A new iPad app looks to simplify the process managing people's finances by giving them greater control over the information they need, according to Reuters.
Anyone who has attempted to take a more active approach to money management and bring their spending under control understands exactly how difficult this seemingly simple task can be. While people can reasonably attempt to cut down on unnecessary expenditures, often it is not clear where the biggest costs come from, whether it is simply too many nights out or needlessly high electricity bills.
Managing finances first and foremost request an extensive amount of information, forcing people to calculate the monthly costs of basic expenses like rent or loan payments in addition to the more variable costs of the food, entertainment and other expenditures.
Much of this information is generally simple enough to find, with regular statements from utilities and lenders, along with standard payments for expenses like rent.
Other information can prove more difficult to put together, with food expenses split between dozens of receipts from grocery stores and restaurants. This of course assumes that people keep these receipts or there were any to be kept, and that they never stopped for a snack at a vending machine.
Even if all that is true, putting this information can be a tedious and difficult task, which only gets worse when it must be added to the data from monthly bills and put into a form that allows for some sort of rational analysis.
Mint.com has produced a series of applications to simplify this process dramatically. Starting with a web-based program and launching its iPhone app in 2008, the site has now released its iPad app.
All three programs are free and provide users the ability to input certain personal information, allowing the company to track transactions and personal expenses. The app then categorizes all expenditures and puts the information together in a simple and comprehensible presentation, allowing users to see monthly expenses by type or spending patterns over the course of the week.
The program can even be used to track the cash transactions, sometimes without receipts, that could sometimes confound money management. Users can simply input the amount spent on the iPad and the program will make assumptions about the category based on its location.
PCMag.com notes that the interactivity of the iPad allows for easy and intuitive ways to navigate through finances, providing a convenient balance of details and broad overviews.