From Excel to Wallet: There and Not Back Again

One of our users has contributed her experience from switching different finance-tracking methods to us. Check out her story! Do you have a similar experience? Have you gone a different path when managing your personal finance? Let us know as well!

“I have a confession to make: I had been using an Excel spreadsheet for keeping track of my expenses and incomes for several years. I expect there are still thousands like me, loyal to their carefully kept lists, month-by-month, sheet-by-sheet… If it works, why replace it with something else? Well ”“ your old car worked, so why replace it at all? Ocean liners worked quite well, so why fly across the sea? Because it works better. I decided to try the Wallet by BudgetBakers app mainly to see whether it would offer me more than my old way of tracking my finances. How did my experiment turn out?

My reasons for replacing the table with an app were several: Due to unreliable file access from mobile devices, I always had to wait til I got to the computer to log a new item. I often forgot to do so in time, didn’t keep the receipts, had to estimate the amount spent after I had recalled it again… When I wanted to do some basic statistics like look at the frequency of various kinds of expenses, total amount of a type of expenses across a chosen period of time or the changes in relative expenses in different periods of the year, it was relatively easy but sometimes time-consuming when I wanted to check more things at once.

Wallet by the Czech start-up BudgetBakers was a pleasant surprise from the very beginning. The app’s design seemed clear and simple to me and it took me just a minute to figure out where was everything I needed for a start and to try it out. As I nearly always have my tablet or phone by myself, my previous problem with forgetting to fill the items in my table is virtually gone. Initially, I had to change some settings of expense types in Wallet to fit my habits better. Once I had done that, using the app became very quick and easy.

When it came down to filling in incomes, I also created new categories. I work as a freelance writer, translator, editor and proofreader and also study at the university, and so I needed to distinguish more types of income than just one general type, which is the default setting. Otherwise, I guess I’m a rather undemanding user to whom the default settings worked very well. What I liked a lot is the possibility to log expenses and incomes in different currencies ”“ no need to make notes in the spreadsheet, Wallet converts the item to my default currency by itself and doesn’t lose any information.

Opening the app has become a somewhat more disquieting sight for me than opening my old table, as the first thing I see is the graph of my recent financial activity, more usually than not a downward slope. But that’s not up to the app… It surely confronts one with reality much more than a mere spreadsheet, which is a very good thing. It made me think about my expenses more in-depth and finally set up a budget. And so far, I’ve never needed to export the data to look at them more closely ”“ the reports, graphs and filtering options available directly in-app sufficed adequately for everything I needed to know. I’ve come to like the BudgetBakers’ app, as using it is easy, comfortable and fast, and I wouldn’t go back to my old table; this path only leads one way.”

How to save money? Every penny counts! (part one)