Developer: Sandro Pennisi
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.6

Controls Rating: ★★★★★
iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use Rating: ★★★★★

Rating: ★★★★½

mzl_lnkfyxxb_480x480-75Moneybook is a home finance app that provides the user with tools that record income and expenses, and allows tracking and summary information to be analyzed without much work. I recorded a month worth of expenses in interacting with the app, and was surprised at how detailed the line items could become, and how easy it was to add said detail. Within 5 minutes of turning the app on, I had income already recorded and was working on recording expenses.

The entire philosophy of Moneybook is simplicity, as explained by the developers in the help section. The approach to this app is to buck the complicated financial recording systems that, while powerful, create user interfaces that are cluttered and complicated. Instead, Moneybook takes a minimalist approach, displaying information in easy to read forms and offering quickly read reports of spending habits.

One of the nicer attributes of Moneybook is its seamless operation. Rather then add four or five summary buttons, if the iDevice is turned to landscape mode while on the transaction page, a bar graph that details income and expense trends comes up for the specific month. If you want to check out a previous months graph to see if there are any changes from month to month, there is a History icon that brings up previous months, where transaction history is saved and bar graphs can be reviewed. Overtime a line chart begins showing month to month comparisons of spending and income as well.

mzl_icpaglat_480x480-75The ability for Moneybook to set up re-occurring expenses automatically each month makes tracking expenses MUCH easier. Without much work at all, these transactions automatically upload on the day specified, and do not limit the ability to add in additional one time transactions in any way.

Unfortunately, some of these additional offerings from Moneybook are not obvious. Unless you click the settings icon on the overview screen, and then click the help button, and then make your way through the frequently asked questions, you’ll never know that some of these options exist. My initial use of the app was great, but I didn’t know there is a separate set of categories for expenses, and an entire set of alternate income transaction options, until I found the help button. Being the stereotypical man that I am, I don’t usually ask for directions. Had I not been trying to be as thorough as possible for this app review, I might not have ever found those options at all.

Being an MBA graduate, tracking finances is extremely important to me. I use a complicated excel spreadsheet that calculates monthly trends, divides out re-occurring charges and one time charges, and tracks accumulated money versus possible future issues. This app does a lot of what my excel spreadsheet does, without the added effort. It’s not a fool proof fund tracker, and certainly not a replacement for a check register, but Moneybook does a great job of warning the user if the total monthly income versus expenses gets close. The overview screen shows a meter, I’ll refer to it as a fiscal health meter, which shows if your habits are eating up too much of the total monthly income available. Additionally, the three top expense categories, and an average expense per day calculation, help to show if maybe there needs to be a re-evaluation of spending habits.

Moneybook is a simple and efficient daily finance tracker that offers powerful options without sacrificing simplicity. For those of you frightened of anything involving numbers, you can be sure that Moneybook’s simplistic user interface will have you tracking the flow of personal finances in no time. This is a must have for anyone looking for simple, but powerful, assistant in home finance monitoring.

Posted in: Finance, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

Tagged with: , ,