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I have been tracking my money for a really long time using that “old reliable” Quicken on my computer every single day like clockwork. It’s something that is ingrained in my brain—recording my income, expenses, etc.—and I think about it a lot. In fact, you could say I have “trackitis”, i.e. a stress-related disease that involves knowing every aspect of my financial life. Quicken has a lot of features, options, menus, and it can make you feel more like a CPA rather than being a no-stress way to gain control of your money.
That’s where HoneyMoney comes in.
I decided to give it a try with my financial tracking after talking with its creator, Ildar Abdulin, and so for the past weeks I have been using the site and its mobile app to test it out and check its claims which are:
- It can analyze your money by seeing where your money goes
- It can see where there are opportunities to save your money
- You can have more control of your money
- You can improve control of your cash flow
- You will increase your money awareness and change your money habits
How Does It Work?
HoneyMoney is a cash flow based financial system and not a budget based one like Quicken (and others). You just plan your future incomes and expenses on a big monthly calendar provided for you on the site. The system will then run the cash flow simulation for you for one year in the future and you can evaluate what you need to do to stay in control.
You will use, like I did, a simple system so you can track the physical places where your money actually is located like your checking, savings, cash, investment accounts, etc. as well as your credit cards. Then you use the “envelope system” to reserve the amounts of money for all of your planned expenses (Reserves), keep money for unplanned expenses (HoneyMoney), and create additional envelopes as needed for your financial goals. You will also see a prediction of how much more money needs to be reserved to cover your planned expenses and if you have any funds left for investments or savings. The system runs a simulation based on your planned expenses and allows you to transfer money between envelopes to cover Funds and Goals.
What Makes This a “Better” Way to Control Your Money?
For one thing, everything about HoneyMoney is simple, easy and visually appealing. It doesn’t have unnecessary features that you may never actually use and it’s totally uncomplicated once you understand how it works.
Entering your expenses is simple. Just click on a date on the big calendar, type the amount and description (on the same line), choose which account and which envelope (Reserves for planned expenses, HoneyMoney for unplanned expenses, or one of your custom envelopes), and type in a category (optional). If it’s a planned expense, you also have the option of making it a repeated expense, which is ideal for things like mortgages, car payments, and other regular expenses. Income and transfers are entered the same way with a simple dropdown to choose which kind of transaction. But to make it even easier, HoneyMoney recommends that you round transactions and even combine transactions of the same type.
The envelope system is very cool and works just like in real life the way it did back in the day. You don’t have to figure out if you have enough money to use for any specific purpose, if there is no money left in your envelope it shows you that and you can’t spend it! On the other hand, if you have money left over, it shows you that and you can transfer it to savings or your other goals. It’s really more convenient and time saving versus something like Quicken, especially when you multiply it by the number of times I enter things every week.
A great option is the free mobile app for HoneyMoney! You can enter things on it while on the go and see exactly where you stand in your finances with a quick glance without being tied to your home computer anymore!
Additionally, I did love the comprehensive reports you can get to cover all kinds of time frames and statistical information. Your savings rate is displayed right on the calendar, and you can track your net worth as well. It’s a pretty complete package.
Are There Any Negatives Here?
There are some things that you may not like about HoneyMoney. For one, everything is tracked manually and doesn’t allow any auto sync with any of your bank or credit accounts. The flip side is that you are in complete control and forced to pay attention to every detail. It’s actually the way I prefer to track my finances. Oh and yeah, since it’s not linked to those bank accounts it can never be hacked!
You can’t arrange auto bill pay with HoneyMoney, but you probably have multiple other ways of doing that through the net so is it a big deal? I don’t think so.
So What’s the Cost?
It’s not free but you can get an absolutely free 30 day trial at HoneyMoney and you don’t even have to supply payment info until you decide that you want to continue as a paying customer.
Plus enter our giveaway now and you could win a free year of HoneyMoney!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Unlike some programs, there is a modest $5 per month fee for the service (or $50 annually) but that is cheaper than buying the Quicken annual subscriptions and this system has no advertising distractions like so many free systems do. It does have small but pleasant colorful details which enhance the design. I like that the developer spent a lot of time designing the interface to make it appealing.
HoneyMoney has a single minded purpose and is designed for only one thing: helping you with tracking and planning your expenses so you will improve your money habits.
While using HoneyMoney, you will more easily see the things that tempt you towards spending and saving trouble. It really helps tracking your behavior and enables you to try and change it. HoneyMoney is a great first step toward an easy stress-free way to control your money. If you are just starting out in trying to get control of your finances or if you have not ever before thought you could use this kind of system, HoneyMoney may just be perfect for you!
Do you have a system to track your income and expenses? Are you using a detailed, complicated, even stressful system and paying a lot for it? Can you see advantages on a low cost system like HoneyMoney that can save you time and show you the best ways to save and spend to build your financial future?