Household expenses in your pocket?
Author: Tariq Abdulla
Date: 18 Apr 2017, tested on HTC One S
Various features, completely free, ads are not confusing
Weak functionality, bad design
Spendee for Android aims to help households get on top of their expenses. This is something that (unfortunately) pretty much everybody needs to do; and I was hopeful that Spendee would provide a great way of tracking and managing expenses on the go. So I was disappointed straight away that the default for every single type of expenditure, including utility bills and rent, was for every payment to be one-off. This means that for every type of bill, you have to remember to set it to repeat, and scroll back through several options (year, 6 months, 3 months, 2 months) to get to the monthly repetition that you actually want, basically every time.
What most people really need and want from an app like this is a basic overview for monthly ingoings and outgoings. It’s actually better if this is projected into the future in a really crude way, so that you can get an idea of how much better off you would be in a year, if you gave up on takeaway coffee, starting cycling to work, or slashed your phone bills. I need this kind of app so that I can pull out my phone in the shops, and make an immediate, rational, accurate argument (with statistics) why we shouldn’t buy more clothes this month. My wife needs it so she can make a similar argument, but reaching exactly the opposite conclusions; based on savings we could be making elsewhere. But this kind of rapid scenario planning is impossible with the app as it stands, because there are simply too many options!
Spendee for Android is crying out for some kind of desktop integration (whether browser or OS based). You need to be able to do the tedious bill checking, as you normally would, in a spreadsheet; so that you can then make little changes and do scenario planning on the go. The ability to export a spreadsheet just doesn’t cut it. The user interface is very bubbly and colourful, but I find it impossible to forgive the fact a graph over the year doesn’t display any repeating transactions I set up. The “overview” seems only to display those transactions that have already happened.
Spendee is useful perhaps for making a quick pie chart of expense breakdown, or exporting a quick spreadsheet that you can work on properly later; but not for proper household budgeting.