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Finance Friday: How do you manage your expenses?

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Let’s face it. How good are you at managing your finances? I speak for myself and I know I am very bad at it. With finances I am not talking about investments and the savings , that I somehow do a decent job maintaining.

What I am referring to here is those daily is managing the finances in the form of expenses and loans to friends that we incur frequently. The loans or the expenses may not be huge but then every penny counts.

Let me drill down to the basics of the kind of loans/expenses I am talking about.

  • Movies and Dinner With Friends : We all do it, don’t we. Most of the time one person from the group ends up flashing his/her credit card and settles the bill for everyone. Cool huh. The problem comes when the individual contribution needs to be calculated and intimated to everyone in the group.
  • A friendly debt/loan : Now, we all need that little bit of lump sum cash sometime, don’t we. I turn to my friends/roommate to borrow cash at times and at times become a lender too. Now,this money is what I call goodwill loan. We expect the other person to give/ask it back as an when required.But, then memory is in short supply for some of us, isn’t it. So, we might tend to forget it at times and the loan turns into bad debt.

Now, I am too lazy to put things on paper and keep a track of this expenses.While browsing the web, I came across this  new product Beezang . The name is a little weird to be very frank, but the product is as simple as it gets.

Beezang

It lets you manage your expenses online

Curiosity got the better of me and I gave it a spin. Listed below are some of the things that site has in store for you

  • KISS (Keep it simple and stupid) – A simple interface and easy navigation. Even a 10th grader can find his/her way around the site and its functions.
  • Groups – There is an option to create groups and group bills too. This makes it easier to track and maintain those common expenses.
  • Automatic Payment Split – A part of group bills which lets you automatically divide the bills among the group evenly/unevenly.
  • A “Add Friend” Implementation – Now, when you add a friend’s name, there is an option to enter their e-mail.What this allows you to do is to create a group bill, add the friends with whom you have to share the expenses and a mail is automatically sent out to all friends in the group.
  • There is a nifty little transaction tab to automatically keep a track of the debt/loans.So, you can have a a complete list of all your finances with debt marked in RED and the loans marked in GREEN.
  • An automatic settlement of transactions – If you have an entry with a loan given out to a friend, you will have a transaction for the same.Now, if the same friend loans you out the same amount, both the transactions are settled automatically.

There are a few more options thatIi would personally like to see in the site for better management of my finances. For eg:

  • Alert or Reminder Option : An option to set an alert for a loan/debt will be good.It will help me a keep a tab on the money i have to return or receive at a certain time.
  • An Import/Export Option : Now, this may not be exactly feasible given there is no standard format of maintaining bills. But, it will be good if I can import/export the expenses once in a month will be good to have.

The product is only in Alpha right now so I am hoping for a lot of improvements and value additions over time. But, it is a nifty little service which I found to be very useful for managing those little here and there expenses. It is serving me far better than creating spreadsheets in Google Docs and sending the links to all my friends.

Give it a spin and let me what do you think? Are there any other applications that you use for keeping a track of your expenses

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  2. Suryadeep says

    Hey,

    This tool looks good. You should also try the budget tool at http://www.investmentyogi.com/. It is useful for maintaining a log of monthly income and expenditure. It also generates reports for you.

  3. Archis/Shivul says

    Hi Ankit,

    Thanks a lot for trying out Beezang. We are really happy that you that you found Beezang useful and easy to use. We have taken note of your suggestions. The Alert feature is something thats there in the road map. We agree export/import feature is an important feature too but as pointed by you has its implementation challenges. We can still provide download as excel feature for the data they have uploaded at some point of time.

    We are constantly working on improving Beezang and will keep you posted. Thanks a lot for your encouraging words. Please feel free to ping us anytime you have any suggestions or thoughts to share.

    Cheers

  4. shivraj says

    http://mychipper.com/ its a good one to track ur expenses u can easily just add ur expenses through gchat and its simple..

    1. Ankit says

      Hmmm..Looks like there are a lot of tools!!! I will have to create a laundry list for future use :-)

      However, what i liked about beezang was its sheer simplicity and ease of use

  5. Mitul Bid says

    Have you tried http://www.buxfer.com? Same concept and is live for the last 4-5 years or so.

    1. Ankit says

      Hi Mitul,

      As i said i have never bothered before to track my expense.But, thanks for sharing.Will give it a go soon

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