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Budget for Windows

CNET Editors' review

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.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews

Results 1-10 of 12

  • 5.0 stars

    "Great Envelope System Software"

    November 12, 2011  |   By Ringelle

    Version: Budget for Windows 5.0

    Pros

    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!

    Cons

    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.

    Summary

    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!

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  • 1.0 stars

    "NO ANDROID"

    September 26, 2011  |   By Esquiador

    Version: Budget for Windows 5.0

    Pros

    It would have been an ideal solution for me.

    Cons

    NO ANDROYD SYNC

    Summary

    Pity it has no Android Sync, I would have bought it in a jiffy if it had.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Overall simple & useful.Yet to try many of its features"

    June 15, 2011  |   By ska0412

    Version: Budget for Windows 5.0

    Pros

    Simple easy-to-use approach..

    Cons

    would be great if this software was available for Android. There could be more relevant icons to be attached to Group-Envelopes and Envelopes. Like: 'Car' for Automobile, 'Bank' for bank a/c.

    Others I am yet to figure out. I am just 1 day old user.

    Summary

    Good simple useful budget tool. Go ahead..I am loving it so far. You might also like it.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "The best I have found!"

    January 30, 2011  |   By chief_800

    Version: Budget for Windows 5.0

    Pros

    Easy to learn, great interface and pleasing to use.

    Cons

    None that I've found.

    Summary

    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!

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Perfect, but missing one critical feature"

    November 27, 2010  |   By ClmsyMnkey

    Version: Budget for Windows 4.5.5

    Pros

    I've never had a clearer picture of where my finances stand. Just spend the time to set it up, and you'll find it VERY rewarding.

    Cons

    No sync support between the iPhone app and Windows. Has been "coming soon" since December 2009.

    Summary

    Great, low-cost software. If you don't care about mobile syncing - i.e. you are willing to carry receipts around to enter at the end of the day - then this is literally flawless.

    If you want mobile access fit for the 21st century, look elsewhere.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Good basic program"

    November 14, 2010  |   By belloftheyukon

    Version: Budget for Windows 4.5.5

    Pros

    Extremely easy to use and understand, well supported

    Cons

    No hard-copy print availablility

    Summary

    Recommend this for anyone trying to keep track of finances and stay on budget and prefers computer info look-up to paper copy

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Easy to understand and to use"

    January 5, 2010  |   By belloftheyukon

    Version: Budget for Windows 4.5.4

    Pros

    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

    Cons

    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

    Summary

    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".

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  • 5.0 stars

    "An Excellent program on how to discipline one's self."

    February 26, 2009  |   By martybop

    Version: Budget for Windows 4.3.6

    Pros

    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.

    Cons

    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.

    Summary

    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.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Great product. Easy to set up and start using."

    October 22, 2008  |   By lacoad

    Version: Budget for Windows 4.3.6

    Pros

    It's very visual - you can easily see how much money is in each envelope which really helps to budget your money.

    Cons

    I haven't found a critisim yet.

    Summary

    I would recommend this product for people just starting to budget. It's simplicity is inspiring!

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  • 2.0 stars

    "A bit too simplistic"

    July 9, 2007  |   By Jesse_M

    Version: Budget for Windows 4.1.1

    Pros

    I like the envelope method, though I think there are other software solutions out there that implement it a bit better.

    Cons

    The software was just a bit too simplistic and, while they were trying to be the envelope method, they're also trying to be the check register, and that was where I just became confused.

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Results 1-10 of 12

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Budget for Windows