Review: Deskescape Budget
On August 25, 2008, we reviewed a collection of 15 different personal finance applications for the iPhone and iPod touch in a roundup entitled iPhone Gems: Every Personal Finance Application, Reviewed. This review contains a review of one application from that roundup; additional comparative details can be found in the original full story.
Budget ($2) from Deskescape is a fairly complex budget management application. Unlike the majority of its peers, Budget does not deal with individual accounts, instead letting the user set up multiple budgets in different categories, all of which have their own separate transaction listings. The application opens to the main view, which lists all the various budget categories, including those which are currently unused, each with a bar underneath the name that indicates how much of that category’s budget has been spent. A quick financial overview at the bottom lists total income, total expenses, and savings.
The edit button in this view allows users to delete categories; the add button brings up a menu letting users add a category or transaction, or set a budget. An info button found next to the financial overview leads users to an area menu where they can export transaction data, run a savings report, or view help information. In the savings report view, users can choose a time period for the report to cover, with results displayed in both text and chart form. Similarly, users can choose the time period and data set for their exports in the data export screen.
Tapping on a category in the main budget view leads the user to that category’s main screen, which shows a list of recent normal transactions, and features buttons that allow for the setting of that category’s budget, deletion of current transactions, and the addition of new transactions. The add button leads to the new transaction screen, where users can enter an amount, description, date, and notes, while the advanced budget button leads to a screen where users can set up reoccurring payments or income streams, with the ability to add a description, budget, start and end month, day due, and turn reminders and auto actual features on and off.
It’s not for everyone, and it’s not exactly a pretty application, but what Budget does, it does well, and for a low price. Users wanting to keep track of individual accounts would do well to look elsewhere, but for users wanting to keep detailed budgets for every expense they have, Budget is definitely worth a look. It’s worthy of our general recommendation.