Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Track your money flow with SplashMoney


By Heather Wardell

SplashMoney was difficult for me to test, as my husband does most of the money management in our house, thereby preventing me from spending the mortgage payment on new gadgets. The software is able to connect to Quicken and Microsoft Money, but as I do not have access to either program, I was also not able to test that feature. Still, I used SplashMoney to keep track of my own expenditures for a little while and was able to get a good idea of how it functions.

It's quick and easy to add a new account. Figure A shows my Visa account, with its rather high balance.


SplashMoney makes it easy to add a new account. (click for larger image)

The program lets you quickly see how you're doing financially, even when, as in Figure B, it's not great news.


Heather needs to stop using that Visa! (click for larger image)

Where SplashMoney really excels, though, is in entering data as you go. With just a few quick clicks, the transaction is entered. Figure C shows an entry for a little snack. The Payee list keeps track of the people you've paid before, so that you can choose them from the list later to save yourself writing them in again.


Next time I think I'll eat at home. (click for larger image)

While looking at a particular account, you can have the software show your data filtered in a number of ways. You can see everything, anything that hasn't yet cleared your bank, anything you've recently downloaded, and everything that has cleared the bank, along with several permutations of these. You can also change which columns are displayed, and even the colors that are used.

If you have a particular transaction that repeats regularly (such as transferring money from your checking account to savings) you can set that up in SplashMoney, and choose to have it entered automatically or to have the program remind you to enter it. You can also transfer money from one account to another, and enter a split transaction. Figure D shows a split transaction at my favorite book store.


Entering a split transaction lets you see more of where your money is going. (click for larger image)

Frequent travelers will like the way that SplashMoney allows you to record transactions in different currencies and then convert them to your home currency. To do this, you enter the currencies and their exchange rates into the currencies list, and then you can use them in individual transactions. I am about to begin a two-week trip to the States, and I intend to use this feature to see just how far a Canadian dollar goes these days.