Another Look at Money Pro for iPhone

I’ve already written about Money Pro on our sister site, iPad Insight. It’s been my main finance app for over a year now, and even after all that time, I’m still learning to use all of the features in this $5 app. My goal is simply to adhere to a monthly budget by recording all of my expenses. I’ve pre-set all of the income from my salary, and already put aside whatever I’d like to put towards savings, so Money Pro only involves the money that goes towards rent, food, and fun stuff — the monthly expenses, really.

My Old Money Pro Setup: Budget Tab

Up until a few weeks ago, I’d been using Money Pro almost solely in the Budget tab, which acts like a profit and loss statement for each month. If I look back at June I can see that I went over budget a bit, but I made up for it in July by staying under budget. I used this tab alone and just looked at the very bottom, where it indicated my leftover balance.

I would examine that balance and divide it by the number of days left in the month. If it was the 25th of the month and I had $120 left, that would leave me with $20 to spend per day (until the 31st). I like thinking of my budget in terms of “how much can I afford to spend each day”, and that makes it easy for me to tell if I can afford an extra latte or pizza.

When I did have an overage in a given month, I would artificially reduce the budget for the upcoming month. So if I over-spent by $100 in June, I’d reduce my income by $100 in July so that my balance would start off lower. I started doing this because I was too accustomed to how other apps, like MoneyBook, would roll my budget over automatically. I wanted Money Pro to act similarly, and the Budget tab seemed like the right place to do that, but I was wrong.

However, I realized recently that this was just double-counting the losses. June was showing a loss of $100, and duplicating the expenditure in July (to lower July’s budget) made the profit and loss figures inaccurate.

My Current Money Pro Setup: Balance Tab

So a few weeks ago I decided to do an overhaul of how I record my budget in Money Pro. Instead of manually adjusting the budget amounts each month, I now simply refer to the Balance tab. This tab was designed to keep records of all my debit and credit card expenses, but that’s a little too hardcore for me.

The Balance tab works by showing the balance for different accounts. I have just two accounts there right now: Monthly and Gadget Budget. Monthly is where all the income and expenses are recorded, and Gadget Budget is a separate fund that I’ll slowly regenerate for fun tech purchases. I no longer have to artificially adjust any amounts: the Budget tab still shows whether I’ve over or under-spent in any given month, and the Balance tab reflects my overall balance in aggregate, and rolls my monthly surpluses and deficits over automatically. This means that my new glanceable view is now the Balance tab: I can just look at “Monthly” and see how I’m doing, which is the kind of finance app workflow I’m used to.

This is likely how Money Pro is meant to be used…it just took me a year to grasp the concept. If you’ve been looking for a more powerful app to handle your monthly budget and set aside a bit of extra money, $5 is a worthy investment in Money Pro.

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