Recently, I reviewed DailyCost — one of the best apps I’ve used for keeping track of day-to-day expenses. Today, we’re going to take a look at Spendee, which is marketed as perhaps a slightly more fully-featured finances app. It is designed to take your day-to-day expenses and incomes, plus your recurring expenses and incomes (such as bills and wages), and turns that data into charts, graphs and even has a social media-esque “feed” where you get given tips on managing your money and even earn achievements.
Let’s see how it stacks up after the jump.
When you open Spendee for the first time, a welcome screen asks you if you’d like to set a password to access the app, and to set your currency (which is automatically set to your country’s, so you shouldn’t have to change it). Then you’re pretty much ready to go. If you want to use this app to its full potential, now would also be a good time to go through and add all of your recurring expenses or incomes and schedule them for the right dates.
From that point forward, you just have to remember to log your purchases. It’s something that can take a little while to form the habit, but luckily, the app helps you out with that as well.
Functionally, Spendee is pretty rich. You have the ability to not just log your day-to-day outgoings, but you can set up recurring entries for your monthly pay packet, and things like your rent and other bills. This, over time, helps you paint a real picture of your overall financial situation, and easily spot areas where you can improve.
Just to set things straight, there are plenty of other apps that do this, but Spendee manages to remain simple and easy to use. Other apps of similar functionality tend to be a little overcomplicated and end up becoming confusing more than informing. To me, this is one of Spendee’s biggest advantages: it manages to integrate powerful features into a simplistic UI. You can add reminders to payments (great for bills), and even a daily reminder that tells you to remember to log your entries for the day, which is neat if you’re the kind of person who tends to forget to put them in now and then at the counter.
The settings area of the app is fairly lean, with the ability to set the reminder on or off and set a time for it, and you can also set a passcode to keep your data private. In practice, I found this slows down the process of adding entries whilst paying for goods, plus my finances aren’t particularly private anyway, so I left it off.
The Feed area of the app is particularly interesting. It displays a feed of your entries, tips and achievements you’ve earned in a chronologically ordered list — it’s very reminiscent of a social network feed. It’s a cool little touch.
One thing this app does not do is integrate with your bank account and automatically import your data. There are apps out there that do this, but in my experience, they tend to be stuffed full of not-very-well-integrated features and the user experience ends up being sub-par — plus there’s also the issue of the feature only working with select banks in select countries, which limits the potential user base. I’ve always preferred the way apps like Spendee handle things, by making you enter your spending yourself. It almost creates this conscious feeling of “I am spending money,” because you get into the habit of opening the app each time you do.
Design and Interface
The app clearly has a quality team of designers behind it. Everything from the font choices, colour schemes and layout are designed to be very attractive to the eye as well as user friendly. The overview screen looks great, with a beautiful graph front and center showing your recent expenditures as well as your total income and expenses for the selected timespan. If you rotate your device to landscape orientation, you get a full-screen graph which it great for picking out little details. A nice big green button at the bottom of the Feed screen is your “add” button, and you have two buttons on either side — one for your feed, and one for your overview.
In terms of the interface and usability, for the most part it’s very good, and works as well as it looks. Logging your entries takes a few more taps than other similar apps, but it’s still fairly quick.
I have to say one thing though, and yes it’s nitpicking — I think the app icon is ugly.
Spendee comes in at $1.99 at the time of this review, which makes it one of the slightly pricier finance apps on the App Store – but I have to say the price is totally justified. We’re not just looking at the features here, but the whole package. Spendee has an amazing UI, nails the line between features and simplicity, and if you keep up with it, can really help you improve your finances.
It’s also possibly the best full feature finance tracking app available right now. While there are certainly cheaper apps that perform the same task, this is a classic example of getting what you pay for — a complete, well-executed experience from start to finish, that can heed real-world benefits for you.