Sumptus — The Fantastic Expense Tracker

In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need an app that tracks how much money is spent on knick-knacks and unessentials. However, this is the world we live in, and there has to be some force for good that keeps a person from over indulging. For most lucky people, that force is a spouse. For those not so lucky, there are the expense tracking apps. One of the best apps in this unsurprisingly populated category is Sumptus, the Fantastical of expense trackers, if you will.

Why do I call attention to a calendar app for an expense tracker? Flexibits’ Fantastical has set the bar high for ease of data entry with it’s amazing Natural Language Parsing (NLP), allowing one to enter the text “Meeting with XYZ at Work at 10 AM on Tuesday”, and having the app automatically fill in the Details, Date, Time and Location fields with relevant data from the sentence you typed in. Sumptus does the same, but for your expenses.

Once you download the app, you’re shown a little demonstration of basic functionality, but to be quite honest, you don’t need to see it to use Sumptus. It’s a delightfully simple and elegant app to quickly note down expenses, and that’s the key in this category. Adding expenses should be quick and easy, otherwise it’s very likely that you won’t be bothered to do it. Sumptus has that covered, to the extent that you can use the built-in Notification Center Widget to take you to the text entry field in a single tap, besides seeing how much you’ve spent so far in the current month.

Entering an expense is as easy as typing something like “Coffee 147” (ONE HUNDRED FORTY SEVEN RUPEES FOR…never mind), and tapping the category glyph. The app shows a numeric row over the usual keys (a la Fantastical) and you can even call the numeric keypad with mathematical operators with a tap. You can also enter your data in the form of a mathematical expression, such as “Lunch 244+89” or “Sandwiches 120×2”, and the app will treat the expense as “Lunch 333” or “Sandwiches 240”. The app learns the category for repeat expenses, so if I set the category of the “Coffee” expense to “Eating outside”, the next time I enter “Coffee” as an expense, “Eating outside” will be automatically selected, which is yet another delightful touch by the developer. Adding new categories is equally easy, and the inbuilt glyphs, while limited, are really well designed.

You can also set budgets and limits on budgets/categories. Budgets can have multiple colours and separate budgets can also have separate currencies, which is fantastic. A nifty little tweak with the category limits is that each expense in that category gets a bar graph in the background, highlighting how much of the limit has been used up and how much is left. A pie-chart, showing a report on your expenses is a tap away, and you can even export your data in HTML or CSV form.

Sumptus is a great app, and one I’d easily recommend. There’s no iPad, Mac, Android app yet, so you’re out of luck if you don’t happen to own an iPhone, but the developers say on their website that an iPad app is coming soon. The app is also just an expense tracker, not a full-blown money management app like the one I use (MoneyWiz), but that’s probably something that works in its favour. For those of us who simply need a way to track how smart or silly we’ve been over the month, Sumptus is the way to go. Sumptus is available for $3.99 on the App Store.

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