iTreasurer: Keep Tabs on Expenses
Some of the commonly asked questions for personal finance are:
How much do you earn monthly?
How much do you save monthly?
How much do you spend monthly?
Most people earn a single income, so they know how much they earn monthly. But most of them will "make up" figures for questions 2 & 3, which are inversely related to one another. Really, without monitoring expenditures closely, how can they derive at an average monthly expense figure off-hand?
Most people tend to underestimate their expenses because they will sum up the regular ones (which are easy to remember) but forget adhoc ones, such as a couple of car repairs, an overseas trip, a new king-size bed, etc. Adhoc expenses usually eat into savings if they are not budgeted for.
In personal finance, understanding expenditure patterns is more important than knowing income. One can work hard to achieve higher income, but not keeping spending habits in check will not improve his/her personal financial health. So, we came up with iTreasurer (where everyone is the treasurer of their own finances) to track expenses and perform self-analysis on expenditure patterns.
Objective of iTreasurer
"Spending $1 a day is more than spending $100 three times a year."
It is usually the insignificant amounts that we ignored that contribute the largest part of our expenses. And we won't know that until we track them for some time. This is where iTreasurer comes into play.
The main intention is to know where has all the money gone to. In other words, to better understand our expenditure habits, in daily life or when carrying out certain activities, and manage it to improve our financial health.
Apart from expenses, iTreasurer can also track incomes or incoming funds. This will give a better picture on amounts that remain in our pockets.
The Wallet Concept
iTreasurer uses the concept of a wallet to manage a fund. Like a physical wallet, money should be in first before paying for expenses. This is a good practice in terms of personal finance management. In iTreasurer, multiple "wallets" can be created to track or mimic money movements in physical wallets or for special purpose funds.
Wallets in iTreasurer are dual-currency. This means that each wallet can support two currencies, a foreign currency of interest and the default home currency specified in the app's Settings. This design facilitates tracking of travel funds, where travellers usually incur expenses in the travel destination's currency as well as in the home currency when making reservations online. iTreasurer expands the dual-currency feature to all wallets, not just for travel use.
For local use, or when only the home currency is required, the wallet will be single-currency.
iTreasurer supports 160+ currencies. Wallets can be created with any currencies or simply in the home currency for local use. For all foreign currency wallets, iTreasurer will obtain the latest exchange rates from a service provider. These rates are for reference only as actual exchange rates are determined by respective financial institutions or money changers (for travel wallets).
Support for Group Wallets There are funds that are specially setup for groups of people for specific purposes. For example, pooling of money among a group of 2 or more friends to pay for expenses on a travel trip together. iTreasurer is designed to manage group wallets for such uses. Unlike personal wallets that can have money movements freely, group wallets are usually "collected" from participants before paying for common expenses. Unused amount on closing of group wallets are "split" among the participants. The treasurer of a group fund holds the money and will need to account for its usage. iTreasurer mimics real-time scenario for group funds and provides the facility to track group expenses. As iTreasurer is usually installed on the treasurer's device and he/she will also manage his/her personal wallets, the app allows his/her shares for group funds to be collected from his/her personal wallets. In the event of a fund closure, the split amount can also be transferred to a personal wallet.
Purposes of Expenditure Tracking
Below are some common purposes of expenditure tracking supported by iTreasurer. Depending on the purpose selected for a wallet, some functions may behave differently but appropriate for that purpose.
1. Daily Life Expenses
Use for tracking income and expenses in everyday activities, be it household expenditures, or managing common funds for specific purposes. This is the default mode for most wallets.
2. Travel Expenses
Use to track expenses on personal trips. It has the same functions as "Daily Life Expenses" except for the ability to create expenses with dates in the future. This enables budget planning prior to travelling.
3. Business Trip
Tracking expenses on a business trip is identical to tracking expenses on personal holiday trips. In iTreasurer, setting a wallet as "Business Trip" simply differentiate it from personal "Travel Expenses".
In the development pipeline to enhance iTreasurer, Business Trip will have extended functions to allow storing of receipts for expenditures and generate reports for filing claims on travel expenses.
Refer to "Business Account" for similar functions.
4. Foreign Currency
This is used to track cash in foreign currencies. These cash may be leftovers from trips but not converted back to the home currency. The money will usually sits in drawers somewhere because they cannot be used locally, waiting to be used someday when overseas again. Depending on their amounts, they can become significant when summed up or when exchange rates hiked. This purpose-mode has the same functions as "Daily Life Expenses".
5. Business Account (subscriptions required)
This business module is specially designed for
Self-employed users to track business expenditures for tax submissions,
Employees to file work-related claims, and
Small businesses to manage invoices from suppliers and track payments.
The main idea is to keep soft copies of receipts for expenses as the physical copy can fade after some times, especially those on thermal papers or written in non-permanent inks. Storing of receipts using electronic means reduces photocopying of receipts and help to save trees.
"Business Account" has all the functions as "Daily Life Expenses" except:
It is single-currency only but can be in any currencies,
For personal type only, and
Expenses can exceed income (since tracking of income is optional).
"Business Account" has these premium features:
Allow storing of photos of receipts for all expenses on the go. Take a photo of the receipt before they faded.
Allow storing of photos of bills for payments of on-credit expenses. Credit card bills usually reflect the actual amounts paid for expenses charged to credit cards.
On-credit expenses can be in any foreign currencies.
Generate income & expenditure reports by months in PDF files. The files can be in either A4 or US-Letter size.
Generate receipts and credit bills in PDF files with auto-layout. iTreasurer will layout the receipts by months.
Export all files to iBook, Mail, iCloud, or to 3rd-party applications such as Dropbox.
Subscriptions for "Business Expenditure Add-on" is required to enable the use of Business Accounts on either monthly (US$1.50) or 6-monthly (US$8.00) basis. Prices may varies in different locations. The subscription is auto-renewable and is in addition to the download price of iTreasurer. A free trial of 14 days is available before subscriptions.
On-Credit Expenses & Payments Apart from paid expenses in cash, iTreasurer also tracks on-credit expenses via credit services, such as credit cards. There is no outgoing of money from the wallet yet, not until the transactions are billed or requested to be paid. On-credit expenses are actually debts. In iTreasurer, payment transactions can be created against on-credit expenses to reduce the debt. This facility is particularly useful if the on-credit expenses are in foreign currencies and payments are made in home currency. Example 1: An online booking of AU$118.50 was charged to credit card. The bill came and shows the item as SG$127.53. The payment of SG$127.53 is the actual amount spend, not AU$118.50.
Example 2: Same item above of AU$118.50 but payment of SG$127.53 to bank was late and incurred a late charge of SG$25. A payment can be created in iTreasurer as SG$152.53 to account for the extra expense. Or create another expense transaction of SG$25 to track the late charge separately.
Claims iTreasurer allows full or partial claims for paid expenses to be tracked. Claims are considered as incoming funds and will not reduce expenditure amounts as not all claims can be up to 100-percent of the incurred expenses. Some examples of claims,
Claims from travel insurance for medical expenses incurred while overseas.
Claims for cab fares to meet clients.
Claims for work-related overseas expenses.
Claims can also be made on payments for on-credit expenditures.
Deposits When deposits are made for certain services, the money becomes temporary unavailable for use although they may be refunded at later times. iTreasurer can keep tabs on these transactions, which also serves as reminders to get back the money. iTreasurer tracks deposits until they are either refunded or forgone for some reasons. Forgone deposits will be accounted for as expenses.
If a wallet has 2 currencies, usually for a foreign currency fund, the cash exchange function will be enabled. This allows currency conversion within the same wallet and is suitable for travel use.
iTreasurer supports several types of money transfer across wallets as follows:
1. Direct Fund Transfer
Transfer fund from a wallet to another wallet in the same currency.
Between personal wallets only.
2. Transfer & Exchange
Transfer across wallets of different currencies with currency conversion.
Between 2 personal wallets or 2 group wallets.
3. Collection of Group Funds
Transfer from a personal wallet to a group wallet.
Both wallets must be in the same currency.
4. Splitting of Group Funds
Transfer from a group wallet to a personal wallet.
Both wallets must be in the same currency.
Fund transfer is not applicable for Business Accounts.
iTreasurer can tabulate expenses for analysis from a single wallet or across multiple wallets. Mixing of personal and group wallets is allowed (group expenses will be divided by the number of participants in that group). All expenses will also be converted to the home currency for ease of summations across wallets of different currencies. Apart from providing a tabulated summary by categories and sub-categories, the data can also be presented in bar charts for better understanding.
Expenditure statistics can be performed for all personal and business wallets.
Customizable Categories & Icons There is no way iTreasurer can have categories and icons for all things in every walks of life. Even if it is possible, nobody will ever use more than one-tenth of them in their whole life. Taking this fact into consideration, iTreasurer provides a minimal set of commonly icons with a facility for adding new categories and icons. Photos can be imported into the app to create new customised icons.
Data Privacy & Security
iTreasurer do not link to any financial entities to perform actual transactions. All data entered into iTreasurer is stored on your device only and is accessible only by you.
iTreasurer also provides options to enable password protection as well as Touch ID (fingerprint authentication) on iOS devices.
As an expense tracker, iTreasurer can keep tabs on travel expenses too. It can sync budget and expense data with iPackTravel. When both apps are installed, simply setup a new trip in iPackTravel and initiate a request for iTreasurer to track its expenses. Both apps will handle the data sync seamlessly.
When the travel budget is updated in iPackTravel, the latter will send it over to iTreasurer. Similarly, iTreasurer will sync actual expense data with iPackTravel.
Wealth Suite Interoperability iTreasurer is also part of a group of personal finance applications consisting of MyWealth Suite and Wealth Suite Bundle. MyWealth is a free application to compute your total wealth today and for monitoring your financial health. It can sync data automatically with all the apps in the Wealth Suite Bundle.
iTreasurer will compute your average monthly expenditure over 12 months and sync the data with MyWealth (if it is installed). You can monitor your financial health with accurate expenditure data instead of plucking a figure from the air.
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