24.02.2010 UPLOADED VIDEO - Moneybook version 1.5.2 (see end of the post)
It is no secret that I have used Pennies in the past for that tracking my expenses. Although it has a nice interface, it wasn't flexible enough for me now and I felt it lacked some important features. The finance / productivity category in the App Store is populated with expensive and reliable apps and other $0.99 wannabes. The search wasn't easy but I'm glad I found MoneyBook by noidentity.
To start with, MoneyBook and Pennies has a similar data entry take. In my experience, the key for this kind of app is entering absolutely everything you buy. The fact that you don't have to input text to add an entry helps a big deal. It is ok to have the names of the things I have bought, but for a quick look, I might organize it in categories. And here is where MoneyBook does it well: As simple as a calculator, enter the amount and select from its 20 categories. There are some, lets say classics like Food, Travel, Clothing and Car, but it also breaks down your leisure time is smaller categories. This is good, since it will help you to track down spending in things that you don't really need.
As you would expect, you can set your monthly budget to see the remaining money you have for that time. You can see this represented with a fuel gauge, but it also displays the data in charts. You can see your spending in categories, but also choose how much you spend everyday. These charts are animated and they look better than the average in the to 25 finance apps. You can also choose to see expenses on a list grouped by day. MoneyBook will present it as paper notes stuck with tape. The user interface is pleasant and once again, it shows the care of the developer to create something nice to the eye that you will be using several times a day.
One of the features that is very demanded in finance applications is the possibility to add recurring events. This way MoneyBook will understand that every month (no way to modify this) will have to book your rent and car insurance, for example.
MoneyBook's last update brought notes addition. With this you can attach an explanatory not for the entries. This can be useful for recurring payments, since something like the mobile phone bill needs more clarification that "Personal".
MoneyBook is a good looking and easy to pick up app that makes tracking your expenditure easy and accessible to any iPhone user.