George Washington Meticulously Tracked His Expenses, and You Can Too

George Washington Budget Centuries-old expense reports tell us that George Washington was extremely meticulous about his expenses. While he refused a salary for his position as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, he did accept reimbursement for his expenses. This image from the Library of Congress shows our first president’s handwritten records down to every last cent. We can also see that he made one rather unexpected purchase on July 4, 1776: a broom. Mr. Washington uses good old pen and paper to carefully track his company expenses.

While this old school approach is still preferred by some, there are a number of tech savvy updates available these days to help you track your spending. Whether you’re tracking expenses for company reimbursement, for tax purposes, or to stick to a personal budget, these applications will show you exactly where your money goes each month.

BUDGT

Operating System: iOS only
Price: $0.99
Average iOS Review: 3.5 out of 5

Known for its simplicity and beautiful design, BUDGT really is easy on the eyes. First things first, you’ll set up your budget by entering your monthly income and expenses, which you can set as either one time or recurring. From there, you’ll enter your daily expenses into pre-determined or custom categories, including everything from your morning coffee to your monthly electricity bill. The application also does the math to tell you how much you can afford to spend each day.

Moneywise

Operating System: Android only
Price: Free Average Android
Review: 4.5 out of 5

Voted Lifehacker’s best Android budget tracking app in 2012, Moneywise is very straightforward and functional. Manually enter expenses and then review them using filters for the date, category and account. The app also produces simple graphs to visually monitor your spending. To view your expenses elsewhere, you can export the data as a CSV file for Excel via email.

Expensify

Operating System: Android and iOS
Price: Free
Average Android Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Average iOS Review: 4.5 out of 5

Expensify is another app with nice, clean design. A good choice for tracking company travel expenses or taxes, the app lets you take pictures of receipts and attach them to expense reports. The SmartScan feature will even pull the data, including merchant, date and amount from the receipt so that you don’t have to manually enter it. The app can also be synced with credit cards and bank accounts to track purchases in real time. If you’re on the road for work, you can add in mileage expenses using the GPS or odometer features. Finally, you can email yourself or your company a PDF copy of your expense report.

Mint

Operating System: Android and iOS
Price: Free
Average Android Review: 4.5 out of 5
Average iOS Review: 4 out of 5

Once you open your Mint account, add your bank and debt account (such as mortgage loan, automobile financing, personal loan and credit card accounts), and Mint will automatically pull in and categorize your transactions, so that you don’t have to manually enter them. If need be you can add transactions manually, for example those made with cash or for those lenders or creditor that don’t have fully cooperating websites. You can then use the app to set up and track monthly budgets and savings goals. All actions performed on the mobile app automatically sync with Mint.com.

Hello Expense

Operating System: Android only
Price: Free
Average Android Review: 4.5 out of 5

Another Android-only app, Hello Expense is on the simple side. Manually enter your expenses and organize by category, then check out your spending habits by reviewing the app’s pie charts and line graphs. All data can be exported via email.

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