BudgetPulseBudgetPulse is a new financial management service in closed beta that aims to simplify the way you manage your money and track budgets. It allows you to manage multiple accounts and track income, expenses, assets, bills, and more. Additionally, BudgetPulse lets you set goals which assists you in tracking and recording how much money you spend over certain durations of time. (weeks, months, years, etc.)

If you’re looking for a financial application with all the usual Web 2.0 design elements, BudgetPulse may be the service for you. You’ve got your gradients and reflections, Ajax calls with every action, and of course, neat JavaScript slider effects. I can’t say I’m a fan of applications that over do it with Ajax, but enough about that and let’s get started. Logging in to BudgetPulse will direct you to the Dashboard showing a brief overview of your financial situation. You can see each of your accounts and their balances on the left as well as upcoming expenses and expense categories that are close to going over budget in the middle. BudgetPulse also aggregates financial news from top financial news sources like Google and Yahoo! which can help you plan your spending and budgets accordingly. You can also search through all of your transactions using the search form on the right column.

BudgetPulse Dashboard

To get an account up and running, head over to the accounts area in the tracking section. You can add an account and set its opening balance, then start adding expenses, sources of income, and recurring payments like bills. BudgetPulse also allows you to make a money transfer from one account to another like real banking. Additionally, you can categorize each transaction you add to an account so BudgetPulse can later group the transactions and base them against your budget goals. Expect to type out the category every time you add a transaction though as BudgetPulse does not pre-populate your list of your categories for you.

BudgetPulse Budgets

As you’ve probably guessed, BudgetPulse helps you create and track budgets on the expenses your make. It groups up each expense by the categories you create and allows you to set a specific budget amount to an expense category. So, for example, if I were to add a couple transactions with the category, “entertainment”, BudgetPulse will show that category in the budgets area and allow me to set a budget amount to it. It will then display a simple bar that compares how much I have actually spent on entertainment and what I have budgeted. At default, it bases the data on a months time, but you can set a date range at the top.

BudgetPulse GraphsAfter getting some data into BudgetPulse, you can view charts and summaries on your financial activity. The charts are especially useful because just seeing your expenses visually can be a real eye-opener and help you better plan for the future. There are three different charts: Expense allocation (pie chart), monthly expenses shown by day (line graph), and monthly expenses shown by month (bar graph). The BudgetPulse summary section allows you to view each transaction category and narrow down into each category showing totals of the last four months and the overall difference of your income and expenses.

With many other personal finance services out there, where does BudgetPulse stand? BudgetPulse offers a nice set of features, though I found the interface a bit clunky and ran into some small bugs here and there (mostly when submitting a form with invalid information or nothing at all). However, I did like the ability to quickly search through all of my transactions. I also liked the summary overview and the budgets area where you can assign budget amounts to specific categories of transactions. On the down side, you cannot export or import data, but that’s said to be in development for BudgetPulse’s public beta, along with other features like a calendar, mobile access, and SSL encryption. As it stands, I’m going to continue using my favorite money manager for the mac, Cha-Ching, but I am interested in seeing the public beta release of BudgetPulse. I have noticed some changes to BudgetPulse since I first started testing too, which is always a good sign.

In related news: check out Expensr, a social expense tracking application reviewed by Webware. Also keep an eye out for Mint, a personal finance service that’s been generating some buzz lately.


7 Comments on “Track Your Expenses with BudgetPulse”

  1. Noah Everett says:

    I am really looking forward to Mint. I’ve been looking for a good web-based finance manager for some time now.

  2. Brian Benzinger says:

    Same here, Noah. I’ve been waiting for Mint for some time now. They’re certainly doing a great marketing job though because I’m excited for it and barely even know what it can do!

  3. anna nordness says:

    My vote still goes to http://www.LessAccounting.com or even http://www.TickSpot.com – someone needs to develop a mobile version for expense tracking.

  4. heri says:

    very torough review, thanks – although I question the use of a web app to track my money. this is critical info. everything can be listenened on the internet, and I dont want my data to be read by thirdparties. sticking to a desktop app then.

  5. carlos says:

    no comments

  6. ChrisA says:

    Anyone know how this stacks up with Wesabe or Mvelopes?

    http://www.wesabe.com/

    http://www.mvelopes.com/index.php

  7. Sigmenti says:

    For actual tracking of expenses I like xpenser.com better. I record the expenses as soon as I spend the money, usually via SMS, sometimes via email, but it also does IM, twitter, and voice (jott). Doesn’t have as many analysis / graphing options, but you can export your data to quicken/excel, etc. I do quicken.