Wismo Budget is a lightweight mobile budget app that comes in two forms: a free version and a paid version that more than justifies its modest price.
Wismo Budget is different enough from other budgeting apps to appeal to people who can’t bother with traditional budgeting. It’s lightweight, intuitive, and fun to use, perfect for those who have no patience with the pitfalls of demanding budget applications like graphs and spreadsheets. And getting started couldn’t be easier.
Introduction to Wismo Budget
To get started with Wismo Budget, set up an account with your name, email address, and phone number. Next, create a username that does not contain personally identifiable information, such as your first and last name or your home address. That’s crucial because other users can see what you’re spending money on.
Then answer some basic questions about your personal finances, covering your monthly income, housing costs, and transportation costs.
Once you’ve created your account, you can see your app’s dashboard, which features:
- Your starting personal spending ratio (a score based on your expenses versus your income)
- Your recurring expense based on your answers to the initial questions
- Your daily budget based on the information you have provided so far.
- Your daily spend, which starts at $ 0 and increases as you enter transactions
Add income and expenses
Wismo helps you keep track of your daily expenses, recurring transactions, and monthly income to give you a snapshot of your overall financial health. It’s easy to use, no complicated spreadsheets required. And unlike many personal budgeting apps, Wismo doesn’t link to your external financial accounts, a reassuring exclusion for users concerned about digital security.
In the main panel, use the plus button to add a new one-time transaction. You can enter the transaction amount and its category with or without taking a photo of the transaction receipt.
Use the “custom” option for credit and debit card transactions that don’t fit neatly into pre-set categories like transportation and services. For more details, you can add the recipient’s name and expense notes, but you can’t create new custom categories.
When you’ve entered all of your expenses, click Close Books to get the final expense count for the day and see how it compares to your daily budget. Your daily budget is your monthly income minus recurring expenses divided by the number of days in the month.
But it is essential that you remember that Wismo has a social component. Share where you spend money (the amounts and categories of your debit and credit card transactions) with other users. Then your fellow Wismo users will see that you spent $ 50 on entertainment. But the information is anonymous and does not include details of the beneficiary. And other users can only see your username, not your real name.
You can also enter recurring expenses in about a dozen categories, including housing, transportation, utilities, insurance, underwriting, health, loans and debt, and savings goals.
Add subcategories for more detailed tracking. For example, your transportation category may include fuel, your parking pass, carpool fees, and public transportation expenses. You can organise your expenses as you see fit. If it makes more sense for you to add your car loan as transportation rather than loans and debt, go for it.
You can add new income groups on the Monthly income tab. This space gets pretty granular, with categories like other jobs, support, investing, and retirement. Add subcategories to make things stand out even more. For example, you can keep track of your various independent sources of income.
Tracking the expenses of household and family members
You can add up to four friends or family (usually members of your household) to track and share expenses together. This feature is great for couples who have pooled their finances, families with income-generating teens and young adults, and other small groups who share living expenses.
Find friends and colleagues
Use the Friends tab to find other Wismo Budget users. You can filter by age, annual income, gender, and occupation to focus on the people who look the most or least like you. Once you’ve found a few users to follow, you can compare your spending habits with theirs, as revealed in their public social feeds.
Wismo Budget has multiple features that appeal to users who hate complicated spreadsheets and data entry, but still want to control their personal spending.
Personal expenses index
Wismo is based on the Personal Spending Index (PSI), a numerical representation of your cash flow based on self-reported or verified income and expenses.
The formula is simple:
(Expenses ÷ Income) x 100 = PSI
A PSI of 100 indicates that you are spending exactly the same as you earn. A score below 100 indicates a surplus of income that you can and probably should put toward savings , while a score above 100 indicates negative cash flow.
For obvious reasons, Wismo recommends keeping your PSI below 100. As long as you are diligently and comprehensively tracking your income and expenses, the app makes it that much easier.
Wismo Budget isn’t as important in reporting as the more robust budget apps , but it does have some easy-to-use visualisations for users who like that kind of thing. Use the Reports tab to view:
- Your total expenses for the month
- Your daily spending for the month
- Your recurring expenses for the month
- Your PSI per month
Public feed (social feed)
Your public feed shows the spending activities of other Wismo users in near real time. The Everyone bar is a complete summary of the expenses of all non-private users. The Friends bar covers only those you have followed. Users are identified by their usernames and avatars.
Remember, if you are using the free version of Wismo, your spending is visible in other users’ feeds. There is no way to disable that feature without upgrading to Premium. Wismo is transparent about its information-sharing practices, and advises users to omit obvious clues about their identities in their Wismo usernames. But if you still prefer to keep your personal expenses secret, go for the Premium version.
Premium plan (ad-free experience)
When you upgrade to the Wismo Premium plan ($ 2.99 per month or $ 29.99 when paid annually), you’ll enjoy a completely ad-free experience that reduces interface clutter.
Wismo’s Premium plan costs less per year than most full-service budget apps. Although some free budgeting apps, like Mint and its top alternatives , have equally neat interfaces that are worth checking out.
Advantages of Wismo Budget
Wismo Budget has some notable advantages. Specifically, it takes a new approach to budgeting that makes the process easy to understand and is 100% free for users who don’t care about ads or sharing their spending habits.
- The free version is completely free . The free version of Wismo Budget is truly free, with no hidden fees or upsells buried in the interface. As long as you are willing to tolerate advertising and consent to the sharing of anonymous data, you never pay a penny out of pocket to use Wismo.
- The PSI makes cash flow easy to understand . The Wismo Budget PSI is a surprisingly simple cash flow conceptualisation that is easy to understand even for the most mathematically challenged. A PSI below 100 means you are spending less than you earn.
- It is not necessary to disclose confidential personal information . Wismo does not require users to reveal sensitive personal information, such as Social Security numbers or home addresses, as a condition of use. All information you provide to Wismo is anonymity. Avoid including obvious clues about your identity, such as your first and last name, in your Wismo username, and no one will ever know.
- No obligation to link bank accounts or transfer funds . Wismo does not link to external financial accounts, eliminating a potential security risk and invasion of privacy. That’s a huge advantage over budget apps that aggressively require or push users to take this step.
Disadvantages of Wismo Budget
Please consider these potential drawbacks carefully before using Wismo. Notable downsides include fewer features than some full-service budget apps and a mobile-only interface that, while convenient, excludes users who prefer to budget on larger screens.
- The free version contains advertising . The free version of Wismo contains ads. In practice, these ads do not negatively affect the user experience, but they are still present and unavoidable unless you switch to the paid plan. If you’re not too keen on the other benefits of the paid plan, you may not want to upgrade solely to remove ads.
- It’s not as robust as some other budgeting and spending apps . Wismo is a fairly lightweight app. That’s perfect for consumers primarily interested in tracking and controlling spending. But it is not suitable for the serious budgeter looking for an in-depth understanding of their spending patterns and personal finances.
- No desktop version . Wismo is an application for mobile devices only. It is not compatible with large screen devices such as laptops and desktops. If you don’t have a smartphone or prefer to manage your personal finances on a device with a real keyboard, Wismo is not for you.
- Other Wismo users can view their financial details in the free version . To use the free version of Wismo, you must allow the application to share your financial habits with other Wismo users. Wismo only shares information anonymously. Still, the social component of Wismo is sure to make some potential users pause.
Some people hate budgeting. Managing a traditional family budget is a laborious task that involves long spreadsheets with a large number of categories and cells for each transaction. Modern budgeting apps streamline the process a bit, but still require time and effort to maintain accurately.
Fortunately, having a formal family budget is not a prerequisite for fiscal responsibility. I know some financially savvy people who have given up budgeting and still manage to spend less than they earn and save for the future.
If you’ve been trying to budget and just can’t deal with all the details, Wismo Budget might just be the app to get your budget back on track.