Summer week of giveaways: Pear Budget

by Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

This giveaway is closed.

Next up is a Simple Mom favorite – Pear Budget. I’ve raved about this wonderful company in the past; it’s what we use in our family to keep track of our everyday family finances.

Pear Budget was created by Charlie and Sarah Park, Simple Mom readers with three little ones at home. The great thing about this budgeting management site they’ve created is that its 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.

Some of Pear Budget’s best features are:

  • It’s completely based on a zero-based budget.
  • You can fully customize your tags – there’s none of the pre-entered kind, like on Quicken.
  • 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!).

Screenshot of the receipt entry section (click to enlarge)

Because the Parks are a work-at-home mom and dad, 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 is only $3 a month, but this week, they want to give three Simple Mom readers one free 6-month subscription, one free 1-year subscription, and one free lifetime subscription!

To win, here’s how to enter:

Leave a comment at this post, answering the following question: If you found a surprise $10 bill in your pocket, what would you do with it?

The giveaway is open worldwide, and it lasts until this Saturday, May 30.

I hope you win! Check back in a few hours for another giveaway.

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  1. I rarely have cash on hand b/c I find it easier to use a check card to track my spending. Every now and then I need cash for parking or to pay someone back for something. So, I’d probably stick this in my wallet for when I needed it.

  2. Save it until I need to pay a sitter.

    Michelle Marsh´s last blog post…As Ainsley says, "Congratuwations Dad!"

  3. Take the kids out for a treat!

  4. I’d probably take my husband out on an inexpensive date!

  5. Put it in my wallet, I never seem to have cash around.

  6. avatar
    Abby L. says:

    Either coffee out or a trip to goodwill- maybe both!

  7. Go to Target and see what I can get for it! Or go out for coffee with my hubby.

  8. Hmmm… gas…would be the responsible choice. But if I do what I really want to… mcdonalds chicken nuggets…. I haven’t eatin fast food in almost 6 months but I sure do crave those wonderful bad for you chicken nuggets… or pay my library fines

  9. I would like to say that I would treat myself to something…but, I’d end up handing it off to one of my kids most likely :)

  10. Treat my 2 girlfriends to a Starbucks one night!

    Michelle Meyer´s last blog post…And this is what it is like to have girls…

  11. I’d grab it and go “wow! I love it when this happens”, then I’d stick in my purse to use at some point.

  12. avatar
    Water Gal Jen says:

    Hopefully I would get to use it toward a pedicure for myself. But, the hubby would probably ask me if I have any cash so I probably hand it over to him. Either that or I would take the family out for a frozen yogurt and then we would go to the park and play!

  13. Well, if my husband didn’t find it in my wallet first then I would spend it on coffee.

  14. avatar
    Melissa says:

    I would take my husband and kids to the italian ice stand in our neighborhood for a treat!

  15. I would probably use it for a fun, inexpensive date night with hubby! Or go out for fast food with the kids for a special treat. :) And I LOVE Pear Budget! I read about it on your blog last summer and started using it in September. It’s a great program!

  16. Happy hour at Sonic :)

  17. I would add it to my eating out budget. I love eating out but since I’ve been budgeting, my nights out have been decreased significantly!

  18. Probably grab dh & the kids & go get some ice cream – yum!

  19. avatar
    Christina says:

    I would end up sticking it in my wallet to use when I needed it.

  20. I’ve been looking at Dave Ramsey, but I think I need to check this out! A surprise $10? Probably treat my kid to some ice cream! : )

    bdaiss´s last blog post…Just another Monday

  21. Go out for lunch with a girlfriend.

  22. I’d buy a sweet treat for my kids and a chai latte for me!

  23. I’d probably stick it straight in my wallet and use it for a treat some time at work when I’m lagging.

  24. I’d do a little happy dance and probably take myself out to Starbucks, or buy a new book!

    Emily´s last blog post…Flight Video

  25. meet a girlfriend for lunch!!!! and i LOVE pearbudget!

  26. Treat my daughter and myself to Starbucks. She loves trips to Starbucks and I love making her happy (well, and Starbucks too) so it’s win – win!

  27. With this post being about budgeting, I guess I should say that I would save it…..HOWEVER, I would probably more likely treat myself to a nice Frappucino or something! :)

    Jane´s last blog post…10

  28. Totally hit Sonic for a vanilla Coke!

    Gina´s last blog post…An Epic Fail

  29. We’d pile everyone up in the car and go get drinks at Sonic for the whole family. What a treat!

  30. I’d save $5 and use the other $5 for a small treat for the kids.

  31. 1. Gasp in shock!
    2. Twitter about the shock.
    3. Go to Starbucks – order & tell the barista about my shock.
    4. Put the $5 left into my savings – I save all $5 bills – they add up quick!
    5. Twitter again about how good the coffee was and that I put $5 in savings.

    TeriLynne´s last blog post…What a difference a year makes …

  32. I’d jump up and down, and then put it in my wallet.

  33. Go to a movie!

  34. Well, it just so happens that I just found $10 in an old planner yesterday. I decided to treat myself when DH didn’t come home for lunch like normal and DD & I got a slice of pizza & some bread nuggets from Mancinos :). Budget’s been pretty tight lately.

    Jen S´s last blog post…Works for Me Wednesday – Window Cleaning

  35. One pound of freshly roasted and ground Foggy Morning blend coffee from Carpe Diem.

  36. Hmm right now I’d probably use it for a small treat for the husband and I. We rarely go out to eat anymore.

    Becca´s last blog post…Murder by Death

  37. 10 found dollars – I would save it in my wallet for a trip or two to the espresso shop.

    Shelley´s last blog post…What I Learned…

  38. Realistically it would just get stuck in my wallet. If I had time, it might get used for a family ice cream trip or some mama time at the bookstore.

  39. avatar
    Denise in IN says:

    Ask one of my kids if I had somebody’s birthday money that was supposed to go in a savings account! 😎

  40. avatar
    Holly G. says:

    I would hang on to it until the end of the month and then treat the kids to ice cream at Culver’s! My husband gets paid once a month so the last two weeks of the month are usually way too tight to splurge on treats like ice cream! The kids love when we go do something fun like that as a family and so do the husband and I!

  41. Aahh, $10 would take my daughter and I on our weekly Caribou date for a coffee and coffee cake. Otherwise a good book from Barnes and Noble for me!!

  42. Oh my gosh, I would **SO** love this giveaway!! I just signed up for the free one month trial of PearBudget and I love it. It is so easy and just what I needed. We are starting the Dave Ramsay plan to control our out of control finances. Since I’m the new CFO, this budgeting tool is right up my alley. Easy and fast!
    If I found extra money in my pocket, I would probably stop by sonic for a strawberry limeade!

    Sarah´s last blog post…The end.

  43. avatar
    Laura Jones says:

    Coffee, coffee, coffee! But I can’t decide if I’d use it to go sit somewhere and have a lazy mid-afternoon latte, or splurge on a nicer bag of coffee than I usually buy so that I can savor it at home in the mornings…

  44. I would put it right into my little tin that I keep extra cash in for little special somethings on a rainy day. I usually just add ones to the tin, but a surprise $10 would be exciting!

    I would love to win a chance to try out Pear Budget. I read about it on your post a couple days ago and only looked at their site briefly. I know my husband and I need to do something about our budget. It is pretty much non-existent right now. Pear Budget just might be the thing to kick us into getting started and taking control. Thanks for the chance to win!

    Carrie´s last blog post…Chinese Culture Days

  45. I’d blow it on some new-to-me clothes from the thrift store. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  46. Have coffee w/ my husband @ Starbucks

  47. Hmmmm, sounds like a Mom Special to me (People Magazine and some high quality dark chocolate!)

    Love all the awesome giveaways!

    Lee´s last blog post…The Curtain is Rising Soon!

  48. Put it in the “household” envelope for my next grocery store trip (so that I’ll THEN be able to splurge on some Mrs. Meyers cleaning products–I’m dying to try the basil dishwashing soap… (not sure when cleaning supplies became the dream item…)

  49. I would excitedly put it in my wallet, because I never seem to have cash – because it’s too easy to spend!! It would sit there until it began burning a hole through, and is likely to be spend – without guilt – on overpriced coffee :)
    Thanks for sharing the Pear system – I will definitely check it out!

  50. Starbucks date with the hubby!

  51. An extra $30 would be a pedicure. An extra $10? If I didn’t just stick it in my wallet and use it at the grocery store out of sheer uncreativity, I’d probably take my kids for doughnuts, which they love, and put the rest in their piggy banks.

    MemeGRL´s last blog post…MPM–The Merry Merry Month of May

  52. Iced Tall Decaf Vanilla Latte before walking down to the river to thow bread to the ducks with my son – twice!

  53. avatar
    Lori Murphy says:

    If I found a surprise $10 bill, I would start with a car wash and then I’d probably treat my kids to ice cream.

  54. I’d buy my dog some nice healthy treats. :)

    Thanks for sharing this! After being unemployed for 9 months and now at a job where I’m making $10K less than I used to, I’m doing some serious budget restructuring, including cutting up credit cards. This would be a huge help!

    Trude´s last blog post…My New Bedroom

  55. Oh boy, to be honest, I’d probably think of it as an extra 10 bucks to spend on myself. Is that bad or what?!
    I’m horrible when it comes to keeping a budget… that’s my problem.
    HELP ME!! :)

  56. We actually had this happen a couple months ago. My husband found $20 on the ground. That particular time, we gave it to a special offering at church. If I found $10 today, I would consider putting it toward some summer clothes or saving it for yard sale shopping.

    Sandy´s last blog post…Girls’ Day Out

  57. Hmmmmm…. I would probably get a McCafe iced caramel coffee from McDonalds. Yumo! And then use the rest on groceries or something boring!

    Sheila´s last blog post…Thank God for Synonyms

  58. avatar
    Elizabeth says:

    I’d either buy a coffee, save it (squirrel it in a drawer) or give it to a person in need… depends on my mood, but that is usually what I do when I find an extra ‘surprise”

  59. avatar
    melanie says:

    I’d put it by my husband’s sink in the bathroom. He always needs cash for parking or lunch at work and I am his ATM.

  60. Probably buy something for my son with it.

    Ruth´s last blog post…Three Months

  61. Treat myself to Sonic.

  62. Put it toward groceries or eating out, the two main ways that I use cash.

  63. I would stop at Starbucks. :)

  64. I’d save it for our big road trip we’re heading out on this week. Then I could treat myself to a coffee treat to help me stay awake on late-night drives.

    Nicole aka Gidget´s last blog post…Big Baseball News

  65. This software sounds exactly like what I need.

    If I had an extra $10 right now I would probably use it to buy a few grocery items that are on my list. Not very exciting, but necessary.

  66. I would probably just keep it in my purse and use it to pay for small dollar amount items during the week.

  67. If I found a surprise $10 bill I would like to say I would do something like start a savings account or put toward a college fund but if I’m being honest, I would probably take the family out for ice cream treats.

  68. avatar
    Jessica says:

    At this very moment, it would probably go toward some caffiene as I am about to fall asleep at my desk!

  69. Ooh, fun money! I’d take me and my husband out for Dairy Queen.

  70. I would deposit into my vacation account! I have been putting all my $1’s and $5’s into a vacation account. Can’t believe how quickly it adds up…but it’s still not enough. So, found money would definitely go there.

  71. avatar
    Elizabeth says:

    i would save it until I found something I needed on craigslist.

  72. avatar
    Sharon M says:

    I would stick it in my clothing envelope for me, I always end up using all our clothing money on the kids or my husband. I love Dave Ramsey, we do the envelope system and it ACTUALLY works!!! He has some cool wallets with envelops in them on his website, which is what we use. THANKS :)

  73. avatar
    Christine says:

    Ice Cream with the kids.

  74. avatar
    Janelle says:

    Grab a coffee and a new paperback book and try to find some alone time in a big, over-sized chair! Sounds wonderful!

  75. Knowing me, I’d put it in my wallet and forget about it until either I had an emergency or (the more likely case) my husband needed it.

    BTW, I just read over your post about zero-based budgeting…I’ve heard of it but didn’t realize that’s what it’s called. Anyway, since my husband just got promoted to a salaried position, I now know how much our income will be and believe we’ll be able to make a budget and really stick with it, so this giveaway is pretty timely. Thanks!

  76. Chick-Fil-A on a Tuesday because you get a free 4 pc kids meal with the purchase of a value meal. Quick and easy dinner and a fun place to play for my oldest. Not to mention it’s a christian business that has wonderful employees.

  77. I’d head straight to my fav art supply store and pick up some pens or a new brush or something wonderful and creative.

    traylorillo´s last blog post…Winter’s Work

  78. I’d spend it on unneccesary school items at this weekend’s MN Catholic homeschool conference!

  79. I’d run to Starbucks, then regret that I didn’t stick it in the vacation fund jar!

  80. Take the fam to happy hour, twice!

  81. avatar
    Jennifer says:

    Probably save it in my wallet for a really long time, (because I rarely have cash) and spend it on a special treat, like coffee or something for the kids.

  82. A surprise $10 would probably find it’s way in an envelope to put towards a big purchase or splurge for a family treat, depends on the day.

  83. Ice cream!! (It IS summer after all…)

  84. I would buy a kiddie pool! I think we’re going to need more stuff to do around the house this summer, since I’ve just left my job to spend more time with my 2-year-old. A little pool would be cheap and entertaining.

  85. probably treat my kids to something …or put it to groceries! They do need to eat!

    Lee-Ann´s last blog post…Spring time…

  86. Easy. A day pass at the Aquaplex for me and my family. Fun. Fun! Fun!!

  87. avatar
    Gretchen says:

    Either a family walk into town for a treat or a quick drink out for Mom and Dad!

  88. I would put the $10 bill into the offering plate at my church. PearBudget is wonderful!! Thank you for doing these giveaways:)

  89. i’d take it to the store and exchange it for 40 quarters, then i’d anonymously go and put the quarters in people’s expired parking meters right outside my office.

    every day i stare out the window at the mean cops who are poised and waiting for the exact second when those meters expire…

  90. avatar
    Fromagette says:

    That’s easy! I would put it into my Farmer’s Market fund so I can buy more yummy vegetables and fruit for my kids (and me and Hubby as well, of course).

  91. I’d take the family out for frozen yogurt!

  92. avatar
    Melissa says:

    I would go to the scrapbook store and buy some goodies for my scrapbooking!

  93. A treat! It would probably sit in my purse for awhile until I remembered it, though.

    Andrea´s last blog post…Perfectly Imperfect

  94. avatar
    Kimberly says:

    I always put surprise money into a little container at the edge of my “by the door table”, and during yard sale season I grab it and use it for my yard sale cash.

  95. Go out for ice cream as a family.

    Erin´s last blog post…Good Deal Gal Circus Ticket Giveaway!

  96. Take the family for some sno-cones! The neighborhood sno-cone stand just opened this weekend!

    Stacey´s last blog post…Just For Giggles

  97. I would totally buy myself and my little one some Ice Cream to cool off here in Texas!

  98. I’d take the kids for ice cream. As amberk says, it’s hot here in Texas!

    Alison´s last blog post…In Their Eyes

  99. avatar
    Jennifer N says:

    I would save it for a rainy day… (or save it for my snow cone fund). :)

  100. My $10 bucks–probably Sonic Happy Hour with the kids. We’d get Fresh Lime Slushies on a hot and humid day. But since it would be happy hour and drinks are CHEAP we’d get to do it a few times!!