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iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad Applications
iPhone/iPod Touch Applications
Jim Chapple is now working full time on iphone/ipod touch and iPad applications.
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Do you need to track your finances each month so that you remain within the budget you set for yourself? Do you need to track future expenditure to see the months when you may have to find additional financing to cover your expenses? Well, if so then Simple Budget Month is the App for you. You can add expenses for any month you like. As an example you know that in three months time you have to pay the car tax for the year - so go to that month and add that expense with a note to say what day it has to be paid by. Now when you look at the chart view or the month view you can easily see that in 3 months you have a one off yearly expense to pay. If you do this for every expense you know you will have each month then this App can quickly show you the lean months and the fat months and you can budget accordingly.
The small thumbnail images below will show larger iPad screenshots.
The following screenshots are from the iPhone. If you have the iPad version then the main difference is that the screens have expanded to use the full screen resolution of the iPad and so you can see more information without scrolling the various tables.
When the Application Starts
The App initialises itself to read all the previously entered information for the months already entered. Obviously the first time it starts there is no saved information.
When the App first starts it will force you to set these preferences and save. The App does this because it needs to know what day to start a month on so it can determine the months to be shown.
The main screen of the App is the screen where you can enter the expenses for the month.
It is really very simple to add an expense. At the top of the screen are two fields: one for the amount and one a quick description of the expense.
Enter these two values and press the green plus key to the right. The new expense will be added to the table below that shows the expenses for the month. The month you are adding to is shown above the table.
The information just above the date will also change. The first field is the budget for the month and can be changed by selecting the field and putting in the new number. Next is the amount spent so far. The final field is the remaining budget or the overspend. If you have overspent the field changes to red.
Below the table are four buttons. The 'Now' button will always take you back to the expenses information for the current month. The 'Chart' button will show you the chart for the last 30 months. The 'Edit' button will allow you to change information for the expense selected in the table. The 'Delete' button will allow you to delete an expense.
The budget for a month can be easily changed by selecting the budget field. The keypad will be shown. Type in the budget you want and select OK. The new budget will be saved and the numbers adjusted accordingly.
The Graph Screen
The Graph Screen of the App shows you your expenses, budget and under/overspends for the last 30 months.
Swipe left to right to move the graph to show more months previous to what you were looking at. Swipe right to left to see more months later than you were looking at. The graph moves by 6 months each time.
Each month is made up of two pieces of information. Look at the top of the white bar to the left and the scale will show the budget for that month. Look at zero for the month and if the white bar is partly green then that means that you did not exceed the budget for the month. The height of the green bar shows how much of the budget for that month was left. If the white bar is shown down to zero and below that is a red bar extending downwards then this shows that you overspent. The depth of the red bar shows how much you overspent by.
You are doing well if most months have a white bar with a green bottom section. However, if most months show an empty (all white) bar and a red bar below then you are not doing so well.
The chart also shows that not all months have to have the same budget. Some months can have more. This chart shows that most months have been allocated the same budget (2000 pounds/dollars/euros in this case) but some have been allocated more and some less. It is completely up to you to decided how much budget you have per month.
The Preferences Page
Select the Preferences button on the Main Screen and the preferences page is shown.
There are two preferences, the default budget amount and what day of the month you want each month to start on. The default budget is used whenever a new month is to be created. Select the field and the number keypad will be shown. Change the value to whatever default you want.
The second field is the day of the month each month is to start on. So if you are paid on the 16th of each month you might start your budget month on 16th because you bank account has fresh funds in it. You don't have to, of course, you can choose any day you want. Select Save and the budget and the monthday will be saved.
You can change the day the month starts on whenever you want but it is recommended that you do not. Changing the day creates an overlap of months. It is up to you to decide what expenses should be in what months. The overlap occurs because: If you started your month on the 16th and then changed it to be the 27th of each month then all the months from the first time you ran the App to the 27th of the month you changed to the 27th will still start on the 16th and starting of the 27th of this month the months will start on the 27th. In this case there will be a short month that starts on the 16th and lasts until the 26th when it is replaced by a new month that starts on the 27th.
Edit the information for an Expense
On the main page select the expense in the table and select the 'Edit' button at the bottom. The edit page will be shown.
You can edit the basic description shown in the table. You can edit the amount. You can add additional notes for the expense.
When you edit the notes the keyboard is dismissed by selecting the 'Editing Done' button.
To save these changes select 'Save'. The view will change back to the main view and all the information will be updated to reflect the changes made.
Months List Page
On the Main Page is a button marked 'Months'. Selecting this button takes you to the months View where you can select to Edit the values for any month you choose.
The list shows you 30 months of information at a time. The 'Previous 6 months' and 'Next 6 months' buttons make the table update with the new set of months to be shown. You can select to change the values for a month by selecting that month in the list and then selecting 'Edit month'.
Each month in the list shows the budget what was spent and what remains/or was overspent. If the month was overspent then the value is shown in red.
Edit a different month
The 'Edit month' button changes the view to the main view. This is exactly the same as though you were entering expenses for this month but the month being edited is the one you selected. The 'Edit' and 'Delete' buttons act on the purchases for the month selected.
The date field shows the month you are editing and the expenses and information for that month. This allows you to go back and add expenses to a month that you did not do on the month.
What can also be done using this ability to edit any month whether it is in the past or the future is you can add expenses to a month in the future. If you know that in 6 months time you have an expense to pay then you can add it to the month in the future and be able to see this at any time by just moving the graph or the months view forward.
And this reveals the reason for the 'Now' button. Press this button and the main view will change back to the expenses for the current month.
Essence Computing has been working on a time and task management tool that provides the capability that a software engineer needs. This program can be checked out at: Getting Things Done Mac
Although this program is aimed at the Mac OS X market it actually runs on all major Operating System. It has been tested on Windows XP/Vista, Mac OS X 10.5, Linux. It is a Java Swing Application.