Saver: Control Your Expenses is beautiful to look at and easy to use, but the limitations of Alex Solonsky’s $3 iPhone budgeting app keep it from being a must-have.
Like other finance apps, Saver lets you create a budget, then tracks your expenses—you enter them manually—as you move through the month. The app really distinguishes itself with its idiot-proof user interface, which uses graphics to help users categorize their expenses, while providing a pie chart to show how much of the monthly budget has been spent. Saver also comes with a security feature, offering the opportunity to create a password code so your personal financial information stays personal.
But Saver’s nifty features can’t save it from a glaring flaw: It doesn’t sync its information with any other device—not other iOS devices, not computers, not even the cloud. Which makes the app only kind of useful. Unless you want to conduct the entirety of your financial planning on your iPhone, and risk losing that data forever if the phone is lost or stolen, buying this app might not be the wisest move.
The fact that Saver costs $3 makes the flaws more glaring. w and Mint.com both offer free apps and the sharing of data across devices. If you’re using your phone as a budgeting tool, you’re better off with those services.
[Joel Mathis is a freelance journalist and political columnist for Scripps Howard News Service. He lives in Philadelphia.]