Financially uncertain times require that we become better stewards of the money and resources that we have. Many who feel this way are looking toward technology to help them fill the gap. Financial software for the Mac is nothing new and there are many good options available like Chronicle and iBank. Moneybag is on version 1.0.1 and is hoping to take its competition head on.
Moneybag is a new personal finance app for OS X that allows you to monitor your spending, budget, and set goals. The app sells for $59.99 and is on version 1.0.1. The developer bills Moneybag as “the world’s simplest and best financial software.” To put that claim to the test, we will also compare Moneybag to iBank 4 in our review. Is Moneybag the best? Read on and lets find out!
Setting Up Your Moneybags
What is a moneybag? You can think of a moneybag as a big plastic container that you use to store different receipts for different items. The moneybags are categories that allow you to set budgets for them and also add transactions to them.
Setting up a moneybag is simple when using the moneybag creation wizard. The wizard allows you to create a name, icon, type, and savings goal. Once you have set up your moneybags, you can click on them and enter transactions.
Moneybag does not allow you to scan receipts or email receipts into the service, like Lemon.com, but it does have some cool features to allow you to store more information about your transactions.
The notes feature allows you to type anything you would like to, so that you can easily see what the transaction was about. You can also add tags, location, and date to further document your transaction. Unfortunately while Moneybag does offer the option to attach an image from either the camera or photo album, it does no OCR or recognition of the receipts and all transactions must be entered manually. This is a lost opportunity.
Moneybag also utilizes cloud sync to keep all of your satellite apps on iOS and Android in perfect harmony.
Moneybag includes useful budgeting tools under the Analysis tab to help you visualize where your money is going. The expense tab shows you a pie chart of how your expenses are allocated. The savings and monthly tabs show bar graphs that indicate income, expenses, and savings.
Moneybag centers its design on the concept of simplicity and ease of use. The designers implement smooth gradients with bright accent colors for buttons that oozes refinement. The use of icons that represent each category allows the user to quickly identify categories and add the appropriate transactions.
At the top of the interface, you have a sliding graph similar to the one in iTunes that represents all of your account activities. This visual aid gives you a scope of what you need to change in your finances at a glimpse.
In several places in Moneybag, the designers use slider pill-shaped buttons to change settings. These buttons give the settings panel a control center feel.
As a small distraction and one that is interestingly missing is the currency sign. There are no dollar signs to be found. There are also no commas separating digits in numbers in the moneybags. Although it may seem nit picky, it is quite the distraction and possibly an easy fix. Overall, the app is nicely designed if you like the current app aesthetic trend from Apple, but if you like minimal interfaces, you’ll find it frustrating.
Moneybag vs. iBank 4
The $60 price of Moneybag opens itself up to some pretty heavy competitors. The personal finance app iBank was reviewed on MAS by Ian and also was pitted against two other personal finance apps as well by James. It garnered a positive review and an 8 out of 10 score. The developers of Moneybag could stand to look at iBank and at the very least, copy its features to complete their app. The ability to add credit cards, loans, and bank accounts is already built into iBank 4. IBank also allows the user to import files from other popular personal finance applications as well. While Moneybag uses a sleeker design, iBank fits in with the usual OS X design. Being that iBank and Moneybag are the same price, the obvious choice between them would be iBank 4.
For all that Moneybag does to be simple and easy to use, it gives away good possible features in exchange. Moneybag needs to have the capability to capture and import information from receipts or digital receipts. This is a huge missing opportunity that needs to be reevaluated on the part of the developers. Another missing opportunity is the integration with banks and other financial institutions. This integration would allow for credit and debit card transaction to be automatically imported into Moneybag. Moneybag could also benefit from more detailed reports and analysis. The vague reports that the app generates really lack the information needed to make decisions.
The Bottom Line
Moneybag is a well-designed app that does not quite live up to the adage that it is the “world’s simplest and best financial software”, I just don’t see it. Moneybag needs to acquire a handful of vital features to even begin to compete with the other apps in its price range. The app does nail the design and has good basic features for tracking transactions. While Moneybag functions well with the exception of a few quirks, perhaps the pricing is a bit high.
Moneybag is in version 1.0.1 and rings in with a price of $59.99. Being that Moneybag in itself is functional, it gets a 7 out of 10. The developers need to use later version updates to include critical features in order for Moneybag to really be worthwhile.