CoinKeeper is a mobile financial tracking app from SMS Services. The iPhone version reviewed normally costs $5.99 on the App Store but was temporarily made free on October 23 — at the time of writing, it is still available for no cost, but will likely return to its normal price soon. An iPad version was recently released for $9.99, and an Android version is also available for free download, but after 15 days it prompts the user to purchase the full version.
CoinKeeper attempts to make the process of tracking one’s finances fun by using some of the principles of gamification — particularly in the field of setting the user clear goals and providing them with an attractive, relatable interface. Its stated goals are to make the experience of tracking finances into a motivational experience as well as encouraging users to get into good budgeting habits. It attempts to achieve this through a simple to understand interface with hidden depths available beneath a couple of taps.
Upon starting CoinKeeper for the first time, the app invites its users to either allow it to determine a budget for them or set one themselves. Once this is done, the user may then set up various categories of income, accounts, expenses and financial goals. Each may be named, given a starting amount and set with an easily-identifiable icon. Each category may also use a different currency if required — the app will automatically convert between currencies. Once this is done, transferring money from one place to another is a simple matter of dragging the various “coin” icons around. For example, the user’s sources of income may be dragged into their accounts and subsequently into the various expenses and goals.
A simple graphical display at the bottom of the screen shows the total amount expected to come in that month, how much has been budgeted for spending and how much has actually been spent. Tapping the “Statistics” icon in the corner of the screen allows the user to bring up a detailed breakdown of their finances, viewable in several ways — either a monthly pie chart showing the categories of expense, a historical chart of income versus expenses, or a breakdown of individual transactions.
CoinKeeper is a well-presented app with a clean, intuitive interface that makes financial planning as straightforward as it can be. It requires a degree of setting up with the user’s income and expense sources before it becomes particularly practical to use, but once the user has taken a few minutes to do this, it is a good, vaguely fun means of tracking finances on the fly. Those concerned about privacy may set a passcode on the app, and there is an online backup and sync facility currently undergoing beta testing — this is switched off by default, but the user may participate if they wish.
The only real criticisms of the app as a whole are that there are a couple of spelling mistakes here and there and a couple of “Back” buttons in the interface still carry the French word “Retour” instead of having been properly translated, but neither of these issues significantly impact the actual functionality.
There are a variety of financial tracking applications available in the App Store with varying levels of complexity. CoinKeeper may not have the most features on the market, but it’s certainly one of the most accessible and comes the closest to making managing financial affairs “fun” as it’s possible to do. For that reason, it’s well worth a look, particularly for those just starting out on trying to get their money in order.
CoinKeeper for iPhone is currently ranked at No. 7 in Top Free Finance Apps and No. 307 in Top Free Apps. The newer iPad version is currently ranked at No. 137 in Top Paid iPad Finance Apps and No. 313 in Top Grossing iPad Finance Apps. The Android version is not currently featured in any leaderboard. Follow the various versions’ progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.