Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wow! Cool Freebie!!

Wow- Freebie

I stumbled upon PearBudget while over at ZenHabits. I downloaded a couple of different budget spreadsheets to try out from different sites. The one I got from PearBudget has me saying, “THIS is free?” Ha, ha, well, I have downloaded it now, so it is mine mine mine! I suggest you do the same before this guy comes to his senses.

Here is what you get:
A start-up guide/page that allows you to enter your own categories. I really like this because pre-made budget spreadsheets often do a lot of assuming.
A year’s worth of spreadsheets. I am going to save a blank copy along with the copy I will actually use so that each year I can start with a blank spreadsheet. For each month you just click the appropriate tab at the bottom.
An analysis page. It will automatically update itself as you enter more information.

Here is what I LOVE about it:
You set your own categories.
Variable expenses have a monthly tracking log. If you spend $50 on groceries on the 15th you just type it in there and it automatically adds it all up and puts it in the program for you.
It tells you how much you save or have left over each month.
Your envelope categories also have their own area under “irregular expenses” You can either use the envelope system and save this much each month, or you can write it in only when you use it.
If you haven’t spend it all of the money in a category it tells you how much you have left for the month. Kind of like my notebook system without needing a calculator.
You can change the budgeted amount for variable expenses each month on the month page (but not fixed or irregular)
It is FREE!

What I don’t like:
I didn’t find it sooner.
I will have to load the program to track my expenses, but it does come up faster than MS Money.
It is somewhat limited in how many items you can enter. I had plenty of room but some might not.
It took me a while to figure out where to enter income (Column M, also by the exact day you deposit it, which is cool if you have a garage sale, get several checks per month, etc.)
I also noticed after playing around some more that whatever you enter for your fixed expenses, it automatically calculates. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you enter the amount or not, it figures in your original input. This kind of scared me because I thought all my money was gone before I was finished spending. Not really a problem once you understand it.

As you can tell, I am a big fan, and I haven’t even used it for a real month yet. The reason I like it is because it is my exact notebook system on my computer. I also get the added bonus of an analysis of my spending. I suggest you at least check out the webpage because it really is a great tool!

No comments: