You get what you pay for

Don't bother with this bare-bones finance tool.

Gone are the days of managing your finances with a calendar and a checkbook; personal finance software has almost completely automated what used to be a tedious chore. Unfortunately, Household Accounting Book is not one of the more capable programs we've encountered. In fact, there's not much of anything that we liked about it.

The program's interface is rather sparse, with a handful of drop-down menus and buttons and a logo that looks like it was created in Microsoft Paint. Transactions are split into three categories--income, fixed expenses, and variable expenses--and you can create subcategories in each of these. Although the program allegedly lets you import transactions from your bank in CSV files, a feature that we believe is absolutely mandatory in personal finance programs, our attempt to do this filled the program with a bunch of empty transactions with the current day's date. We tried to consult the Help file about this issue, but we got an error message when we attempted to open it. The program's default currency is the euro, and although this can be changed by entering your preferred currency and the exchange rate, the program continues to label all transactions in euros. Household Accounting Book can provide monthly and yearly overviews of income and expenses, but so can any other such software worth its salt. Overall, we think that Household Accounting Book is to be avoided; it doesn't have many features, and the ones it does have can't be counted on to work correctly. There are plenty of better alternatives available.

Household Accounting Book comes as a ZIP file. It installs a desktop icon without asking but uninstalls cleanly.

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