The first step to financial responsibility is being willing to face your spending habits. This means tracking how much you spend every month, what you’re spending your money on, and looking for ways to reduce that spending. Not doing this is how most end up drowning in debt.
So how do you track your spending? You could use one of these acclaimed budgeting apps, but most of them require manual inputs for transactions (e.g. YNAB) or are designed for mobile devices (e.g. Mvelopes, Goodbudget). Wouldn’t it be nice if you could monitor right from the Mac menu bar?
Well, you can. All you need is the Balance app from the Mac App Store [No longer available].
Balance connects to all kinds of online financial accounts: banks, credit cards, PayPal, even brokerages. All of this is done through a third-party service called Plaid so you aren’t actually sharing your login details with Balance itself. This is how Balance pulls your account balances and transactions.
When running, it sits in the background. You’ll receive notifications of new transactions as they occur, and you can set up certain filters to restrict notification spam (e.g. only receive alerts on bank fees, or any transaction over $50).
You can peep at the menu bar icon to pull down a history of transactions and even search through them using a fast search bar. It can handle multiple accounts and the interface makes it easy enough to switch between them on demand.
Balance starts at $5 per month for 5 accounts and goes up to $10 per month for 10 accounts or $20 per month for 20 accounts. This may seem like a lot but if it helps you to slash your monthly expenses then it’s well worth the cost.
Download — Balance (Free to install, $5 per month to use)
How do you keep track of your finances? Are there any other apps you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!