Budgetpulse has been around since 2007 and when I first saw they were going through another makeover, I asked Craig Kessler, the Marketing Director, why they were changing the site. I thought the site was quite good and looked great at the time. Craig said to me, “Because it’s not good enough. There are improvements that can make using the site a much better experience for our users.”
Well, they sure didn’t disappoint. The new Budgetpulse is beautiful in a design perspective, very pleasing to the eyes and simple to use and the features they have added are one of a kind.
First let me give you a quick rundown on what Budgetpulse is all about. There are thousands of budgeting tools out there, some online, some offline. BudgetPulse is different though because many budgeting tools that are online connect to all your bank accounts, credit card accounts or mortgage accounts and pull down data. This is scary for some that have always done their bookkeeping offline and technically does pose a security risk. BudgetPulse is more of a hybrid between the traditional pen and paper or desktop based budgeting systems (Excel anyone?) and the online systems that pull data in from all other sources. The difference is that Budgetpulse keeps track of everything online and offers advanced tools to manage your finances, but does not transmit data or connect to any online accounts. All account data is imported by you, by hand or by importing a file from the desktop clients such as Microsoft Money, or Intuit Quicken. All transactions can be hand edited, changed, or deleted.
This allows you to not only keep track of everything, but have peace of mind that your financial information is safe and sound. You can easily include everything in your finances, or exclude things you would rather not track. This sounds strange, but I have some business expenses that are reimbursed but take some time for that money to come back into my bank account. I’d rather not mix that money into my personal finances, but some other budgeting tools don’t allow for this kind of separation.
One of the most noteworthy changes and something that hasn’t been done anywhere else before is a completely in-house goal and online fundraising system that allows others to contribute to your goals and integrates with budgeting tools within Budgetpulse. Not only can you raise money, but you can track and organize it all in one place.
For instance, you are a college student and need some help paying for school. Set up a goal in BudgetPulse for the amount you need. Then, right from the goals public page, you can share that goal with others via many of the popular social networks, or email. Send the link to your friends or family and they can quickly, easily and without signing up for BudgetPulse, contribute money to your goal through Paypal, Amazon, or pledge money. Those that pledge money will have that money tracked and you can mark that pledge as paid once the money has been contributed. You can even put a badge on your blog or website detailing your goal and how much has been contributed.
Budgetpulse sets no restriction on the type or amount of fundraising you can set up and their system makes some of the more cumbersome things about fundraising such as collecting and tracking money for a sports team, club or non-profit extremely easy.
Some of the other tools that Budgetpulse offers are a Dashboard that gives a quick and complete overview of your finances, instant Net Worth assessment, and charts and graphs to help you better understand where your money is going.
Overall, I think the changes are a huge step in personal budgeting software. Signing up for the site took seconds and importing my financial data just another minute or two. The site and tools are easy to use and everything works very smooth. You won’t have to spend all day setting up and managing budgets, accounts or transactions.
I am not affiliated with Budgetpulse.com nor was I paid to write this review. br>
Tags: bank accounts, bookkeeping, business expenses, craig, credit card accounts, design perspective, desktop clients, financial information, hybrid, intuit, kessler, makeover, microsoft money, mortgage accounts, peace of mind, pen and paper, quot, rundown, security risk, traditional pen