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For many of us, the hustle and bustle of everyday life simply does not allow time to balance check books and track every dollar spent. And here, my busy friends, is where the wonderful world of phone applications come in. Personal finance apps are springing up by the dozens, aimed at helping you keep track of your financial health. So, why not use an iPhone app — if you’re an iPhone or iPod Touch user — to track your expenses while on the go?
For your convenience — and my own — I tested three personal finance apps, iBear Money Lite, Money Trackin’, and Tap Expense Lite, to see which is best for tracking your money. Take a look:
By far the best personal finance app out of the bunch, iBear offers a comprehensive tracking system for expense and liability tracking system as well as well as the ability to manage assets, portfolios and liabilities — which may be a little too comprehensive for some. You can also create a budget that includes a detailed chart showing your progress.
On first usage, navigating the feature-rich site can be cumbersome. For example, after inputting my biweekly income expenses and categorizing my money, I then realized that there is an actual “salary” category. However, since I already deducted my expenses, I could not delete the “check cashed” category I initially created. As a result, the total amount of “cash” was listed in two categories, one of which appeared to be overdrawn simply because I could not combine the two categories.
Overall, this is an app I’d likely continue to use. It also comes with a cash flow report that aggregates all your personal finance information you’ve written, though the layout of the report can be a bit confusing.
Price: Both iBear Money Lite and iBear Money are free. The iBear Money app is available with an iPhone 3.0 software update.