Economy. Bailout. Those are probably the two most common words you’ve read or heard over the past few weeks. It’s tough to say what will come of the current situation, but one thing seems clear. Whenever the R word comes up — yes, recession — it seems like everyone gets their calculator out and starts working up personal finance plans. Which is always a good idea, of course. Thankfully, we BlackBerry Geeks have devices that make personal finance easy. Today, we’ll take a look through the personal finance applications you can download to your BlackBerry.
Since we’re talking about personal finance, why not start with the most responsible purchase of all? The one that costs nothing. As we discussed in our best free BlackBerry applications article, JabpLite has a personal finance manager for BlackBerry. It’s a stripped-down application which gives you exactly what you need to balance your budget. That is, your budgeted expenses vs. your actual expenditures. If only it came with an application that shamed you for breaking budget week after week.
Unfortunately, it looks like you’ll have to pay for the applications that follow. So make sure you budget for it. Before we move into those pesky pay applications, we should also point to the Wall Street Journal mobile application, which yes, is free. It gives you access to the Wall Street Journal Online, MarketWatch.com, and Barrons.com. While it might not help you balance your personal finance sheet, it can help you stay on top of business news and your investments. Which, I guess, is good in the long run.
If you’re just casually browsing for personal finance applications, you’re likely to come across Ascendo Money for BlackBerry. In addition to being one of the most popular applications of its genre, it’s also one of the most comprehensive. If you can do it with desktop software, you can surely accomplish the same thing with Ascendo. From budgeting to expense tracking, this application is second to none. The folks at the BBGeeks Store agree, as they’ve given it a five-star rating.
As with JabpLite, you can set budgets with Ascendo. Which, of course, is the most important aspect of personal finance. If you can’t create and stick to a budget, the rest doesn’t matter as much. You can accomplish this by defining categories within Ascendo, like automotive, rent/mortgage, utilities, etc. You have an unlimited number of categories to work with, so you can make sure to track all of your recurring expenses. The application will also let you know what percentage of your budget you’re allocating to each category, so you can identify areas to reduce spending.
In addition to budget tracking, you can also track your financial transactions with Ascendo. The application allows for an unlimited number of accounts, so you can set up ones for checking, savings, IRA, 401(k), credit cards, and various investments. Each transaction can be identified in a number of ways, including amount, type, payment method, status, transaction number, and more. This makes it easy to search through and find old transactions.
WIth a ton of extras like graphs and charts, Ascendo Money might be the personal finance haven you’ve been seeking. It will certainly get you up and running. it’s up to you, of course, to keep things going. You can nab it now for $29.95.
Mobatech Mobile Checkbook
It’s most likely that when you go out to buy something, you’ll have your BlackBerry with you. This can come in handy when recording your financial transactions. For instance, when I’m in line at the grocery store sometimes, I see people play with a debit card, but then whip out their checkbook to record it on the ledger. While this is a habit most of us should practice, it’s not common. But what if you could do the same thing on your BlackBerry? Would you be more inclined to keep track of your purchases?
With Mobatech’s Mobile Checkbook for BlackBerry, you can have the convenience of an account sheet without carrying around the extra paper. Whenever you make a purchase from your checking account — or any account, really, since it allows for unlimited accounts — you can record it on Mobile Checkbook. It will then record all of the relevant information, including date and time, with room for a memo. This allows you to go back and search through transactions to find anything inconsistent with your monthly bank statement.
Mobatech makes it easy to customize the data as well. You can email transaction lists to yourself, for storage in multiple places. This also allows you easier access from your PC. Mobile Checkbook also allows for exportation to an Excel spreadsheet or a Quicken (QIF) file. Keeping up with your account balances has never been easier, or more accessible. You can nab it from their website for $12.95.
A huge bonus for any personal finance software is the ability to connect to your bank account. The SplashMoney personal finance application does just that. It claims to connect wirelessly to “almost any online banking account.” This is an excellent feature, as it can help you compare the transactions you enter to the transactions reported by your bank. Since it is a wireless connect, you can do that comparison instantly, rather than waiting until you receive a statement.
The most attractive feature of SplashMoney, beyond the bank account access, is the easy syncing ability with a PC. Sorry again, Mac BlackBerry users. This way, you can keep track of your finances on your desktop, and transfer them to your BlackBerry when you’re headed out. Everything’s up to date, so you don’t have to think back and recall purchases. You can also print things out with greater ease with the desktop sync.
The downside is that it comes with predetermined categories, so you don’t have full customization options. Still, they’re pretty generic categories, so you can get by if the bank account access is more important to you. It costs $29.95, the same as Ascendo. They both have their advantages, so it comes down to a matter of personal taste. Comprehensive tracking and budgeting capabilities, or bank account access?
There are tons of BlackBerry personal finance applications out there, of course. We’re just highlighting the best options out there, of the ones we found. What do you guys use to track your finances with your BlackBerry? With Documents to Go native on OS 4.5 and up, you might be able to get by for free with a simple spreadsheet. Just something to keep in mind when you consider your financial health.