psbFinances

Do you manage you personal finances? Does mint.com ring a bell? Do you also have one or more small businesses and do your accounting yourself? QuickBooks anyone? Fraustrated managing same transactions in many places to see your financial health? You are not alone.

For the last few months I’ve been working on a project to address these challenges. Today I am open sourcing it. It’s a web application to manage personal and small business finances – psbFinances. But who needs another financial manager? Well, at least I do 🙂. Let me talk about what motivated me to create it.

I have been managing our family’s finances for a very long time (do you remember Microsoft Money?). Now we have two small businesses – my wife’s hairstyling and my softwrae consulting. I do our accounting myself. A few years ago we’ve had two LLC and one S-Corp. That year, I’ve used mint, QuickBooks Self-Employed and QuickBooks. Also I’ve had my own spreadsheet with a detailed budget, tax preparation toolkit, dashboards and cash flow monitoring. A lot of data and process duplication. A lot of frustration. I am ok to pay for the services that I use, but I cannot stand a free version full of ads or have a very pushy marketing.

I’ve tried many other applications during the last 6 year. Every time I’ve heard about a new financial manager, I tried it. Unfortunately neither of them had what I need nor saved me time managing finances. That’s when I finally decided to create my own. That’s how psbFinances came up to life.

The version that is available today is a beta. I don’t consider it ready for the “prime time”, but I’ve been using it to manage all our finances for the last 5 months. I have much better picture of our finances and spend less time managing them. Also it is easy to add a feature that I need to help me. I use mint to download our financial data from many banks, but manage everything in psbFinances. Even my own spreadsheet is now 90% obsolete.

Who is it for

psbFinances is not intended to be a tool for everyone. At least as of today. The most benefits from it will be for people who:

  • manages their personal finances
  • have one or more small businesses, and
  • do accounting themselves, and
  • would like to have all financial data in one place

Here are example of a few real life situation that psbFinances can help:

  • have you ever bought something for your personal and business needs in a single transaction? Easy to handle in psbFinances. But: “aren’t you supposed to make 3 separate purchases in this case?”. No, as long as you allocate amounts to personal and businesses
  • have you ever checked whether you will have enough cash to pay all your bills by the end of this or next months? Or play “what-if” scenario (e.g.: can I afford to buy something or put some money to a saving?)
  • do you have a detailed budget for each category and each month, rather than one number for all months?
  • do you want to let your partner to change the data, but can also see who did it and when?
  • have your data always ready for your Form 1040 Schedule C?

This is a small number of cases that I’ve tried to address so far. Take a look at it and maybe it will help you too.

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