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Buddi

CNET Editors' review

Buddi is a finance management program that's poised with potential. Open source and free, it offers a cross-platform, extensible experience wrapped up in a simple tabbed interface. As they say in the money biz, it looks great on paper.

The app can create new accounts from four credit types--cash, checking, investment, and savings--and five debit types--credit card, liability, line of credit, loan, and prepaid account. People can create their own account types, too, and take brief notes on an account. Strangely, the notes don't seem to surface anywhere. Under the My Budget tab, you can add transactions under different default categories such as Salary, Auto, and Misc. Expenses, or you can create your own. To enter a new transaction, double-click on the account or budget category under which it has occurred. From there, preexisting accounts and transaction titles have automatically been added to the drop-down menus to accelerate the new transaction creation process. Buddi generates reports and pie charts on command by income, average income, expenses, and net worth.

This is a good start in terms of features, but the execution leaves much room for improvement. There's no context menu support, no drag-and-drop support, and the forced need to jump between tabs to see how expenses and income relates to specific accounts feels antiquated compared to newer financial management programs and Web sites. While we appreciate that Buddi supports plug-ins, including ones that provide CSV and QIF import and export, there's no native account importation or synchronization. Buddi's interface doesn't facilitate an intuitive-enough work flow to cut down on the immense effort that the lack of syncing will mandate from users.

Publisher's Description

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