A Budget-Oriented Personal Finance Manager
31 October 2003, Friday
Penny Pincher 0.5.0 has been released, marking the first public release of this new personal finance manager. You can grab it from the downloads link, near the top of this page.
Penny Pincher is a budget-oriented personal finance manager, written in Java for maximum cross-platform portability. It's unique focus on the budget makes it ideal for individuals and families that want to better track their spending.
Most other financial packages either do too much, making them difficult for individuals to adapt for their own purposes, or too little, making them not much better than elaborate toys. Most other financial programs tend to focus on the account, as well, making it hard to keep tabs on one's budget.
Penny Pincher solves these problems by giving what you need. Instead of bloating the program with hundreds of advanced features that individuals will rarely (if ever) want to use, it focuses instead of bringing you the features that you'll use regularly.
It also introduces the concept of the budget as a virtual account. Every transaction (deposit or payment) that you record must be recorded in a budget, in addition to an account. You must explicitly allocate funds to a budget, and explicitly spend funds from it. In this way, it becomes easy to see when you are overspending in a particular category, because the category's balance will reflect it. Likewise, if you are allocating too much money to a budget, you can quickly identify that, too.
Penny Pincher can help you save money, too. If you treat your savings as another budget category, you can "hide" those funds that you want to save in that category.