.
Objective of the App:
This is one of the more popular iPhone apps, and has been regularly listed on top of all the other ‘Finance’ Applications (a category in the App Store).
The objective is to make it easier for us to record our expenses and make us more aware of our expense-trend. Well, the app is fairly popular but I don’t think that has anything to do with the current credit crunch.
This is where you either enter a comprehensive budget amount for a month or you set a more detailed budget by entering amount for each category. In addition to the ‘simple budget’ (an umbrella amount for monthly expenses) and ‘detail budget’ (setting specific amount to each category). There is also an option to add custom budget option, which allows you to set up multiple budgets with the ability to rollover.
Setting a budget amount is optional, but I use a simple monthly budget of $10,000. (kidding with the amount!)
The rest is pretty simple, as and when you incur cost, you open this app, select and enter required values and it gives you the average expense, the balance etc
The application allows the user to select Personal or Business expenses. On a day-to-day basis, I use it for all my daily expenses (Personal) and next month while I am travelling, I will put the expenses under the Business category.
My objectives are pretty clear with what I wanted in an expense tracking applications
I want to be able to add a daily expense as it happens – I soon forget anything that does not look attractive or sexy.
- I want to be able to add it quickly – I have been using this app for over two months and by now I have a comprehensive list of options that I have been adding under ‘category’ and ‘subcategory’
- I want to be able to export the data – this is especially for my business expenses wherein I can attach receipts and send them for approval.
This application does more than the above, and with their constant upgrades, they do seem to add useful features.
Selection of expenses:
The idea is to be able to store, manage and track your personal expenses. With each expense the user is asked to select or fill a basic form.
- The Amount spent (has currency conversion option)
- Type – personal or business
- Category – there are many broad categories such as Food, Auto, Electronics, Household, Transportation etc with the option to add more
- Subcategory – based on the category selected, you get more options. Example: category: Food, Sub category: Beverages, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. An option to add, where I have added a sub category of ‘Junk’ – which constitutes of my on-the-go munch.
- Date – yes, the date when you incurred the expense
- Payment – this means the mode of payment. I default it to cash for personal and credit card for business.
- Vendor – well, it’s blank at first and allows you to enter your vendors. Example: I have added close to 10 vendors such as Mac, KFC, my super market, Star Bucks etc
- Note – this is just so you can add any optional comment. Example: When I select ‘Beverages’ under the Subcategory, I add a ‘note’ that states if it was coffee, beer, vodka etc.
Most of the above options can be defaulted, thus, making it much quicker to enter certain repetitive expenses.
The application has a better UI when compared to some of the other apps in this category. For starters, I like the colour combination used in this application, which is not too hard on my eyes. The application has nicely featured images and icons.
I really liked the battery look-a-like indicator that shows me my current standing, it just goes to show the thought behind this app.
- Simple to understand graphical indicators of your budget vs expenses. It allows you to view the graph based on amount, category, vendors etc
- The main screen displays a comprehensive and very easy to understand summary.
- Expense Summary of total, average expense per day and top expense of the month
- Allows recurring expenses such as monthly rent, mortgage, utility bills, etc.
- Store digital photo receipts – although a zoom facility would be nice.
- Supports VAT/GST.
- Ability to customize icons for categories and subcategories.
- Ability to customize Expense Type, Payment and Vendor.
- .CSV and HTML data export via Email or Wi-Fi. I loved this feature. This has made reporting my business expenses very simple as I just need to add the amount and upload the receipt.
- Complete world currency list with build-in currency conversion utility.
- Available in range of Languages: English, Spanish, Japanese, German, Chinese (Simplified & Traditional), French, Italian, Russian, Korean, Finnish, Dutch, Danish and more added.
- Simple mileage / kilometer tracking with customizable reimbursement rate.
- Password Protection – well, I have a password for my iPhone, which is the only protection I use. So, I am sure it’s a nice feature just that I haven’t felt the need to use it.
- With the latest upgrade, you can easily delete the added Vendors, by simply sliding the screen and clicking the ‘delete’ option.
- Repetitive expenses such as rent, mortgage etc can be set
- With the latest upgrade, now you have an option to ‘backup’ all your expenses (under ‘Settings’). I found this quite useful as I prefer backing up all my data, lest I lose any.
Few nice to have the following features:
- I have entered my budget and based on my daily expense, the app tells me my average spending and the remaining balance. It might be nice to actually have an alert that tells me if at this rate if I am going to go beyond my budgeted amount
- After uploading my travel tickets on to the app – I would want to be able to expand the image for a better look.
- Ability to backup the expense data on cloud. This could be integrated with iCloud for ease.
- Although the ‘Search’ feature is quite quick, it does not throw any message if you try and search an item that does not exist. It should give some sort of a message informing the user that the searched term does not exist.
Well, there is an option using which you can see the amount of money spent on different Vendors. This can be done by simply clicking on the ‘Report’ icon at the bottom tray and by selecting the option ‘Vendors’ under ‘Display by’. This could help you get discount, if you know that you’ve spent a good amount eating or shopping there.
Issues with the app:
Ah! I have been reading a lot of complaints about this app crashing and I am no exception.
And it crashes even after the upgrade – it crashed while I was trying to use the ‘Wi-Fi’ option to export my expense sheet on to my system. If I am running any music at the background and also trying to send the file using Wi-Fi or the email option or trying to backup my expenses then either the music app or the iXpenseIt app crashes.
Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
A practical and useful app if you are either looking to track your expenses on-the-go or looking to go deep and practice constraint. With the developers coming up with upgrades, I think it’s worth its price of $4.99.
You can download iXpenseIt for the iPhone from the App Store using this direct iTunes link .
As always, don’t forget to let us know your thoughts on this finance app.