App name: Pocket Expense
Available: Compatible with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
What's it supposed to do? Pocket Expense tracks your income and expenses and uses a calendar to chart what you've spent in the past and payments you'll have to make in the future. The app helps you stay in control of your spending with charts and statistics to give you a snapshot of your finances.
Ease of use (3/5): Pocket Expense has a pleasant interface with contrasting colors that help the category labels pop, although users may need a little time to get the hang of inputting financial information. Once you've figured out how to navigate from page to page and submit transactions, the app takes care of most everything else. The app takes your expenses and automatically formulates charts that show you where your money is going.
Features (4/5): Have a difficult time remembering to pay your bills? Pocket Expense features a seven-day calendar near the top of the home page that displays any payments, income and upcoming bills that need to be paid.
The app also allows you to "pay" your bills. Pocket Expense keeps a list of all your bills due within the next 30 days. You don't register any accounts through the app, so you don't actually pay the bill with Pocket Expense. Instead, when you pay off the bill, you simply tap the "Pay Bill" button, select which account the payment comes out of and then the app takes the amount paid out of your net worth.
Other useful features include recurring payments, alerts for due bills and a search function that allows you to easily find a past expense.
Effectiveness (4/5): Pocket Expense aims to help you track and understand your finances. The app does a nice job of showing you how you spent your money as well as giving you a heads up regarding upcoming payments. It consolidates many aspects of personal finance into the calendar and lets you hop back and forth in time to get a better grasp on your money.
Value (3/5): There's a free version and a paid version of this app. The only difference is the free version has some advertisements. The ads are unobtrusive, so the free version is the way to go. If you're diligent about inputting data, the app most likely will save you some money over time.
Verdict (14/20) Solid choice: There are probably better apps out there for tracking expenses, but this one is definitely a nice option. It's worth a shot, if only because it's a free download. Pocket Expense can put you in control of your finances and help keep some of your hard-earned money in your wallet.
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