A lot of people asked me recently about the app I use to track my expenses. To the best of my ability, I answered them personally – I use an app called Money Lover. It is available for Android, Apple, and Windows platform. They use the freemium model – free use, pay to unlock features. Here is the website.
There’s many reason why I love the Money Lover app more than other types of expense tracking app. I’ve been tracking my expenses for a while (~10 years, give or take), and I’ve used the pen+paper method, custom Excel spreadsheets, and many other expense-tracking apps.
First up, free expense tracking apps exists. But as of mid 2014 when I stopped using the free ones and used Money Lover exclusively, the free ones suck. The apps would freeze, or it would limit features, or it’s simply not user-friendly enough.
Secondly, I maintain that the best expense tracking method is the method that works best for you. If you are comfortable with the abacus, go for it (lol).
Here is my Money Lover review, as the 9 things I personally love about the app.
Note: This is not a sponsored post. I do not earn money from this endorsement.
1. They are made by our ASEAN friends
When I first downloaded it, I didn’t know that it was made by a team of Vietnamese developers.
How awesome is that? I’m so happy that they are making it globally. I’m so happy that I get to support our ASEAN buds.
2. You can create ‘Wallets’
You can make multiple ‘wallets’, if you need to track expenses separately. For me, I only have 2: Income (where I track all of my net worth) and Expenses (where I track all of my spending).
I imagine you can add ‘Business expenses’ wallet too, if you need it. Anything. Personalise it.
3. You can make pretty graphs!
I like beautiful graphs. They make me happy. When I view the overview of my expenses, my categories (I have 16 categories, here for breakdown) look like this:
4. You can assign your own categories, with a cute icon
The basic icons are:
Not enough? Need more icons?
5. You can get more icons if you want (some free, most icon packs cost RM3.50)
Look at all the options you have!
Yes yes you have to pay for some of them, but honestly, in the perceived world of ‘boring’ personal finance, I love that they include so much effort in providing great graphics. Anything that makes you excited over doing your finances are a-OK for me.
6. You can use the widget to easily submit and track your expenses
This is my second screen on my Android device. See the widget? All I have to do is touch the ‘+’ sign and add my expenses. It’s fast. I don’t have to open the app and find the right page before submitting.
To submit an expense, you set 4 things: category, date, amount, and notes.
7. You can see your spending habits over time in ‘Trends’
I’ve shown this a couple of times, but you can easily check your spending trend using this app.
You can check by category (say if you want to track how much you spent on groceries for the past year), or by month (below).
8. You can make notes of your spending and search for it
I mentioned this in passing in No 5, but I love to add notes when I track my expenses.
Last time, my landlord wanted to know when I last serviced the air con. How would I remember! Thankfully, I searched the app and found that I paid for it in July.
It’s handy that way 🙂
8. There’s so many features
You can track progress of existing debts, or create budgets for specific categories. You can set recurring transactions (although this was buggy last time, I hope they fixed it), and turn on ‘travel mode’ (which I’ve yet to try).
9. There’s so many tools!
Okay to be fair I don’t use a majority of these. I do export it into CSV and Excel for backup purposes. But the array of available tools are impressive!
Let’s address something, though. Money Lover is a bit expensive for an app, but you get what you pay for.
Let’s face it. You can get free apps. You can get the ones that sell for RM3.50. If you’re on a strict budget, give those a go, they’re probably good too.
Money Lover app costs USD4.99. I bought it last year, in July for RM16.68 (I literally searched the app and found the notes I made during the time). With the exchange rate right now, it’s at least RM20.
I love this app, so I am endorsing it. I think it’s worth every cent. Do you agree or disagree? What app do you use? What method do you use? Share with me!