Hi everyone 🙂
Recently I noticed that I’ve been spending to much money and decided that I needed to find out where I was spending it and start controlling my expenses. I started searching for some free software to easily control my expenses. Using spreadsheets was not an option since I’ve tried it a few times and I always end up giving up because it’s too much work and time consuming. After searching a little I found several applications, some free, others paid, but quickly decided to use one that, in my opinion, is the one that allows me to keep my privacy, keeps my bank information safe, and is extremely fast and simple to use. Oh, and as if it wasn’t enough, it is developed by a Portuguese company and I could get it for free, since my brother is one of the developers! 😀
- Privacy: expenses history and bank information are NOT sent to some server where they could be stored for some company do whatever they want with your data;
- Security: since no information is sent anywhere, it stays safe in your computer and you’re the one and only responsible by the safety of your data. Moreover, you don’t need to use any bank credentials in Boonzi;
- Importing bank statements: import and categorize statements from your bank accounts, quickly and securely. This is awesome! 😀 Just check the video below to see it in action; 🙂
- Multiple bank accounts supported: you can set as many bank accounts as you wish in the application, allowing you to have an overall view of your entire financial situation;
- Visual reports: great visualization tools to check where you’re spending your money;
- Upcoming bills planning: you can set upcoming bills so that you’re never caught by surprise with some expense that you forgot was coming.
From the features that I mentioned, the one that I liked the most was the possibility of importing and automatically categorizing statements from my bank accounts. Check this video showing how easy and fast (in under 2 minutes!) it is to import and categorize statements using a simple Copy and Paste operation:
Although Boonzi is only available for Window$ and Mac there is a very simple way of running it in Ubuntu, which I first used to test it and now use to run it everyday. 🙂 To install and run Boonzi in Ubuntu you just have to run the following steps:
- Install Wine and winetricks, if theyr’re not already installed:
sudo apt-get install wine
- When using Wine it’s a good practice to set a folder that will be your C: drive. To do it, open a console and run:
A configuration utility will appear on your screen. Then choose the Drives tab and add a location by clicking on “Add” and set the Location. At the end click “Apply” and “Ok”.
- Go to the Boonzi Demo download page and enter your email to download a test version. After downloading, copy it to the folder that you defined as being your C: drive.
- Open a console, go to the folder that you defined as being the C: drive and run:
wine msiexec /i boonzi*
- An installer window will appear. Click “Next”.
- Choose the installation path, or just click “Next” since the predefined path should be ok.
- Click on “Install”.
- This is the most difficult step 😛 Mark the checkbox that says “Launch Boonzi” and click on Finish!
- An intro menu will appear asking you to set your Profile name, where to keep your data and the currency:
- Now everything is installed and ready to use! 🙂
Until now, the only thing that I noticed that is not working perfectly out of the box is importing contacts using the Copy and Paste operations but there is a very easy workaround. The clipboard in linux is managed in a different way than the clipboard in Window$ and Wine cannot directly read the data that you copy from the browser. For the copy/paste operation to work you must copy the data from the browser, paste it into a text editor like gedit and then copy it from gedit and paste it into Boonzi. This way it will work and it’s still very easy and quick to do.
Unlike most software that I describe in my blog, Boonzi is a commercial software. However, time is money and since it allows users to save time and still have a fine control of their expenses I think it is worth it. Some reports indicate that in just 2 months of use users are able to reduce their expenses and “recover” the money invested in the software. Even if I couldn’t get it for free, I would consider it a good investment and wouldn’t regret buying it! 🙂 In case you’re interested in the application, you can try it by downloading the demo from the Boonzi website 😉 .
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