Squirrel: Simple, Organized Finance Management

Last week, at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple announced the 2008 Apple Design Award winners. The winner for best student project was Squirrel, a new finance management application. Although there are many other financial applications for Mac OS X, Squirrel has a great design which helps make the application very user friendly.

Squirrel’s main window displays your transactions for the selected account. When you add a new transaction a bar slides up from the bottom so you can easily edit your transaction. You can choose the date, description, category, and amount. Then you can add different tags so you can easily organize them. On the top half of the window you can view a graph of your transactions. If you hover your mouse over any part of the graph you can view the date and the amount in your account at that time. You can also choose to view only incoming or outgoing transactions with the buttons at the top. If you set a URL for your bank you can also view the website by click the Netbanking icon in the top right. You can add different accounts and edit your tags and categories in the preferences.

Squirrel also includes two other useful features for managing your money: You can create reports and budgets. When you create a new report you choose a name, the accounts that will go into the report, and the dates that the report covers. Reports show information in two different ways: Two bars in the list view and pie graphs on top which both show you your spending in your categories. In the pie graph view, hovering over a section of the graph pops it out of the graph and displays the category name and amount spent in it.

Budgets help you avoid spending too much in a certain category. First you can choose your criteria for the budget, which can be sorted with tags and categories. Then you pick the amount and the time frame. In the list view a bar is displayed showing how much you have spent in your budget. You can also view bars on top showing how close you are but also showing how much you have spent other months. This helps you keep track other months also.

Although Squirrel is missing just a few features that some of the other applications have, it has an amazing design. It is also currently in version 0.5.5, so expect many more features coming soon. If you purchase Squirrel before it reaches version 1.0 you can get it for ⚬6.99 (about $11) with free updates until version 2.0. Once Squirrel does reach version 1 it will be available for ⚬25 (about $38). You can download a trial and purchase Squirrel at the application’s website.


12 Responses to “Squirrel: Simple, Organized Finance Management”

  1. bisley on June 18th, 2008 6:28 am

    I bought it when was called iBudget and since then I’m very happy with it. After some time, It becomes to Squirrel and really was a big improvement. Great app, and for now a very good price :)

  2. Jack Amick on June 18th, 2008 10:51 am

    Yup, this introductory price is a great deal.

  3. mdotbb on June 18th, 2008 11:50 am

    Jack, how do you feel this compares with iBank and Cha-Ching?

  4. Jack Amick on June 18th, 2008 12:15 pm

    I have been using Cha-Ching since I got it in Macheist 2. It’s a pretty good app and Squirrel is very similar. I don’t think Cha-Ching has anything like the reports and it doesn’t have the nice graphs. So if you are looking for a new one this one is (currently) an amazing deal. And more features will probably be added before v1.0.

  5. ASD on June 23rd, 2008 9:30 pm

    Will be interesting to watch this app as it matures. For the time being, comparison to other products in the same price range is a moot point until basic features such as ability to import .qif files and integration with online banking are supported.

    It is pretty though.

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