Why marriage is like a money management app
There may well be plenty more fish in the sea, but a bad experience with just one of them could make you cautious of all the others. The same is true of money management apps; get it right and you have a friend for life; get it wrong and you’ll never trust any of them. That’s why it’s important to find one you can work with in the first place. Here are some things to think about as you work through the choosing process.
Choosing a money management app is like getting married. For better or worse, it will change the rest of your life.
We’re not trying to make any moral or religious point here, but the parallels between money management and marriage are undeniable. Moving away from the old-fashioned misogynistic claim that the definition of marriage was giving away one half of your breakfast to get the other half cooked, there is still a need to ask yourself a fundamental question: “What’s in it for me?”
That might appear selfish, but stop and think. You want the same from marriage and money management; something life-enhancing. Asking the question is a sensible way of working out what a life-changing decision actually means. And that means looking beneath the surface to discover what you’re actually going to get back. So when you’ve done the sub-surface scans, and found you don’t like what you see, then step away from the altar or the app store.
Making a commitment
To make a successful marriage you have to make a commitment. Success with a money management app is just the same. For the former, well, the details are up to you. For the latter, you’re going to have to come clean about your finances. No hiding details of your ‘expensive top from Hollister’ habit, or your tendency to buy unnecessary shoes when the mood takes you. That sort of deceit will turn the app into a liar, telling you there’s more money left at the month end than there really is. Funnily enough, the same sort of thing can happen in marriage too, and if you’ve been deceitful, well, who’s to blame when you find you’re standing at the top of a metaphorical very slippery slope?
Long-term success with a money management app should never be about what it looks like. That distinction is the same as the one between ‘getting married’ and ‘being married’. The former is about having a party and wearing expensive clothes and being given stuff; the latter is about living the rest of your life when people around you aren’t pouring champagne and dancing.
Shrek or Prince Charming?
There are as many bells, whistles and fancy fonts on apps as there are apps themselves. The important thing is what they’ll do for you. A young lady’s intended might look more like Shrek than Prince Charming, but which of those is likely to bring her a cup of tea in bed, or do the ironing or pop out for a bottle of milk on a rainy February evening? A stomach like a vintage washboard is useless if its owner won’t go in the garage because there’s a mouse in there. With money management apps, as with marriage, pick function over form every time.
What’s important about your intended app is how easy it is to get along with. How readily can you share data? What can you do with the data once it’s stored? What will the app tell you? Is it bold enough to live in your world? (by which we mean don’t pick an app designed for individuals or small groups of users if you are running a business; what will be a master of the first won’t be able to cope with the second). Compare Solo Expenses with Expense on Demand, for instance; they’re different animals with the same money maximising objective in mind). In short, will it make your life better?
How to be happy ever after
Look carefully at the apps out there. Lots of helpful blog posts will offer you comparisons, pros, and cons, but we’d bet a penny to a bar of gold that if you follow our advice and consider your choice as carefully as you should that of a marriage partner, you’ll be rewarded with one you can work with in harmony, And what’s more, you’ll probably live happily ever after!