Keeping my balance in check with Dollarbird

I’ve been using a checkbook application on mobile devices ever since my first Palm Pilot. It was a simple application, probably cost me a dollar to download and didn’t come with many bells and whistles (and God forbid your battery died before syncing your Palm) but not having to bother with a handwritten checkbook register anymore was a revelation.

Since then, I’ve tried out dozens of finance trackers on my iPhone and the only one that stuck with me was Dollarbird.

What really sold me on their app was the lovely color scheme, simple interface and month view. I haven’t found a more useful display of where my money has gone and how much of it I’ll have left by the end of the month.

This month view has saved my butt so many times.

For instance, if I have a recurring daycare check set up every week and monthly bills, like a car payment, set to come out on the same calendar day, those payments are reflected in the balance at the end of the month, or on whichever day you tap on. I’ll always know how much money I have left to spend in the month after budgeting and setting up bills and transfers.

There’s even a great overview screen that tells you what you spend in each color-coded category every month and if you’re on track to spend that much compared to previous months.

It’s not the most robust budgeting tool, but it works for me and has kept my spending in line for years, now.

In Dollarbird’s recent upgrade, it moved to a subscription-based model in a shift toward catering to partners, families and teams. This isn’t an uncommon move with mobile apps… Ulysses, one of my favorite text editors for both Mac and iOS, just made the jump from flat cost to recurring fees and caught a fair amount of flack for it.

Read this:
24 Hours with Bixby

But in this instance, Dollarbird retained a free single-user subscription, which is perfect, because I’m the only one who uses it in my family. It also expanded accounts into a web interface, so you can check your balances from any connected device and also rest assured that your records are backed up online.

Dollarbird is available free on the App Store and Google Play and I really think it’s work checking out if you’re looking for a good budgeting and checkbook application.

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3 comments… add one
  • Jonathan Miez August 29, 2017, 9:55 pm

    Well, that’s not fare. They initially charge you 1.99 for their great app. Them, they turn it free but with “pro” features in a subscription model. The pro features were things like new icons and colors. Them, they stayed quiet for years, without any update. After those years, they came with this new app, which has none of the original beaty and simplicity, and if you don’t have celldata, you can’t insert transactions… It was sadly a HUGE stepback.

    • Robert August 31, 2017, 7:33 am

      Hey Jonathan,

      Robert from the Dollarbird team here. Actually, the Pro subscription in the previous version granted you a lot more than icons. It was about letting you sync your data between devices and collaborate with others on a shared account. However, due to some unforeseen technical difficulties, Pro was put on hold until we could iron out the sync issues.

      While we’ve been silent we were actually completely rebuilding the underlying technology, and a redesign was also needed since so many things have changed in terms of app design style-guides throughout the years.

      The new version is now cloud based so you can have access to your data across mobile and desktop devices. Pro is also back, giving you 20 calendars and the possibility to collaborate on shared calendars in teams. You might be pleased to hear that we’re already working on offline support so you can access your data and add transaction without an internet connection too on mobile.

      This is just the beginning for the new Dollarbird, we have a whole list of features and improvements in the pipeline for the upcoming period. Stay tuned!

      Cheers,
      Robert – Dollarbird team 🙂

      • Jacob Haas September 5, 2017, 6:55 pm

        Thanks for your input! I, too, had wondered about the offline data, as the app seems to wipe that information from the cache when launching. In the rare event of not having mobile data, you basically can’t access the application, so that’s good to hear about the offline support.

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