Personal Finance Software – New Snowmint Budget Review

snowmint-budget1With the increasing popularity of Apple computers, more and more people are looking for personal finance software applications that will work on their Macs.  I usually get at least a couple of emails a week that mention the need for more budgeting software options for the Mac.  For that reason, I was excited to check out “Budget” by Snowmint.

Snowmint’s Budget is an envelope-based budgeting system that was originally created for the Mac (although there is now a Windows-based application as well).  In terms of true budgeting effectiveness, almost any system that uses the envelope methodology has the potential to drastically improve your money management skills.  The difference, then, comes in the performance of the software itself.  Is it easy to use?  Is it fast to use?  Is it intuitive and simple to learn?  Is it (close to) bug free?  These are all things that one should look into when trying various software solutions to help them in their budgeting efforts.

Snowmint’s Budget Review

So, how does Budget by Snowmint compare to the competition?  Be sure to check out my full Snowmint Budget review for all the details and the in-depth walkthrough.   But as a quick summary, lets look at the positives and negatives of Snowmint’s Budget:

The first thing that really stood out to me about Snowmint, was the degree to which they focused on customer service and backing up their product.  They offer an unconditional 60-day money back guarantee (on top of offering a free trial of the software), so you’re covered if you decide you don’t like the system after using it for a couple of months.  They strive to respond to customer emails within 24 hours and also have a large amount of product support (on the forums and FAQs) as well.  In short, everything that I was able to find pointed to the fact that Snowmint stands behind their product and are concerned primarily with making customers happy.  This is a great thing.

Another surprising thing that I noticed when test driving the software for a couple of days is that I didn’t run across a single bug in the software.  Now, you may be wondering why I might expect to find a bug in the software that’s being sold to the public.  In reality, most of the software that I’ve tested lately (especially on the Mac platform) have had at least minor bugs and somtimes rather large ones.  My hat goes off to Snowmint for providing very solid software.

envelope-budgeting1As you may have read elsewhere on this site, I’m a huge fan of envelope budgeting or zero-based budgeting.  It’s a time-tested method that helps you to be accountable for each dollar made and each dollar spent.  I really like that Snowmint’s Budget uses this methodology to help manage your money.  Budget’s process of allocating money into the various envelopes (customizable by you) is quite intuitive and easy to use.  Spending money out of (entering transactions) the envelopes is similarly simple.

The main area that I thought needed some improvements was the transaction editing.  In general, it took longer than I thought was needed to enter each transaction.  Now, this issue is resolved if you download and import your bank transactions.  But if you plan on putting your transactions in the system manually each day or week, it may take a little longer than you wished.

Conclusion

All things considered, Budget by Snowmint is a solid peice of personal finance software that will help you better manage your money.  The envelope system that it uses is great.  The user interface is fairly intutive.  And the company behind the product seems reputable and willing to back up their product with a good guarantee and great support.  They offer a free trial, so if you’re looking for a good budgeting alternative for Macs (and Windows for that matter) consider giving Snowmint’s Budget a try.

*The full Snowmint Budget review was featured on MilitaryFinanceNetwork.com during the 84th Money Hacks Carnival.

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