Yellow's Green

The Adventures of Money Blog.

Friday, April 21, 2006

My program

Yes, I'm making a budgeting program to do just what we want it to. And when I'm done if anyone else thinks that it might help them out they're welcome to try it out, too. I'll make no promises about when it will be ready, or even that it will do what you want it to. But I'll try to make it as good as I can. I'm also using it as a learning process, so it might be a while. Sometimes I feel like I'm beating my head against a wall as I teach myself to program it, and other times it just flies. It is reassuring when I think that if I was in school learning it I would be going WAY slower and wouldn't be learning as much. Heck, I've only been at this for a little while now and I'm already creating a program to do just what we want.

Of course, what with how much of my time I'll spend writing the thing it might not save us any time in the long run. But I justify it because I'm using it to learn and I'm enjoying that immensely! I also know that if I get it right then it could help other people also. I know my sister Denise uses the spreadsheet that we do and would be interested, for one.

I first looked at the programs that were out there, and nothing seems just right. Once we started doing this spreadsheet, which plans ahead instead of keeping track only where money went after the fact, we fell in love with it. It makes so much more sense to have it planned out ahead instead of keeping every receipt. It's less work and then you don't have to be as careful about every little thing. You have the cash every week for out of pocket stuff, and once it's gone you're done, simple as that. There are also amounts you set aside for various bills and rainy day funds. (We have one that's car repairs.) So that way the money is already there and when you need it you spend it, knowing that that is what it was for.

When I was looking at different programs I found that they call it the "envelope method" and when cash was more prevalent rather than cards plenty of people would literally use envelopes with cash inside. I found many programs that would do this or that part of what I wanted, but nothing that would do it all. This is a good one.

This one also sounds at least somewhat good, except that to use it you need to pay a monthly fee. No thanks.

Here's another that sounds good, but when I tried to use it I found it klunky.

And, finally, the one that I liked the best, but it still lacks quite a few features that I would like. So I'm making my own. That goes to the Mac version, which is more up to date than the Windows one.

Here's a good page with links to all kinds of them.

Update: Here's an online free one that might be decent. I haven't had a chance to play with it very much. I'm hoping that Amber will have a chance to see how good it really is.

3 Comments:

  • At 4/21/2006 12:00 PM, Blogger Amber said…

    Well honey, I just checked out that online one you asked me to look at. It looked great as far as I could get into it, and I liked the fact that it was online so you could access it from anywhere.

    What I didn't like is that because it's online, I'm a bit weary having all our financial information up there avaiable to hackers... though I sure really good hackers could get into what we have on here anyway.

    The other problem is that it looks like it "ended" last year. While trying to set up recurring bills or other budgeting things, the drop down menus all ended in 2005, and when I email customer support, I instantly received a failed message in our inbox.

     
  • At 4/21/2006 12:12 PM, Blogger Amber said…

    This one is too bogged down with unimportant details for my taste, and doesn't have the flixibility I'd like in creating your own catagories.

     
  • At 4/21/2006 12:35 PM, Blogger Amber said…

    I agree that the Make$.Cents program was klunky.

     

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