Money Wise: the best free app Android for money tracking

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Why Money Wise?

I’ve tried a dozen of free android app to track my money and all of them have “Pros” and “Cons” but Money Wise is the only one with the ability to export your data to Excel. A pro version exists and provides you with unlimited tags, budgets and accounts as well as being able to calculate two currencies at the same time. Also, the pro version allows you to register any kind of recurring transactions (such as utility bills or regular incomes streams).

Register an expense or an income:

When you open this app, Money Wise prompts you to add at least one account balance as the starting point. This allows you to register the relevant expense(s) or income(s).

To register an expense, choose an account and a descriptor for your expense. A category/sub category and tag then need to be allocated. Money Wise already offers you most of the categories you might need but if that’s not enough, you can create custom ones. It’s essential to use categories/sub-categories and tags in order to filter your expenses more accurately and easily.

Furthermore it’s better to use a tag instead of a category when an expense relates to a specific area.
An expense may be categorized as “food shopping” but can be tagged for specific purposes: bushwalking, lunch at work, family, etc.
Analyzing your list of expenses and the corresponding pie chart on Money Wise will be much easier if you want to change your expenditure.

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To summarize:
  • We use categories for general purchases
  • We use sub-categories for specific purchases
  • We use tags to group together the categories referring to a specific area

Listing and navigation of your expenses:

Each time you register a new expense, it will be archived to a weekly/monthly/yearly list of expenses. You can create your own filters to make this easier by focusing on a specific kind of expense.

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Use the Pie chart to see what your global expenses are by category:

The Pie Chart on Money Wise categorizes your expenses. As with the list of your expenses you can use filters to choose between accounts and the categories and tags to see the percentages spent on specific items.

For example, if this month I’ve been doing a lot of bushwalking and need to see how much the tag “bushwalking” represents, Money wise will show me every category linked to the tag “bushwalking” (such as “Food Shopping” “Outdoor Equipment” “Transportation” and “National Park Fees”).

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Defining several specific budgets:

In the “Budget” column you can add between one and four budgets to Money Wise. That means you can create one for food, one for transportation, one for leisure etc. You can link a budget to an account and to the categories and tags of your choice. Budget lifespans are set by the user (from weekly through endless).

The “budget” page gives you a snapshot of your current situation. You can see the progression of your expenses and how much you have left. The green progression bar turns to red when the budget has been exceeded.

For example in Money Wise, you define a budget for “outdoor equipment”. You can select the categories “rock climbing” and “mountain biking” as well as the tag “equipment”. this creates a clearer picture of specific spending.

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Manage your accounts:

The last column allows you to add one or many accounts (maximum 2 for the free version). At the moment this section isn’t relevant to me because you can’t set up regular transactions in the free version as this feature is only available on the Pro version (therefore you must create them on Money Wise by hand).

Conclusion:

Money Wise is an excellent money tracking app for Android. I hope its developers create a widget that makes registering a transaction faster and simpler than opening Money Wise. I would recommend checking your real bank accounts regularly so you don’t end the month with a huge budget blow out. Cross checking real bank balance with Money Wise balances is essential.

 

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