Quick guide to Cashculator 2

Cashculator is a personal finance app, focused on high-level planning and tracking income and expenses.

Main concepts

  • Cashculator separates plan and actual data, allowing you to see how your actual finances compare against the plan. If you only use it for planning, no need to enter actual transactions.
  • Presenting data using familiar spreadsheet concepts, Cashculator gives a quick overview of the state of finances over time. The tables can present data aggregated into monthly or weekly columns (or yearly for reports)
  • The Horizon control in the bottom-right of the window selects how far into the past and into the future the tables and report should display, relative to the current date. This will add or remove columns in the table as needed.
  • The Reconciliation table (Reconcile screen) provides a quick way to compare factual “real-life” balance (total balance in bank accounts + cash) vs the one in the application and, if needed, override the calculated total balance in the app with the factual balance (basing future calculations on more precise numbers). Alternatively, if precise tracking in Cashculator is desired, you can update transactions in Cashculator so that the factual and app balances reconcile.
  • Multiple scenarios for each Cashculator document can be created (from scratch or by duplicating an existing scenario) to make minor changes and see how different plans compare

Using Cashculator

Main screens

  • Cashculator interface has four screens
    • Income - for adding and seeing income transactions
    • Expenses - like the Income screen but for expenses
    • Reconcile - this screen shows the reconciliation table and the Combined view of income and expenses on the same screen. The main purpose of this screen is to reconcile the data in the application, comparing calculated balances for different dates with actual balances in real life, thus helping to find missing data in the app
    • Reports - this screen has numerous reports available either in graph or table forms
  • Income and Expenses screens have four view modes, selectable using the control below the tables:
    • Actual - shows only actual transactions in the table
    • Plan - shows only plan transactions in the table
    • Combined - A smart view that shows “actual” transactions for columns representing past dates and planned transactions for current and future columns (or actuals, if they’re larger than the plan)
    • Both - shows both actual and plan rows for each category

Entering transactions

  • In Income or Expenses screens, select the cell that corresponds to the date range and category that the transaction is relevant for. For recurring transactions, this should be the date of the first time it happens.
  • Type a digit on the keyboard, a popup will appear, with the transaction amount starting to fill in with the entered digit. You can add additional data about the transaction, like the description, or adjust the date of the transactions.
  • For plans, you can specify a recurring plan (for things like salary, rent, mortgage, bills), including repeat intervals and a possible end date.
  • Plan transactions have an option to use automatic creation of actual transactions when their date arrives. This works for recurring transactions as well and is a big time-saver because you don’t need to do this manually.
  • Transactions entry can also start using a “pen” button at the bottom of the window

Inspecting and editing transactions for a cell

  • Select the cell that has one or more transactions
  • Press the Space bar or click the “eye” button on the bottom of the document window
  • Cashculator will present a popup that lists all the transactions that are relevant for the selected cell (including repetitions of previous transactions that fall within the date range). You can select the transaction and either edit or delete them

Will Cashculator support online banking like bill pay & Account access for transaction download?

Hi. We don’t have immediate plans for this feature through direct online access although we may implement import from CSV or Quicken formats.
Part of the problem there is categorizing input into the categories in Cashculator. Part of that is that we believe that the benefit of Cashculator is in the fact that you become more aware of your income and especially spending if you enter it manually or when you reconcile against the bank (say once a month) and notice all the small expenses that you may have otherwise missed (or, this was paid in cash, this was a cash gift etc), which are not available in the bank account.
Lastly, Cashculator’s focus is also on the planning process, unlike many other apps, and this data doesn’t really exist that well in your bank account either, this is a process that you need to do when you use the application.

I hope this clear the picture a bit.