Saturday, October 19, 2013

Budgeting Software

I know I mentioned this somewhere, or I meant to-silly Lyme or old age, whatever.  Anyway, I have used the same $9.99 budgeting software on clearance for $5.00 for at least 15 years.  It made it through all the computer upgrades up to Vista then wouldn't work anymore.  After hours of desperately searching for any patch, user fix, update, or new version of this software (Home Budget for Dummies by Anuman Interactive), I gave up and sadly went in search of something else to take its place. With much trepidation, I looked and tried many free online versions of budgeting software made by wonderful and generous individuals.  However, because our income fluctuates greatly with all my random jobs, I really needed (and have come to rely on) the ability to see a forecast graph to show possible red dips in our income or bills over the year.  I like to plan way ahead for gifts, trips, or high ticket repair items, and this allows me to 'dream' budget.  Beside this vital function, I also needed to be able to input my data into a monthly calendar-like format to balance bill paying dates according to that same fluctuating income.  I never knew the goldmine I was offered with my age-old software, and almost gave up the search, until I found online-based  Calendar Budget.  Needless to say, I was thrilled when it had all the same functions and more, including my oft-pined for feature of downloading bank transactions directly into the program.  I have not run into any bugs yet, except of my own making, when I re-title an expense or something sloppily. When this happens, it kindly lets me know where I went wrong and I can fix what I will inevitably do.  I have mixed feelings about it being an online-based program as opposed to housed on my computer.  Online-based allows me to login and do finances from anywhere and saves my data if my computer crashes; this is a once every 5 year issue with us. Otherwise, I am hoping my data is safe.  Since I download bank transactions to a computer, save there, then upload, I assume my actual bank info is safe.  If someone really wants to know how much I spend on groceries or gas, that point really doesn't alarm me and maybe it would induce a donation, lol.  All in all, it is a free program/service that is feature-rich and well worth recommending!

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