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Sometimes keeping it simple is a lot more useful and that’s exactly what Sprouty aims to do. Unlike Mint and other popular money management systems, your personal bank account information does not even come into play; making it a secure option that can be used no matter where in the world you live.
After signing up for a free account, Sprouty will prompt you to enter your monthly income, and will attempt to create a budget for you, based on minimum recommended amounts for each budget item.
Of course, the budget will most probably not reflect your own personal spending habits, and you can modify it to suit your lifestyle.
You can add additional budget items by clicking on the ‘Create a Budget’ button, determine the amount allocated to that category, and add tags. Using the same method, you can add additional sources of income, which is particularly useful for a family in which there are several breadwinners.
Existing budget items can also be edited or deleted by clicking on any given item, adding or removing tags of your choice, and adjusting the amount. This will be one of the very first steps you take when using Sprouty, in order to adjust the budget to suit your personal needs.
Once you have your budget in place, you can begin to add the actual transactions as they occur. New transactions are accompanied by the date, tags or description, and the amount.
As you add tags, Sprouty will also suggest tags that are commonly used.
If you add a transaction by mistake, it can easily be edited or deleted by clicking on any part of the transaction’s information.
Sprouty’s best feature is undoubtedly the overview it provides of your spending. Once you have your budget in place and have added your transactions, you can see a monthly overview of your budget, and see exactly where your money is being spent, and what remains.
This is especially useful because you are able to visualise the areas in which you spend the most, and this could make for an easier way to understand where you need to cutback on your spending.
Sprouty is as no-frills a budget system as they come, but sometimes that is all that you need. It is extremely user-friendly, with barely any learning curve at all.
The website can be accessed from mobile browsers, making it possible to add transactions on the go. That said, it is not optimised for a mobile browser, and that would be one of the first welcome changes to the site. Adding transactions while you’re out and about is an integral part of the success of any budget system, so that payments don’t fall between the cracks. Whether it is a mobile website, adding transactions by email, or any other method, it will definitely improve Sprouty’s user friendly service.
How do you keep track of your spending habits? Let us know in the comments.