Tracking finances

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by AppleInLVX, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. AppleInLVX macrumors 6502a

    AppleInLVX

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    #1
    Hey all,

    Just thought I'd toss this out there. For ages, I've tried to track my spending and failed miserably. This is, I admit, at least a little because of laziness... while it's easy for me to track when I use credit or debit to buy stuff, I still try to use cash as much as I can because it's a fool proof way to not spend more than I have. But, sadly, this ousts things like Mint (which is sketchy in Canada anyway), and tracking this cash is a royal pain. If I put it into a mobile app, it doesn't sync to the desktop where I can use the data, or you need to export and import, which hasn't worked well for me, or you need to just re-renter everything and it turns into a task that I then don't do (see aforementioned laziness).

    Two things:

    One, I wonder if the coming iCloud will help to solve this. I expect that it'll sync any Numbers spreadsheet between all devices, so if I wanted to add something on my iPhone, it'll be there on the desktop and all that. This might solve the issues completely, except I haven't been a fan of the UI for Numbers on small screens like iPhone. And, the apps that work wonders don't seem to have complementary desktop versions that keep up with the mobile ones. I wondered, do any of you think that iCloud will be the silver bullet for this issue? Maybe some brilliant programmer will create something that "just works"?

    Second, I wondered if anyone else out there has found a good method that I might benefit from. Those of you who track, what's your method? I'm still on the lookout for something that'll work for me.

    Thanks!
     
  2. d21mike macrumors 68040

    d21mike

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #2
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 4: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A5288d Safari/7534.48.3)

    Wouldn't a Debit Card prevent you from spending more then you have, like cash but also give you a detailed transaction report without any manual effort?
     
  3. AppleInLVX thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AppleInLVX

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    #3
    Well, yes, however, there's a couple of reason I don't do that. The first is that some of the businesses I frequent offer specials and deals when I pay with cash. The bigger issue though is that if I used debit exclusively, the bank takes a service fee for each transaction, or I'd need to pay them a lump sum fee to use unlimited debits. I'm trying to NOT give the bank any more money. They take enough already.

    Thanks for your thoughts!
     
  4. d21mike macrumors 68040

    d21mike

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #4
    I did not know (or remember) about the fee's. I use a credit card but pay it off every 2 weeks when I get paid. So hard to get too far behind. I got my credit card from Charles Schwab (no longer offer it) where I get 2% cash back automatically debited to my Schwab One Account. There are budget Apps but to me they are too much trouble to manually enter everything. I guess you have to determine if the fee's are more then the effort to enter the transactions manually. Regarding updating both on your iOS device and your computer. I am looking at the "Wallet App" for storing personal data that Syncs with MobileMe. I assume that it will be changed to iCloud at some point. I would assume there are budget Apps that do this but have not researched.
     
  5. AppleInLVX thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AppleInLVX

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    #5
    Yeah, my bank charges about $140 annually for the privilege of unlimited debits. That's a pretty decent chunk of change. However, I did do some research and many of the 'cash' benefits I currently reap are also in fact available with debit. So, in a lot of ways, what you said is spot on: I need to decide if the cost is worth the hassle I'll save. Oddly, what I can't seem to figure is if the bank's tracking capabilities also allow me to download a csv or other file that I can keep locally.

    Anyway, thanks again for your input!
     
  6. d21mike macrumors 68040

    d21mike

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #6
  7. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    #7
    Everyone (in the US) can bank with USAA now, and they have awesome free checking you should look into. USAA.com

    You could also consider a prepaid debit card instead of using the bank - the Wal mart green dot one is one I've used and would use again. Then you are loading (and can load with direct deposit even) and can't overspend.

    I'm using pocket money.... I need to get better about it now that i have an iPhone in addition to the iPad. That was slightly a pain to enter transactions on the fly.
     
  8. AppleInLVX thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AppleInLVX

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    #8
    I was revisiting my old threads, and I thought I might post a little follow-up. Earlier this year, I discovered YNAB, and it's the bomb. The iPhone app is awesome and it cloud syncs to as many desktops (both Mac and Windows) as you like. Awesome support, excellent philosophy on budgeting. I am extremely impressed. If anyone else finds this thread and is looking like I was, this might be good for you too.

    http://www.youneedabudget.com/
    (I am not affiliated in any way whatsoever... I just have had so good an experience I feel good in recommending it).
     

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