As John Maxwell once said, “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” Obviously, the key to wellbeing is in budgeting and planning. Today in the century of technology the market is represented with the apps and digital assistants that not only help you track your expenses but also provide you with tips on how to save more money and lead your family finances. The team of Artoftech decided to check out a finance app called Cost Track and made this review.
Platforms: iOS (rates 4,7 on the App Store), Android (rates 4,0 on Google Play)
Languages: English, German, Russian, Japanese (iOS only), Simplified Chinese (iOS only)
Security: password, TouchID, FaceID (iOS only)
Features: track by Categories, create Cost Sheets, make a Budget plan, transfer funds between accounts, currency converter, geolocation
Export/Import: CSV, Excel (Windows), Numbers (macOS), PDF (iOS only)
Dropbox Synchronisation: paid version only
Cost Track was launched in 2014 and has already got thankful users around the globe: 4,7 rating on the App Store and 4,0 on Google play. Well, first of all, let’s start with its design since it’s the thing we instantly pay attention to.
Cost Track has a simple and easy-to-use interface. The main colors of the app are green and red. As it’s easy to understand, green is associated with income and red color illustrates your expenses. The interface isn’t overloaded with too many details and buttons and, frankly speaking, it was easy for us to figure out how to use the app at first sight. The main page displays a diagram of your expenses structured either by week, month, year, all time, or a specified time interval.
Track your expenses by Categories
Cost Track allows you to monitor your income and expenses using various Categories. You can choose either a default Category such as Sport, Food, Clothing or create your own Categories tailored to your special purchases or your income whatever it can be. In addition, the system has the option of dividing the Category into Subcategories. For example, you have a Category called Healthcare. You can split it into Drugstore and Hospital. Thus, all your expenses connected to pills and medicine will be kept in the Subcategory Drugstore, while your spendings on visits to doctors, tests, or treatment will be directed to the Hospital Subcategory. As a result, you will have a comprehensive report on your healthcare expenses with an ability to see how much you spend on medicine and diagnostics.
In addition, as you create a record you can add notes about this particular expense. You can either type something or attach a cheque picture or even make a voice recording and tell a whole story about your past purchases. This relates to income records as well. So, no more lost invoices and transaction confirmations.
Create Cost Sheets
Cost Track has the option of combining your expenses by creating so-called Cost Sheets. Actually, that’s a very helpful function. Let’s say you are going on a vacation. Apparently, you will get expenses related to several Categories. But with the help of Cost Sheet, you can create a list of several Categories united by one Cost Sheet called Summer Holidays, for example.
Thus, you can add your expenses on renting a hotel or apartment in the Rental category. You can store data about spendings on souvenirs, clothing, authentic decorations under the Shopping category. You can add as many categories as you need to in order not to miss a thing. The Summer Holidays cost sheet will keep all of these records and you will always have an ability to refer to it again. For example, if your friends will get so enthusiastic about going to the same place on their vacation too, you can advise them on what places are the most favorable to eat out at and how much this beautiful dress on your wife cost. Moreover, with a search function, you can find any expenses records within the entire tracking period.
Transfer funds between Income Categories
In Cost Track you can create as many income Categories as you want to. Besides, the app is multi-currency so you can keep information about your bank accounts in different currencies. So, for example, you decided to change 1,000€ to your national currency. So you can transfer it between your account in Euro to your national currency account with the help of Currency Converter. The system supports more than 150 world currencies, cryptocurrencies, and precious metals. So, no matter you travel to Zimbabwe or Malaysia, you can convert your expenses to your home currency and keep an eye on all your spendings.
Create Budget for a week, month, year
With the help of Cost Track, you can make a budget plan for a week, month, or year with the help of 6 jars budgeting method. Here’s how it works:
- 55% – necessities (food, utilities, rent, etc.)
- 10% – long-term savings (a car, house, unexpected medical expenses, etc.)
- 10% – entertainment (traveling, going out)
- 10% – education (school, college, university, etc.)
- 10% – financial freedom accounts (investments, stocks, etc.)
- 5% – giving (charity, presents, family, friends, etc.)
You can either use a pre-installed percentage for the budget categories or create your own ones. Just mention how much money you are willing to spend on this or that category. In addition, you can state your customized first date of a month. For example, if you get a salary on the 5th day of each month, you can state it as the beginning of your new period. The app will automatically add the stated sum of money to your budget plan. The remained balance on your budget account transfers to the next month.
Cost Track also allows you to track your spendings by places you visit or buy at. For example, with this feature, you can figure out which grocery chains offer the most favorable prices. Or you can even mark the restaurants you liked on your trip in order to visit them once again. In addition, you can use this feature as tags. For example, you can mark the countries you visited or the people whom you gave money to. Actually, we like the flexibility of the app. It’s very convenient that the app lets you use its functions in the way you feel it more comfortable and helpful to be used.
The app structures all the data in the form of easy-to-comprehend diagrams and charts. With their help, you can easily analyze your spendings and figure out where you could save money.
Free Version vs Paid Version
In fact, a free version of the app has the same functionality as a paid one except for Dropbox Sync. According to the developers of the app, the free version is kind of a trial of the app. You can make 5 cost sheets with 20 records. After you reach the limit, you will be offered to buy a paid version of the app and continue tracking your spendings.
In general, as a result of our review, Artoftech thinks that Cost Track could be a great assistant for anyone who would like to keep track of their expenses. It would suit both ordinary people and even small businesses. The app has enough flexibility to set it in a way to meet your specific needs.