App of the Week: MoneyStrands lets you track your budget

Want to better budget and track your spending? This handy app will help you control your finances and show you where each and every dirham goes.

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Working for a personal finance section should guarantee a perfect portfolio, right? Sadly, the two don't necessarily go hand in hand because the finance writer's fantasy budget - usually stored somewhere in their oversized brain rather than on an Excel spreadsheet - is often very different to the real state of affairs in their bank account.

And while creating a budget on paper sounds like a logical step to take, it can be a laborious and tedious process that requires too much maintenance to keep it on track - even for a professional.

And wouldn't it be boring if every personal finance writer was also a whizz with their own money?

Ask any money specialist about the state of their finances and they'll shake their head in dismay, either because they are stony broke or they are struggling to keep their head above water thanks to too many liabilities. But help is at hand.

The app

The experts at MoneyStrands have developed an app (free, iPhone) that could be the solution to every money worrier's woes. Based on MoneyStrands' online Personal Financial Management service, the app automatically gathers data from all your financial accounts, including your savings, chequing, loans and credit cards.

It's like a one-stop shop for all your finances and offers the user a real-time analysis of the state of their money. It's a great way to keep track of your spending because the app automatically categorises your transactions into various spending categories, allowing you to quickly discover that you are overspending on coffee and chocolate and underspending on healthy groceries.

You can also analyse your income in dirhams because the application has 44 currency options and is available in English and Spanish. Genuine financial dummies will also benefit from the app's financial tips, as well as coupon and financial product recommendations uniquely tailored to their spending habits.

The details

Visually, MoneyStrands' iPhone app shows all your account balances and recent transactions in one place, as well as customised alerts about the next bill to be paid.

The budget tool is especially slick in this app and you can add and delete budgets and track individual account updates.

MoneyStrands is an app that will make your life easier and ensure you stay on top of your monthly and annual budgets. Just remember to log everything you spend as you go so that you can see the real picture of your spending habits, rather than that fantasy one.

Have some great personal finance apps that you want to share? Write to Curt Brandao at

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