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BudgetPulse is a free web-based budgeting application that is designed for users that want manual control of their budget. Although users can quickly set up a budget manually and upload credit card or bank transactions via CSV or Quicken files, there is no option to sync with your financial accounts. There is no mobile app available for BudgetPulse, and the online software relies on Adobe Flash for full functionality which may not be available in modern browsers. Users may want to consider a more updated budgeting app instead.
- Pros & Cons
- Key Takeaways
Simple to set up
Video tutorial library
Import transactions from Quicken, Microsoft Money, or CSV file
Works with most world currencies
Does not sync with financial accounts automatically
Uses outdated Adobe Flash that is not supported on modern browsers
No mobile app available
Customer support via email only
- BudgetPulse is a budgeting software that allows users to manually create a budget online.
- The application requires manual entry of transactions to track expenses.
- BudgetPulse has an extensive educational and FAQ section for users.
- Free Version Yes
- Price Free
- Credit Monitoring No
- Automatic Transaction Import No
- Financial Goal Setting Yes
- Goal Tracking At-a-Glance Yes
- Account Balances At-a-Glance Yes
- Payment Reminders No
- Net Worth At-a-Glance Yes
How It Works
BudgetPulse is a simple web-based budgeting application that allows users to quickly add budget categories, import financial transactions, and set financial goals. Users are encouraged to import all of their financial accounts and transactions to get a current snapshot of their spending. Charts are available to analyze income and spending habits as well.
While BudgetPulse doesn’t have any specific budgeting methodology listed, the software is designed to help users set budget spending limits, and track their progress throughout the month. With simple manual entry and very few automation features, BudgetPulse is best for those looking for an easy-to-use tracking program.
BudgetPulse requires Adobe Flash and may not work on most modern browsers.
Ease of Use
BudgetPulse makes it easy to get started, allowing users to sign up with an email address and password. Once a user logs in, they are encouraged to set up their profile first. Since BudgetPulse works with many world currencies, this needs to be defined in the user profile.
After getting the account set up, users can start by creating their financial accounts. This would include bank accounts and credit card accounts you want to track. After the accounts are created, users can import their financial transactions using the import tool. This allows users to attach Microsoft Money, Quicken, or CSV files to bulk import transactions.
After income and expenses are imported, users can create their budget categories, and start setting budgeting amounts for the upcoming month. Expected income is set at the top, and monthly expense budget amounts below that.
Once your budget is complete, users need to import new transactions from another tracking software or enter them manually, including date, total amount, and category, as they occur. This can be a tedious process, and it is where BudgetPulse falls short compared to modern budgeting apps, as newer apps automatically sync with your financial accounts to import transactions.
Overall, BudgetPulse is easy to set up but cumbersome to use day-to-day.
BudgetPulse has several features to help users organize their financial life.
The BudgetPulse dashboard gives a quick overview of your finances including current budget progress, a record of your transactions, and a snapshot of your account balances. It also shows your current net worth.
The transactions feature allows users to review recent transactions, upcoming recurring transactions, as well as add new transactions manually. Adding a transaction is simple, with users able to input the date, total amount, and category for a recent transaction. There is also the ability to split the transaction into multiple categories for more accurate tracking.
Users can also create a recurring transaction, which makes it easier to track monthly bills and other recurring charges like subscriptions or dues.
The budget area of BudgetPulse gives users access to a simple budgeting page, with the ability to add preset categories to their budget with a single click or manually enter their own custom category. Users can change the budget amounts with a simple slider tool or manually enter the exact amount.
There is a simple chart that displays spending in color-coded bars or a pie chart. This can quickly show users where their money is being spent, as well as if they’ve gone over budget in any specific categories.
The accounts tab in BudgetPulse shows the current balances in users’ bank accounts, the net worth of those accounts (based on account balances), and a net change in accounts. Users can select a different timeline to review the change in net worth and account balances over time.
Users can add/edit their financial accounts, including asset and liability accounts, such as a car loan, and are encouraged to add in checking and savings accounts, along with any other financial assets or debts, to track their progress.
BudgetPulse has a charts feature that shows a visual picture of your income and expenses over time with bar, pie, or line-graph charts. Users can select the time duration to view, as well as show charts for specific financial accounts. This allows custom chart views to look at your spending or income during a certain time period, or within a specific financial account (such as your credit card).
There are four chart types available: income, expenses, income-vs.-expenses, and net worth tracking.
BudgetPulse has a simple goals feature, allowing users to input the goal name, target date, target amount, and monthly contribution amount. This is a simple bar chart that shows each financial goal as well as the progress toward that goal.
For example, if a user adds a “new iPhone” goal, they can input the target date of six months from now, along with the amount. If the goal amount is $1,200, the user can input a monthly contribution of $200. As they add money toward the goal (by transferring it into a separate savings account), the goal chart will track the progress.
While the goal feature is nice to have, the manual entry required makes it a bit cumbersome to track and keep up to date.
The tools tab is where users can import and export financial data to or from BudgetPulse. This includes importing QFX, OFX, QIF, or CSV files to bring in transaction data, and users can also export transaction data in CSV format as well.
BudgetPulse is a web-based app and does not have a mobile app available. The website (budgetpulse.com) is also not mobile-responsive, making the mobile user experience very difficult.
Additionally, the BudgetPulse app seems to be out of commission. After several attempts at creating a user account and logging into the platform, we were unable to test out the software itself.
Although it might work for long-time users, it seems that BudgetPulse is no longer available for new users and has not been updated in quite a while.
Signing up for a BudgetPulse account requires confirming your email address, but after several attempts, we were not able to get a confirmation email from the BudgetPulse platform.
BudgetPulse does not require connecting to a user’s financial account, so account information will never be stored on the platform. However, personal information (name, username, login details) is protected with standard SSL encryption on the website, but there are no other security measures in place.
Also, in the FAQ section, BudgetPulse states that “We will share information with third parties only in very limited circumstances and only in compliance with a legal process or fraud prevention to protect you.” This means that users’ information may be shared with third parties at the company’s discretion.
How BudgetPulse Compares to Other Budget Tracking Software
While BudgetPulse gives users the basics of budgeting, it is not a very powerful or intuitive budgeting software application. The web-based software is dated; there is no automatic transaction tracking; and the software requires Adobe Flash, which isn’t supported on most browsers.
BudgetPulse does keep things simple with its quick budget creation and ability to add transactions, but without a mobile app, it falls short compared to other budgeting software like Mint.
BudgetPulse vs. Mint
Both BudgetPulse and Mint offer free budget tracking software to users, and both allow users to sign up with a simple email address and password. But while BudgetPulse requires manual transaction input and tracking, Mint automates the process by connecting with user accounts and automatically importing their transactions.
Here are a few more key differences between BudgetPulse and Mint:
- BudgetPulse offers financial data import from Quicken and Microsoft Money.
- Mint not only tracks bank accounts but also investment and cryptocurrency accounts.
- BudgetPulse has a complete video library on how to use the product.
- Mint has a credit score tracking tool as well as a bill payment tracker.
- Mint has a powerful mobile app on both iOS, iPad, Android, and even smartwatches.
BudgetPulse is a seemingly defunct web-based software that does not work on modern browsers, while Mint is the top, full-featured free budgeting software available today. Users looking for a budget tracking app would be better off choosing Mint.
BudgetPulse is a simple budgeting tool that allows users to track their spending and stay current with their budget on the go. However, it has not been updated for some time and will not work on most modern browsers or mobile devices. In fact, it appears to be discontinued, at least for new users.
We do not recommend BudgetPulse.
We reviewed the features and functionality of BudgetPulse, as well as the ease-of-use, security, customer support, and educational content available. We compared BudgetPulse with other top-rated budgeting software to determine if the software meets or exceeds modern standards for financial applications.
Since BudgetPulse is built on an older software platform, requiring an expired plugin to function, we were unable to test the software directly and do not recommend it to users.