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John Chen speaks
As the price of pretty much everything is going up, it’s becoming increasingly important to have a tight handle on your finances. You need to know where your money is going and where you may have to redirect it to. I find myself, as I’m sure most of you do, banking online more and more. Let’s face it; it’s just more convenient than standing in line.
Then comes the number crunching. You spend time writing down (or cutting and pasting) each transaction and filing them into categories. Wouldn’t it be easier to have an application that can create a report or pie chart for you at your fingertips? Something that’s a little more secure than accessing the information on your home or work pc? You never know whose eyes are glancing over at your widescreen LCD.
Last week, Splashdata unleashed SplashMoney to the BlackBerry world. This is excellent news, especially if you are a former Palm or Windows Mobile user. With this app you can have your account information, balances and transactions, secured, at your fingertips. SplashMoney also allows for bank account reconciliation. There’s more for your money after the jump.
Depositing my two cents
SplashMoney is an in depth financial manager, protected by a password of course. Like the SplashID application I reviewed, SplashMoney’s password is secured using Blowfish Encryption. The application can be used on your BlackBerry or paired with its PC twin. I’ve read, in the CrackBerry forums, that many have found problems with accessing their banking sites on their BlackBerrys. With SplashMoney, it brings your account info to you. As I’ve experienced, not all accounts are accessible. Canadian banks apparently do not support wireless access the way that American banks do. Because of this, SplashMoney is unable to access them through their wireless bank features at this time. Since I’m Canadian, I won’t be able to share the full features of this application. You’ll just have to take my word for it.
In this case, they key to making this application work for you is diligence; keep your records up to date. The more info you can input/ download, the better SplashMoney will work. When you first open SplashMoney, there are 5 types accounts already laid out for you; Amex, MasterCard, Visa, Checking and Savings. You can add, delete or edit accounts until you have it set up to your liking. Track, cash, assets, line of credit or money market. Within each account, you can enter information such as currency, beginning balance, account number and even personalize with their vast selection of icons. The currency setting starts as a great addition, but then I got to thinking; it’s a nice touch to be able to offer different currencies, but SplashMoney could go one step further. Why not include the ability to access the latest exchange rate too? It would make the program that much more handy while globe trotting.
As you start managing the transactions for each account, you can choose various categories, including whether the transaction is business or personal. This is great if you are required to submit an expense report. Fields are automatically laid out for you and, unlike some applications; I didn’t find any unnecessary fields that needed to be deleted. When asked to enter categories, you can choose from types such as groceries, fuel, clothing, insurance, etc. Once you select the appropriate type, an icon appears. I did notice. that there is an error when I try to enter the category. Press the BlackBerry button and choose from the category types in the window. Do not select “Edit Category”. If you do, any category type you select will not register and therefore will not be saved.
SplashMoney manages both withdrawals and payments, so it gives you the whole picture, not just what you’re spending. A running total appears at the bottom, so you have an idea of how much you have to work with. To quicken your SplashMoney experience, the program helps you enter your information by utilizing auto-fill and memorized transactions. Keep in the know by being able to view your upcoming scheduled transactions, that way you won’t be caught off guard.
Managing your accounts is quite remarkable, now that you wield the power in your BlackBerry. I can now set monthly, quarterly or yearly budgets for myself and see my money grow. Though there are multiple features, one more should be highlighted. The reports section is an amazing way to visualize your finances, especially the Pie Chart (mmmmm….piiiiiie) . The Pie Chart is a colourful and effective way to see what your money is doing. This section includes totals and percentages at the bottom of the screen.
You can bet your bottom dollar that SplashMoney will help you reach financial freedom and manage your money. The power and potential far outweigh the minor bugs I detailed. As I find myself learning visually with ease, the pie charts bring my finances to life. As you find your dollar needing to stretch more, SplashMoney will help it go just a bit further. SplashMoney offers a 30 day free trial and you can purchase it for $29.95 at the CrackBerry Store.