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check balance smsYou’ve probably heard about the budgeting tool Mint How To Use Mint To Manage Your Budget & Spendings Online How To Use Mint To Manage Your Budget & Spendings Online Read More , which helps bring your financial accounts together online, and is overall, a great tool that comes with apps for multiple mobile platforms.

However, not everyone is keen on the idea of a third party having access to his or her financial information. I certainly didn’t have any problems connecting my bank account to Mint, but when I would tell family members or friends that there were budgeting and financial organizing apps like Mint that could make their lives so much easier, not all of them were convinced for the same reason.

If you’re wishing for a similar application that won’t ask you to connect your bank accounts, there are many tools available, including the open source GnuCash, HomeBank, Grisbi 5 Free Financial Software Alternatives To Quicken 5 Free Financial Software Alternatives To Quicken Read More , etc.

If you’re on the go quite a bit, the above tools will be a bit harder to keep up with. What you might need is an always-available service that you can take with you, like SMS on your phone, regardless of whether it is a regular feature phone or the latest and top-of-the-line smartphone. Chext is a free service (standard messaging rates from your carrier still apply) that won’t ask you to connect to your bank account online so you don’t have to worry about giving unauthorized users access to your financial information.

Let’s find out what makes Chext stand out. Please note that Chext works on any text-enabled phone in the U.S. and Canada only.

Record Cash/Card Transactions with a Simple Text

check balance sms

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When you first sign up with Chext on its website, you’ll be asked for your mobile number. You’ll get a welcome text asking you to set a starting balance.

sms balance

A simple text with “+500 starting balance” will get you started. After that, you can add more transactions to your account with minus and plus signs to indicate whether to subtract or add to your balance. If you just send an amount without a sign, by default, Chext will subtract the amount from your balance.

 

sms balance

Like a lot of banks that have mobile apps or can give you your balance by SMS, Chext will also return you the balance every time you update your account. Chext, however, will also let you record any form of transaction, whether it’s a card or cash transaction, the last of which, I know at least my bank, Bank of America (one of the largest in the US), doesn’t do, as it only records information of the credit card or checking account you have with them.

Chext Helps You Plan Ahead & “Predict The Future”

WIth Chext’s calendar, you can record future transactions, such as bills and rent, and know when your balance might be low or over-drafted, a smart feature that makes Chext quite invaluable for anyone who’s ever over-drafted.

sms balance

The calendar also helps you jog your memory and plan ahead for how much you might want to spend on the following day or week if you want to stick to a budget. You can also get a quick overview of your spending habits in a simple and user-friendly grid. Chext looks minimalistic but has some very useful organizational features.

Share Budget Details with Spouse

check balance sms

If you share a bank account with your spouse, Chext allows you to keep him or her updated on the current balance. Simply text Chext with “invite <phone number>” and that number’s owner will be able to receive a SMS every time you update the balance and vice versa, so everyone stays updated in real-time when the other person makes a transaction. To cancel the invitation, text Chext with “revoke <phone number>”.

Here’s a video that details how a couple’s using Chext to keep each other updated and plan ahead.

Chext – Rebecca and Tom’s Story from Chext on Vimeo.

Something I wish Chext would have is the ability to receive MMS, so that users can add pictures of receipts. If you’re looking for more SMS-centric apps, also check out TextHog How to Make Your Mobile Phone Smarter With SMS and MMS (Part 2) How to Make Your Mobile Phone Smarter With SMS and MMS (Part 2) Read More .

What do you use to record your transactions? Let us know in the comments!

  1. mbt
    August 16, 2011 at 11:26 am

    one is bulk page rank checker that can check 1000 of pages PR with single click and another is internal PR checker to check pagerank of all internal pages on a website.

  2. Minischnauzer08
    August 16, 2011 at 12:14 am

    We use an app called EEBA which I haven't seen featured anywhere but its awesome. No bank access, budgeting system that is also an Android app. Now if only it would make my husband enter his transaction right away....

    • Jessica Cam W.
      August 16, 2011 at 7:41 pm

      Are you talking about this app at https://market.android.com/details?id=com.dayspringtech.envelopes?

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