There are probably as many personal budgeting programs out there as most of us have dollars in our checking accounts, and most of them use traditional accounting methods in which income and expenses are recorded after the money is spent. Budget for Windows by Snowmint Creative Solutions uses an increasingly popular alternative, the envelope method. It's similar to the way many people once budgeted for expenses, by placing money aside in envelopes for next month's rent, groceries, and so on, as soon as they're paid. The envelope method can actually help you stick to a budget, too. The key is to "pay your budget first."
Budget for Windows does away with the paper envelopes, but it basically operates the same way, by squirreling away your money in easy-to-manage virtual envelopes that not only help you track and analyze household expenses but also ensure that the money is available when you need it. You can use it to simply track expenses without turning your accounts over it, too. A wizard simplifies setting up a budget, such as entering income and expenses, and generates a dialog box you use to manage your new budget, pay bills, write checks, and perform many other financial tasks.
With Budget for Windows, everything old is new again: Up-to-date, easy-to-use personal finance software based on a tried-and-true method. It's free to try and fully functional except for a nag screen and a few other limitations; the registered version is thirty bucks and comes with lifetime upgrades.
From Snowmint Creative Solutions :
Tired of living payday to payday? Can't get out of debt? Finances in a mess? Try a better way to manage your checkbook. Budget is based on the tried and true "Envelope" method of budgeting - a much easier way to see where your money is, where it's needed, and where it went. Budget is a personal finance application based on the proactive envelope model rather than the reactive register model used by other home financial programs. It helps you setup and live by your budget the way most people learned to budget. You define income sources and allocate portions to your envelopes. You write checks from each envelope when the bill is due. The main window shows at a glance if you are keeping to your budget. Budget doesn't force you to follow a budget, but it does show you exactly where you're spending your money.
What's new in this version:
Version 5.0.3 may include unspecified updates, enhancements, or bug fixes.
Easy to use, very functional, logical design, excellent help support, simplifies the budgeting process. I love the pay allocations, the ability to transfer between accounts and the ability to assign credit card charges to envelopes. It's as if they wrote this software for me! This has cut my budgeting and bill paying time drastically!
There is a little bit of a learning curve, visually it can be a little overwhelming - would love to be able to change the view to more of a register view, I've run into some "error" messages that are a little scarey especially when dealing with your home finances. They seem to resolve themselves but I wonder if I will run into problems in the future.
I've been looking for over 3 years for a software program to do what this does. I have been very pleasantly surprised by all it's functions. In under a week it has simplified my budgeting process and has replaced a very confusing excel spreadsheet workbook and Quicken! I LOVE this program. Not to mention the Apple App that can by synced is an added bonus!
Easy to learn, great interface and pleasing to use.
None that I've found.
I wanted to find an easy, uncomplicated home finance tracker. I downloaded five different programs to try and this was number four. I have deleted the others and am now using this one for keeping all my accounts in order. I have always liked the "envelope method", and this one is a pleasure to use. It's worth the price!
Using it strictly as Transaction Record. Easy to set up; flexibility in naming accounts & envelopes; quick glance at the screen provides overview of balances in each envelope; reconciling is simple as is printing hard copy if required
Doesn't allow envelopes to open with negative balance; no reminder to save entries before closing; no simple "term" search in Help; not keen on having all envelopes attached to all accounts
Very happy, found a work-around to open envelope with negative balance, trouble tracking account transfers though as they don't show in Account history. Exactly what I was looking for and does the job it's supposed to. Being a little creative, can apply the basics of the program to other financial applications - ie. a single Visa card with secondary users - the Visa card is the "bank account", the secondary users are the "envelopes".
Puts money in easy to access catagories. Tells you how much you have left in account/envelope. Easy to use and user friendly. Helps you prepare a sound budget on what you have, and correct errors in the future.
There are a couple draw backs, one you run out of money...you have to figure out where to get more money or deal with out. You have to have some computer knowledge to run program.
The bottom line, this is a tight well written program that incorperates old ideas and tosses in modern convenience. I recommend, it helps you better see where your money is going to and for.