The following instructions are intended to simplify becoming familiar with the app. The following topics are described:
- Do you use the app on your iPhone, iPad, Mac or Windows Phone? It doesn’t matter!
- The first start and the basic structure
- What is the budget?
- How are entries used?
- Creation of recurring entries
- Using Categories
- Using Groups
- Using People
- Management of accounts
- Setting the starting budget and the starting account balances
Do you use the app on your iPhone, iPad, Mac or Windows Phone? It doesn’t matter!
The kind of device you are using MoneyControl does not really matter. With the various possibilities of different devices and systems, the representation is always a little different. However, the basic idea, the functions, and the types of operations are always the same.
The First Start and Basic Structure
When starting MoneyControl after installing for the first time, it automatically sets two sample entries ($1,500 salary and $500 rent) to simplify the initial overview. You can either adapt these entries to your needs or delete them. More on this later.
After beeing launched the app will first present the Overview page. The budget for the current month is displayed and set off against the current expenses. You see at a glance how much money is currently still available. Here you will also find the functions for creating new income and expenses (in the Mac version, this function is always available in the menu bar).
On the Entries page all entries (income, expenses, and account activity) per month are listed. You can sort this list by date or various criteria (category, account, person, group). Click an entry in the list to display it in detail, edit it, or delete it.
On the Recurring Entries page, the templates can be managed from which the app can automatically create entries for you at regular intervals. How recurrences are used is explained in detail below.
The Accounts page provides an overview of all the accounts created within the app. What types of accounts are there and how they are used is also described in detail below.
The Extras page is only found in the iOS version. This takes you to the settings of the app, which can always be found via the menu in the Mac version and in the AppBar in the Windows Phone version. You can also access the in-app purchases and the extension to create PDF reports. These two options are found in the nav bar of the Mac version and in the AppBar in the Windows Phone version.
The BudgetBudget is defined quite simply in the app as the amount of money that is available to be spent. In other words, all the money that is not yet planned for future expenses or saving. The budget is therefore calculated quite simply:
Budget = (Income + fixed income) – fixed expenses
In the settings of the app you can determine whether a credit or a deficit from the previous month is carried over to the current month. If the carry over is activated, it will be included in the budget
Budget = total income – fixed expenses + – carry over
When using accounts, you have the possibility to create savings accounts. Money in a savings account is to be saved and not spent. Since this money is not available for spending, it does not belong to the budget. If money from a payment account (= non-savings account) is transferred to a savings account, this savings deposit must be deducted from the budget. Conversely, if money is transferred from a savings account to a payment account, the money is once again available again for spending and the savings withdrawal must be added on to the budget:
Budget = total revenue – fixed expenses + – carry over – savings deposits + savings withdrawals
Although this formula seems a little complicated at first glance, the idea is quite simple and can easily be understood.
The budget for the current month (= how much money can be spent this month) is displayed on the summary page and offset against current spending. You can see at a glance whether further expenses are feasible or should rather be saved.
All movements of funds are recorded in the app in the form of entries. There are generally two types of entries: Income and Expenses..
An entry only contains an amount which indicates how much money has moved. This movement of money, however, is hard to present and evaluate with such little information. There are therefore several mandatory pieces of information for every entry:
The values “Date“ and „Amount“ are pretty self-explanatory. “Category” is simply a rough indication of why or for what reason the money was moved. Since every category is either an income category, or an expense category, the category you use determines if it is income or an expense. Categories are described in greater detail below.
In addition, an entry can be provided with additional optional attributes which allow for a more detailed analysis:
- Receipt Photo
The note attribute is simply any short description text. The other attributes are described in detail below in separate sections.
In every household, there are large amounts of regular, recurring entries. These are, for example, rent, insurance, salaries, etc. These entries do not have to be entered manually each time. The app can do it for you if you have create a template for it.
The templates for recurring entries are created and managed on the „Recurring“ page. A template consists generally of two parts:
The repetition details indicate when and how often an entry is to be executed. For this purpose, a start date, repetition interval, and an end date (optional) must be specified. This makes it possible, for example, that an entry starts on 5/1 and then is carried out every month until the recurrence finally ends on 10/1.
The entry details indicate what exactly should be created. These are specified like a normal entry but have no affect on your accounts. They are only used by the app as a template.
Alternatively, a recurring entry can also be created from an existing normal entry. To do this, go to the entries page and click on an entry in the list to view it in detail. Click “create repetition“ ( top right in the details view on iOS & Mac, in the AppBar on Windows Phone) to create a new recurring entry in which the values are automatically set as repetition details in the template.
To be able to organize similar entries, a category must be assigned to each entry. The app has a number of predefined categories such as “food“, „clothing“ and “car” for expenses or “wages” and „renting“ for income. In the settings of the app, however, categories can be created, customized, or deleted. You can create and use any category.Each category is either an income or an expense category. The type of the category selected determines whether it deals with an income or an expense.
The app taken a conscious decision against the use of subcategories, since there aren’t any meaningful sub-divisions to be made. Does the term „car insurance“, for example, belong in the category “car” with the sub-category „Insurance” or in the “insurance” category with the subcategory “car”? Both arrangements would be useful but no matter which one you choose, you always end up at a dead end: In the first solution, the entry would indeed make sense if you can show all car costs, but would fall through the cracks if all insurance costs are included. In the second solution, it behaves the other way around.
Therefore, the app does not use subcategories but provides a further subdivision with the use of groups.
Groups are simply another attribute which can used to organize similar postings. What a “group” means is up to you. You can create, for example, a „summer vacation“ group and organize all the expenses of your last vacation, regardless of whether you paid for clothes, food, car rental, etc.. Similarly, „sports club“, “property management”, or „school“ could all be groups.
Just like groups, there’s also the „person“ field that can be specified for each entry and is just another attribute for organizing entries. Insert, for example, the name „Karin“ in order to see later how much money Karin spent on food.
Just like people and groups, accounts is an attribute you can use to organize entries. However, accounts allow a little further subdivision and evaluation. The assignment of an account to an entry in this case indicates how you paid; e.g. „cash“, „checking account“ , or „credit card“.
On the Account page, the app displays exactly has much has been accumulated on which account. It should be noted that these account balances are always calculated for the current day.. So if today, for example, is the 5th and there was already an expense for the 6, this value is not considered in the balance.
Note: The sum of the account balances doesn’t necessarily have to match the budget on the homepage. Unlike the day-to-day determined balances, the budget always considers the entire current month. In addition, the assignment of an account to a entry is optional. There can be entries that aren’t assigned to any account and therefore do not appear in the account balances. These entries are always included in the budget regardless.
Accounts can be split into payment accounts and savings accounts unterteilt werden. he difference is that the money in a savings account is meant to be saved, so is not available for spending. Accordingly, funds in savings accounts are not included in the budget.
The terms transfers and account activity are used interchangeably in the app and refer to the same thing. Money is moved from one source account to a destination account. If, for example, money is withdrawn from an ATM, a transfer could be entered as “$50 from checking account to cash”. Since only the whereabouts of the money changes, but not the quantity, transfers have no impact on the budget, only on the account balances..
There are two special transfers: deposits and withdrawals.. In a deposit, money is effectively transferred from the outside (= outside the area covered by the app) to an account. The counterpart to this is a withdrawal where money is transferred from one account in the app to the outside. Since deposits and withdrawals are considered transfers, they do no have any effect on the budget.
Setting Starting Amounts for the Budget and Accounts
When you start using the app, you might want to enter the starting amounts of the various accounts in order to adapt them to the value of the real accounts (so that the current account in the app has the same value as the account in the bank). You do this by simply adding new revenue or payment if there is a positive balance. For a negative initial balance simply choose an appropriate expense or withdrawal.
As previously described, income and expenses change the budget while deposits and withdrawals leave it unchanged .