Beginner’s Guide to Budgeting with WallyJanuary 07, 2021
Table of Contents Contents
For a finance app to be useful, it needs to be more than a digital repository of your debits and credits – otherwise, it would be no different than an excel document. What makes a budgeting app valuable is the automation and insights it provides. Wally is one of those apps, so let’s take a look to see if Wally is right for you.
App is easy to use
Data must be input manually
Keeps all financial data in one place
Add-ons could get pricey
Banking data is safe because it’s not connected
Concept of “coins” is a bit unclear
Graphs and charts make it easy to understand your financial health at a glance
Many ways to track spending
What is Wally?
Wally 3.0 is a personal finance app available for iPhone. Wally is an app that keeps all your financial paperwork in one place. To put it simply, you enter incoming and outgoing funds, and Wally helps keep track of all that information to help you stay on budget.
Does Wally work on my laptop or desktop?
Currently Wally is only compatible with your smartphone, however, the company’s website indicates a desktop version is in the works.
Does Wally connect to my bank account?
Unlike budget apps like Mint, the standard version of Wally doesn’t connect to your bank. This means every credit and debit must be put in manually. For users that aren’t comfortable sharing their banking data, this makes Wally a good option. Likewise, those who want to keep close track of expenses, including having records of receipts, will be happy to input the information.
If account linking is particularly important to you, Wally does offer it for $3.99 per month or $32.99 for a one-year subscription.
How do I use Wally?
When you start using Wally, you must set up all your accounts. Setting up accounts in the app is very simple. You can choose from cash, checking, credit card, saving, digital wallet, prepaid, and gift cards. You can also input several different types of loans.
Screenshot from the Wally App
For each account, you will include available balance and, the currency, basic terms of the card (such as minimum balance), fees, and interest. For credit cards, you can also include the outstanding balance.
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How do I input my expenses into Wally?
When you have ingoing or outgoing funds, you simply tap the “+” symbol. For a purchase, the process is as simple as selecting “expense”, and entering where the money was spent, the category, the amount, and how it was paid for. Here is a sample purchase entry:
Screenshot from the Wally App
You’ll also notice that there are suggested hashtags; these are used to help you further categorize your income and expenses. The idea of using hashtags is rather ingenious because it adds a bit of fun to tracking money, and it uses a tool that most younger people are already comfortable using.
What’s the advantage of using the Wally App?
Wally offers several features that make it beyond just an expense tracking app.
Highlights are “bite-sized insights” on your budget, balance, and spending. So, it might show you account balances, and which bills you have coming up.
Insights make your financial habits easier to understand. Using Insights you can track spending by category, business account, or tag, see your cashflow patterns, track money you are owed, and more. Insights often take the form of interactive charts and graphs, so those who enjoy visual data will find this particularly helpful.
Other things you can do with Wally are:
- Review past and upcoming payments
- Set a daily or category budget to control your spending,
- View your account balances, including your net assets and liabilities
- Track group expenses to split costs and settle loans
- Create an account for family expenses
- See where and how you spend your money
- Attach pictures of receipts to expenses
- Create shopping lists
- Enter bill due dates and upcoming expenses
- Create shortcuts to your most used features, business you purchase from frequently, and groups
It’s also worth noting that, even though the app has many tabs and options, it’s an extremely user-friendly and intuitive interface. Regular and consistent expenses or income, like rent or salary, can be automated so you don’t have to re-enter them every single time.
Tip: Enter in your bills so you don’t miss payment deadlines
How is Wally Gold different than the free version?
Wally Gold is the premium version of the app. It offers the same features as the free app, as well as other features like foreign currency, joint accounts, more specific categories, and payment reminders. Wally Gold costs $4.49 per month, $35.99 for a one-year subscription, and $47.99 for a lifetime subscription.
Some of the premium features can be purchased as an add-on in the same way you’d purchase account syncing. For instance, you can add joint accounts to Wally for $13.49 per year, a currency converter for $7.99 per year, and a data export function for $7.99 a year.
You can also upgrade your account with Wally Coins which you can earn when you invite friends to the app and they successfully create an account. Wally Coins is the one area that Wally does not explain fully, but it seems as those they are earned exclusively by getting someone to sign up for the app. Like a subscription fee, Wally Coins expire after one year.
Tip: If you plan to use the Wally app for a long time, the lifetime subscription is a great deal.
Is Wally a good choice? Is it the best budget app?
To say Wally has many features would be an understatement. It’s quite a powerful budgeting app with a slick interface. Insights and Highlights break down your spending and income into manageable data, taking this app beyond a simple finance tracker.
If banking security is a central concern, then you can be sure your data is safe with Wally, because you don’t have to connect to your bank. The manual element reinforces that even tapping your credit card is the act of spending money. This app certainly doesn’t let you get away with the “if I don’t look at it maybe it will go away” approach to debt.
However, this does mean you have to be consistent with entering your information; no data means no insights. Users who do want the premium features, like bank account syncing, may also find it irritating and potentially pricey to pay for all the add-ons, especially when other finance apps come with bank syncing included.
The ability to track group expenses within the app is also a plus. Other apps like Splitwise can do expense tracking well, but these exist outside of your banking information, creating a potential gap in your financial data.
As of the time of this article, Wally was on version 3.0, and it appears its developers are constantly implementing changes to improve the app, meaning it will likely only become a more useful budgeting tool.
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