Liam reviews Money Simple

The criteria:

  • Does it work 4/5,
  • Can you do it on the run (mobile app) 4/5  (technically it doesn't have an app)
  • Is it pretty to use 5/5
  • Does it work with your bank 5/5

I had a go at Money Simple ( today, well, whenever I wrote this.  Money Simple is an offshoot of Credit Simple. Credit Simple is a free online website (I am dubious of free for something like this, maybe they are harvesting our data.  I am not sure) that gives you your credit score. Then, based on your credit score they give you access to a range of financial discounts… most of which you don’t need, unless you need - if that makes sense.

Anyway, Money Simple is a offshoot that allows you to track your spending.  When you login you add your bank accounts, most common banks seem to be there.  Then it pulls down every single transaction from those accounts. So there were two options ahead of me, I could go back as far as I wanted, or I could start from todays date.

I didn't want to have to category all of those transactions, so I just did from a few days prior - and it worked.

On the front page is your dashboard, it calculates how much you earn, how much you spend, and your surplus.  Then it gives you a sweet pie chart that highlights where you money goes. The largest part (if yours is like mine) is a the list of uncategorized transactions.

Money Simple did a good job of auto assigning some transactions to particular categories… it got most of them right.  Then there were a pile of uncategorised ones that I had to do myself.

The lovely parts:

  • Visually the website is very well designed, makes it a pleasure to use
  • Their mobile version is good (not an app), means that you can do this on the run
  • You can create your own categories to get really specific gradiation in your information, including subcategories.

There are some painful bits:

  • It makes sense to do this everyday to keep on top of things… this is important for when a transaction description doesn't match where you got it from, it can be difficult to remember.  So you want to keep on top of things.
  • We have a lot of movement between our accounts and so there are a lot of transfers that I couldn't work out how to ignore them

Sadly, we will be passing on using this as a regular tool.  There are complexities in the way that we set up our finances that mean that this one is just too tough to get proper information.  The best example of this complexity, is our Farmlands Card (which we love). This is a seperate card that we put mainly our supermarket, power and petrol onto.  Then once a month the total comes out of our expense account. So from MS view we just have a $1000 payment coming out of our account and an inability to correctly lodge our food, power, and petrol.  Considering these are key areas that you would want to track it just means that MS does not meet our needs. Which is a shame, as I think our future is in tracking spending, but we will need to wait until there is a sufficient solution.

For people that have straightforward account, then they should definitely give it ago.  It is free and simple to use.

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