December 8, 2013
“Saving money has never been more difficult,” said some twenty-something Millennial attempting to connect with the rest of the world. But, really though, saving money just seems to be a difficult task for many of us; when there aren't bills to be paid (hello, struggling to keep my home), then there are other things on which to spend that money – like cases of wine to help alleviate the pains of having just spent the last of this week's budget on said case of wine. Managing a budget shouldn't be difficult, though, and tracking our spending should actually help us mold our future spending habits. BudgetSimple is the tool to do precisely these things.
BudgetSimple is a financial management tool that serves as an automated financial advisor on the Internet that shows you opportunities where you can save or make more money. The service helps users put together a financial plan to change their current spending habits to help them get out of debt and into saving. As opposed to the widely popular Mint.com, BudgetSimple is arguably more helpful in the long-run. “Mint is really only great at showing you where you spent your money…BudgetSimple is more of an automated checkbook – more of a financial plan,” says founder Phil Anderson.
Here are the reasons why you should switch to BudgeSimple from Mint.com:
1. You're Not Even Using Mint
You're in denial – just get over it: you're not even using Mint. Sure, you definitely have an account set up, and you have the app on your phone, but could you honestly say that you use Mint on a regular basis? Uh, no…no, you don't. While Mint.com is a powerful tool for helping you keep track of how much is left in your budget, it's kind of a pain to track each and every purchase or transaction you've made, especially when you're not really getting any extra incentives from the app itself (aside from, you now, tracking your spending). Mint's also just got a lot going on – it's got a lot of neat graphs and features that, well, um, are pointless to most of us and just complicates our relationship with it.
2. BudgetSimple is Significantly Easier to Use
There are no unnecessary graphs or features that are pointless to the general user (read: everyone), so it's much more manageable to consume the content that's presented to you as opposed to all the data and options that you're inundated with on Mint.com. You simply input your income and your approximate spending on various categories, and then play around with a budget showing you what effect various spending and saving habits can have on certain categories.
3. It's Actually Got Helpful Features
BudgetSimple helps you track your basic income and expenses, and allows you to view a spending plan that you've set up. Awesome stuff, yes? But BudgetSimple actually has some other great tools for you to use. The only downside is that you'll have to subscribe as a premium user. The great thing? It's only $3.99 per month or $29.99 for the year. BudgetSimple Plus gives you access to some great features, such as the capability to link your bank accounts to automatically categorize and bring in your spending directly into the BudgetSimple platform. Premium access also gives you the ability to look at your spending habits (where and on what you frequently spend your money), as well as help you set up your budget to include financial goals and emergency savings.
4. Founder Phil Anderson Created One of the First Beer Check-In Apps
Okay – obviously, not the best reason, but it's always great to support a company or a product that has genuinely interesting people working behind the scenes. Years ago, Anderson and a friend created a kind of Foursquare for beers app – you check-in/log whatever beer you're drinking and you earn badges.
One of the biggest drawbacks of BudgetSimple, however, is the lack of access to a mobile application (a mobile app exists, but you have to be a premium user to actually access it; Mint's mobile app is completely free). Considering the conveniences associated with being able to manage budgets from our hand devices, it's disappointing to see that BudgetSimple has created this kind of financial barrier for users. Regardless, BudgetSimple is definitely worth a try as an alternative to Mint.
BudgetSimple was most recently featured at Tech Cocktail's Pittsburgh Mixer & Startup Showcase.
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