I’ve recently started using a new application on my phone. Meet Money Lite, a budgeting and expense program from Flying Bird Software. The program is designed to allow you to keep track of multiple accounts, transfers between them, etc. Basically all the things a businessman could need to manage his accounts, including the ability to backup the files in a format recognised by popular money management PC software such as MS Money or Quicken. However, as smartphones filter down to regular people, these applications will start to be used in different ways.
In the example shown in the screenshots on the right (click on them for a larger image) you can see I’ve set up two accounts. One is my bank account and the other keeps track of how much money I’ve got in my pocket. I’ve already traversed the settings and set up how the program handles, including which currency I’m using and how the date is displayed. I’ve also set up how much I’ve got in my pocket and how much I’ve got in my bank account.
Now I enter when and how much I’m going to be paid, and some set amounts that need to go out like bills and bank loans. This shows me how much I’ve got left to play with for the rest of the month. Now whenever I take out any money I set it up as a payment out of my bank account. When I get home I’ll count up how much money I’ve got left and manually change the amount in the account I named “Pocket”. So far I’ve got over £700 left after some of my expenses, but there’s the rest of January left to go and other expenses left to enter. Good job I bought a lot of food for the freezer over Christmas. As I get closer and closer to larger outgoing expenses I can see more clearly if I need to cut back at all, giving me a better idea of whether I can afford to treat myself or not. It’s been invaluable in managing our Christmas expenses (where treating myself counted as eating food that week or not) and I’m sure it will come in handy in the future too.
There are a load of mobile applications out there that seem to be for professionals yet can still have uses for regular people. Money Lite is just one of them, and I hope sharing the way I use it has given you some idea of how something like this can be useful to you too.
Money Lite is the cut down version of Flying Money Manager. Rather than release a time-limited demo, like most mobile applications do, this company created Money Lite, with less features and no time limit at all. While the full program is everything you need to manage personal or even small business finances, the free version is more than enough to help you stick to a budget. Both can be downloaded at the developer’s website.