Splash Money 4 Personal Finance Manager Review (Palm OS)

by Reads (15,154)

One of the best reasons to own a PDA these days is that some models have wireless internet options. Being wireless is great for the occasional email, getting directions, or even sending a picture that you just took with your PDA’s camera to a loved one. Another great reason to go wireless is wireless banking, and with the release of Splash Money 4, this is even easier than visiting your bank’s website.

What is Splash Money?

Splash Money is a checkbook-type program for the Palm OS. Much like Quicken on your desktop, Splash Money enables your handheld to become a means to help you manage your money. It has functions for creating a budget, managing credit cards and loans (in addition to checking and saving accounts), and with the included desktop client, it can print reports that come in handy during tax seasons.

Splash Money reports example

But the feature that gets Splash Money a big vote of confidence in my book is its ability to use your handheld’s wireless connection to connect to your bank (using a solution called Direct Connect). In many cases, if a bank/credit union supports downloading information via Quicken 2000 or later, then you will be able to connect via Splash Money 4.

Using Splash Money

Account summary list screen

When you first open Splash Money you are given the Account View. This is much like a home screen that lists all the types of accounts that you have and the balances for each one. At the bottom of the screen there is an action bar that gives you a few options: create a new account, transfer funds, view reports, view budget, view upcoming transactions, lock accounts, and connect to web for online accounts.

online access is disabled

enable account access screen

When you click on create accounts, you get a dialogue box that asks for some information to set up the account. One of the options that you can configure here is to make the account online accessible. You also have the option the make it a checking, savings, credit, asset, liability, money market, or line of credit account. Within the account’s view you have a few additional preferences in Reconciling Accounts, and Set Preferences.

Once all of your options are set, you are ready to begin using Splash Money.

Edit transaction screen

Clicking on the icon that looks like a plus sign brings up the Adding/Editing Transactions screen. From there you can configure quite a few options. One of the best parts about Splash Money are in this screen in my opinion. You have two types of categorizing that you can set up (making it easy to separate business and personal expenses). There is a also a memo field that gives an area to write a small note about the transaction. Though there is a lot that can be done, the interface is nice and clean and not crowded, making it easier to edit transactions.

Transfer funds screen

If you are like me and have places where you spend money frequently, there is an Auto-Fill function that will fill out the whole screen with just typing a few letters in the Payee field. You can also use the arrow at the right of the Payee list to bring up a pop-up menu of previous entries that you can select from.

Sometimes you might have a transaction that occurs at the same time every month, such as an automatic withdraw for a bill that is due. The Scheduled Transactions field enables you to setup those transactions and a reminder that will tell you when it happens.

One other neat function of Splash Money is the Split Transactions field. A split transaction is a transaction that fulfills more than one category, such as you went to the grocery store and used a debit card and so you had grocery and cash with the transaction.

Splash Money also supports multiple currencies. Though in the Account View screen, only the one currency type will be shown.

You can even edit fonts used for a specific account

Conclusions

Splash Money is a great program. For many years now I have heard about it but saw that it was not much different than the accounting programs that I was using before. With the addition of an online banking mode, I was convinced that I needed to try it out again. I was glad that I had as using the import mode, I was able to get all of my account info from my bank accounts into Splash Money, and the reporting function made it easy to give my CPA a good summary as to what I was spending the last year. Splash Data also has a Yahoo Group (http://groups.yahoo.com/SplashData) where you can suggest new features to Splash Money and other Splash Data products. The response of the support team in adding new features and fixing bugs has made Splash Money one of my most used programs. If you are new to PDAs or looking for another way to use the wireless abilities of your PDA, Splash Money will certainly pay for itself to be the top of your account book as well.

Purchase and company website: http://www.splashdata.com/splashmoney/


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