Review: Handy Expenses
Version Reviewed: 1.7
Do you spend too much money and have no idea where you spent it? Me neither, but my wife insists I do, so I picked up this little program to try and track my spending. For those who have read my Handy Shopper review you will know that I haven't had the best of experiences with Epocware software up to this point, but I believe in second chances so I gave them another shot and picked up Handy Expense. I was rewarded with exactly what I was looking for. This little utility has the big task of tracking your expenditure so that you can understand where your money goes and it does this quite admirably.
An important distinction to make is that this is not Quicken for the Symbian OS and it's not trying to be. It is not for tracking your total worth or your online portfolio or similar. It is for tracking all those little daily expenses like transportation, snacks, movies, or whatever else it is that burns away all your pocket money. It does this by helping you to make lists of expenditure which it can then total for you at any given time, allowing you to see that "ah, 1/3 of my income on Symbian OS programs is out of proportion" or "hmm, perhaps $100 a month on candy bars is excessive." You can view your expenditure by day, week, or month, and (within each list) sort entries by their date, type, or amount.
Navigation of your listings is made quite easy with left and right scrolling through time (days, weeks, months, depending on your settings) and up and down scrolling through individual entries. In addition to traditional browsing of your expenses, there is also a "Go To Date", option allowing you to quickly jump to a given date. This can be nice if you're looking for a particular day in the course of three month's worth of entries.
Perhaps the most important feature of this program is that Epocware smartly removed a lot of the traditionally redundant data entry through the use of pre-defined "types". By default they give you types like Transportation, Grocery, Laundry, etc., but you can define your own types (e.g. Video Games). What this does for you is turn adding an entry into a two or three click affair instead of an SMS-like typing nightmare. Important? You betcha! When you're making an entry every time you buy a soda or a newspaper, it becomes important for it to be easy and quick to do or you may end up not entering it and invalidating the accuracy of any data you end up with at the end of the month.
Another nice feature that may go unnoticed by many (but I find invaluable) is the built-in support for up to 3 separate currencies and the ability to use them at will without making data viewing later any harder. Once the currencies are selected and set up (one default and up to two custom), you can simply change the currency of the entry when you enter it and then it will automatically convert to your default currency when viewed later in a report. For example, say I live in Taiwan and use New Taiwan Dollars daily but deal in video games from Japan often and use Japanese Yen for those. And since I'm from the US I often buy items from the United States using of course the US Dollar for those. For whatever I'm doing I just enter in whichever currency I'm using and the software will sort it out for me later when I view reports. Simple, snazzy and seductive.
In short, this little program is a mature, efficient, easy to use expenditure tracker that could help you stop spending money on things you don't care about in favor of spending it on the things you do. From the bottom my heart and wallet I give it a solid and well-deserved 89%.
Reviewed by Chris Rydberg at