The giveaway is now closed! Check here for the winner.
I told you that today, I’d tell you about what tool I use for our family budgeting, and that I’d give you a chance to win it. I did not lie.
Photo by Dayna Bateman
It seems rather nerdy to get excited about a budgeting program, but then again, I’ve never run across anything like Pear Budget before. I used Quicken for a long time, mostly because it was what I had – it came free on our MacBook. But it started driving me bonkers, mostly because it was confusing to use (and I consider myself more or less computer savvy). There were just silly things I didn’t need to mess with when it came to managing every day family finances. Plus, it kept unexpectedly freezing on me.
I first heard of Pear Budget from a few personal finance blogs I really admire, such as Get Rich Slowly. It didn’t really sound like anything different or spectacular, but people kept recommending it, so I decided to check it out.
What I noticed first was the interface. It’s gorgeous. It’s clutter-free, it’s streamlined, and it’s easy on the eyes. That may sound surfacey, but to me, it adds enjoyment to budgeting. A good aesthetic doesn’t make a budget tool suddenly something I can’t live without – but it’s hard to find, so I appreciate it when it’s there.
The great thing about Pear Budget, however, is that it’s elegant interface echoes its simplicity. It really is so easy to use. You simply set up your budget in about 15 minutes, and you’re good to go. Head over there for a minute, read their initial home page, and head back over here. You’ll see what I mean.
Other things I like about Pear Budget:
- It’s completely based on a zero-based budget.
- You can fully customize your tags – there’s none of the pre-entered kind.
- It’s quick and powerful – because it doesn’t do anything but budgeting, it takes mere seconds to load.
- It beautifully handles both my regular, monthly expenses and my irregular expenses that show up only several times a year.
- It uses the classic envelope system – you fill in a category’s amount, and it depletes the total as its spent.
- They’ve got a blog that regularly answers questions and provides a place to contribute your thoughts (love that!).
Charlie and Sarah Park and their three preschool-aged girls are the family behind Pear Budget. About five years ago, they created a spreadsheet to help track their spending, and mostly for fun, they posted it online. After it was downloaded over 100,000 times, they decided to turn it into the web-based application we now see.
The Parks are a work-at-home mom and dad, and they get how busy parents are. They know what it’s like to manage a home. And they personally relate to staring in cloudy confusion at budget software that just doesn’t work for them. They know that when you only have 15 minutes of computer time every couple hours, you’re not going to want to spend it trying to understand how to work a tool. You just want to update your budget, see the results clearly, and move on.
Pear Budget completely aligns with my home management philosophy, so Simple Mom enthusiastically recommends them as an ideal budgeting tool.
I’m happy to say that Pear Budget is only $3 a month – that’s $36 a year, which is really affordable. But I’m even happier to say that one of you will win a lifetime subscription to Pear Budget! That’s years of lightweight budgeting ahead of you.
In order to win, simply enter a comment in this post! In your comment, please tell me your best cheap date idea. To enter a second time, subscribe to Simple Mom’s feed by either RSS or by email, and email me the secret code you see at the bottom of all the posts (see here if you want further explanation). You don’t have to be a new subscriber to get a second entry – just email me the code! To get a third entry, post about this giveaway on your blog, and let me know about it.
That’s it! This is obviously open to worldwide readers, since there’s no shipping involved. And you don’t need a blog to enter, but you need to make sure you provide a valid email address with your entry.
This contest will be open until Wednesday, June 25 at midnight Pacific Standard Time.