I have a friend who did not finish high school and would not be able to use Excel.

This friend needs help tracking monthly expenses. Can anyone recommend an extremely simple app?

  • must be extremely simple to operate
  • Android or Windows
  • free
  • simple to define expense categories
  • auto monthly total (annual too)
  • auto breakdown of where the money is going (pie chart? plus numerical totals)
  • other nice too have figures, if not too confusing. This really should be a basic app
  • 1
    I don't use such an app, hence I cannot post a good answer. But since you've been waiting for 2 days now, you might wish to take a look at my list of budget planners for Android. This should at least make your search easier. I remember there were some apps matching your requirements. If you found what you're after: remember it's absolutely fine (and you're even encouraged) to answer your own question :)
    – Izzy
    May 11 '15 at 8:46

Have a look at Money Manager Ex. I've been using it for quite some time now and I totally recommend it.

Here is a quick description taken from its web page:

Money Manager Ex is a free, open-source, cross-platform, easy-to-use personal finance software. It primarily helps organize one's finances and keeps track of where, when and how the money goes. It is also a great tool to get a bird's eye view of your financial worth.

Money Manager includes all the basic features that 90% of users would want to see in a personal finance application. The design goals are to concentrate on simplicity and user-friendliness - something one can use everyday.

The Android version can be found on Google Play.


I found the absolute best budget app a few months ago and I bet it will work great for your friend. I have tried many different apps for Windows and Android looking for something as close to Quicken as I could find, but one that was either free or really inexpensive. One of the most important features to me, in addition to categories and repeating payments (like rent, utilities, and food, that are the same every month), was being able to quickly see how much money I had left over each month after my monthly bills had been paid, as well as how much I have extra after several months if I stick to my budget. This app easily shows you how much you save each month, in addition to how much you've saved total so far, right on the main page, which is awesome. It also lets you plan your budget, versus requiring you to enter the bills as you pay them, and lets you add categories as well. None of the other apps I tried for Windows or Android offered all of these features. It's called My Budget Book and you can find it in the Play Store. It is $2.99, but well worth it. Quicken is the only other app that I would recommend but it's more expensive and is only on Windows. It's nice to have this one so you can work on your budget on the go and add payments or deposits easily, as you make them, using a widget. I hope this helps and works well for your friends needs!

  • I think you made a copy/paste error. The 2nd part of your link works: play.google.com/store/apps/… BUT, I asked for gratis. This costs & my friend has no credit card, so can't buy from the store.
    – Sam Fox
    May 11 '15 at 7:41
  • Ahh, sorry, I overlooked that 'free' bullet point. You're going to have a difficult time finding one that's free. I've actually tried most of the popular ones for Android and Windows and not one of them is comparable to this app. They're either missing several vital features or are very poorly laid out. If your friend has a Windows desktop or laptop they could download a free office suite like LibreOffice (if they don't have Microsoft Office) and throw one together easily using a spreadsheet. That's what I did prior to finding this app. They could download a decent template online for it too. May 11 '15 at 9:10
  • 1
    This one looks promising, you could tell them to give it a shot: play.google.com/store/apps/…. From the screenshots it looks like it's well made and offers at least pie charts and reoccurring payments/deposits. I can't remember if I tried it or not when I was looking for one, but it seemed like every one I did try was missing at least one thing and I was tired of making feature requests on the Play Store that often go unanswered. I needed something that just worked and couldn't wait 3-6 months for them to implement basic features. May 11 '15 at 9:18

I personally prefer Expense Manager by Markus Hintersteiner. Why do I like it over thousands of other like it?

  • The design is simple, unbloated and looks good
  • No ads
  • User defined categories
  • You can view monthly expenses
  • You can even set a monthly limit
  • It's got good looking charts that tell me where I'm spending
  • It has spreadsheet export - if your friend likes Excel

Here are some snaps from its Google Play page:

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It's only for Android AFAIK, but it has all the functionality you need and more.

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