For the longest time, I thought I didn’t have to keep track of my spending, I told myself that I make a decent living, I save for retirement, I don’t spend wildly… and it just seems so restrictive to have to keep track of every penny that comes in and out of my wallet.
Incidentally, I’ve always felt that way about calorie counting – hated it, didn’t see the point of it, assumed my metabolism would just take care of everything. But as my dresses fit a little more snug and jeans hung a little tighter, the truth became clear. It’s all a matter of mathematics, and I’m not going to reverse the trend without some serious work. About two weeks ago, after I heard about the app MyFitnessPal through Newlyweds on a Budget, I decided to give it a try. I started counting every bite and every sip. Instead of finding the tracking restrictive, I love knowing exactly where my calories are “spent” on.
The very act of typing in numbers keeps me accountable and keeps me informed, and that’s what I need with my spending as well. After all, saving money is all about math as well – dollar in, dollar out. And it’s mightily hard to control or reduce dollar out when I don’t have any idea how much dollars are going out and what they are going out for. That’s why I am on the hunt for a good expense tracker app, something that does for dollars what MyFitnessPal does for calories, if you will.
- I’d prefer the app not be linked to my checking or credit card account. I like Mint’s interface, but at this stage of my spending, I need something that forces me to manually enter the numbers.
- I’d like the app to be able to separate my spending into different categories, and if it has preset categories, allow me to add my own. Little charts and graphs to display the data are always appreciated, but I don’t need anything too crazy.
- I’d like the app to track income input as well – ideally also support the capacity to separate out taxes, pre-tax medical premiums, etc.
- There are lots of great paid apps out there, but ideally the app is free. (I think my experience with my MyFitnessPal spoiled me).