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Quick tip: never miss a bill payment again

11 March 2011, Nick Peers

One of the most effective ways of saving money is simply by tracking your finances. If you know exactly how much money is currently in your account you can go a long way to ensuring you always stay in the black, simply by cutting back on non-essential spending when money is tight.

But it’s not enough simply to know how much is currently in your account: what bills have left to be paid before the next payday? It’s no good thinking you’ve got hundreds of dollars left if your mortgage hasn’t yet been paid, and what happens if you’re the sort of person who regularly forgets to pay their bills? Financial Armageddon might ensue, but if you’re a Mac user you could avoid this meltdown by investing a relatively paltry $21 in Chronicle.

Unlike many personal financial tools, Chronicle is primarily concerned with making sure your bills are paid on time. You input details of each regular bill – including how it’s paid and when it’s due – and then the program will always remind you when a bill is due to be paid. Each reminder is automatically added to your iCal calendar, which ensures you’ll get a reminder even if Chronicle isn’t currently running.

Add details of your monthly salary, record one-off costs like entertainment and ATM withdrawals, and you can also take advantage of the program’s Goals feature, which allows you to try and reduce your debt or build your savings. Everything is presented in a user-friendly, intuitive package that makes it easy for just about anyone to use, and with a 30-day trial available, you can get a good idea of how much money the program will start saving you before committing to a purchase.

Chronicle 3.5 is available now for Mac OS X (Leopard and Snow Leopard) – the full version costs $21 with a menu agent, or a cut-down version can be purchased for $14 through the App Store. And with all future upgrades free for life, you’ll find yourself saving the cost of the program many times over before it fades into oblivion…

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