I’ve been using the Home Budget app for the last 12 months or so, specifically to manage the household food budget, so yes, this blog post is a bit overdue. Before I tell you more, I just want you to know that this app is not a competitor to 22 Seven. You can still manage your money on all accounts across multiple bank accounts on 22 Seven, but Home Budget I find is great for something very specific, in my case, tracking what I spend on groceries. This could work for a small business, but it is aimed primarily for home use.
Home Budget is available for iOS, Android, Kindle, Mac, and Windows. I started off by using Home Budget Lite, which is somewhat self explanatory; and allows a maximum of 90 transactions. This version is free, while the full-on Home Budget app costs R99* for iPhone. I paid for the app because I loved the simplicity, quick glance in a graph, colour coded labels, and fingerprint/Touch ID support. There are other features but I don’t make use of them, such as exporting in CSV or PDF, including receipts with these, forecasts, etc. The app is priced differently for various platforms. At the time of writing this post in January 2017, the Android version appears to be R65; Windows being R212; and Mac at a pricey R299. As you know I’m all about mobile apps, and tend to get a lot done on my phone. [Aside: My 8-month-old laptop battery is currently on a 140 cycle count – that’s how ‘little’ I’ve charged it – also the web has gotten so ugly and littered with ads, I prefer mobile+ad blocker.]
Home Budget is meant to be a full household expense tracking app with support for categories like mortgage/rent; utilities (phone, internet, water, electricity); food (groceries, takeaway); departmental (clothes, books, toys); entertainment; car; insurance (medical aid); and one-time purchases (flights, gifts, accommodation). You can set which date you want your cycle to run, such as any date from 1-28th of a month, choose your currency – it has ZAR support, make it password protected and choose which home screen you want. The options are quite vast, like expenses, quick summary, bills, accounts, reports, budget, income or add expense. You can also back up your data to an email address over WiFi, and Dropbox support.
As mentioned, I’ve been using it to only track my food expenses in my household. It was the main reason I looked for such an app, I could never remember what I was spending at the supermarkets and don’t ask me to keep receipts, I’m the worst. Now I just add each entry after visiting the supermarket. Sometimes I don’t remember to do it on time, so I use my FNB inContact emails as a reference.
I’ve been using it for almost a year, the paid for version, and I have no regrets buying it for R99. It’s been worth every cent because it’s convenient and provides a service I wanted for my phone. I know a lot of people who have a policy of never paying for apps. To be honest I don’t get it because it makes no sense. If you can buy a book, you can buy an app. Comparatively, it’s worth the same as takeaway coffee for a month (4 or 5 cappuccinos?). What I’m trying to say is that it’s worth the smartphone price; and if you’re on Android, it’s slightly cheaper.
App official website: http://anishusite.appspot.com
*Incidentally, the app is currently 40% off at R49 on the South African App Store today (24 Jan). Not sure for how long it will be on sale.