Budgeting is the cornerstone of your personal finances. Everyone knows the basic principle: spend less than you earn, save the rest. Getting budgeting right means a bit of planning every month and tracking your spending. Apps are excellent tools. You can pick from the fully-featured and clever, like Mint and YNAB, to the straightforward, like the Wally app. In this article, we take a look at Wally and the various different versions of the Wally app.
Wally replaces the traditional pen and paper budgeting process. Instead of noting your spending in a notebook and matching it to your income, just use Wally. First, you enter full details of your income into the Wally app. Next, you tap in your spending as you go. Wally then keeps track of how much you have left to spend. Easy.
Just as you’d expect from a good smartphone app Wally packs a couple of features that make the process of budgeting a little bit easier. For example, you can enter recurring expenses into Wally so that your regular bills are deducted from your available spend every month. Wally also checks your location when you enter an expense and automatically suggests a spend category based on the nearest store.
What Wally doesn’t do is connect directly to your checking account and credit cards to automatically analyze your spend data. Apps like Mint can do this, but there are pros and cons to this level of automation – see our Wally vs. Mint section.
Wally has two apps listed in the Apple App Store, Wally Lite and Wally Next. Over at Google Play Wally has only one app, Wally Next. Wally Lite is the original Wally app and includes fewer features compared to Wally Next, which is a refreshed version of Wally. Wally Next also introduces a number of features that require top-up payments, but the app is still essentially free.
iOS users who only want a simple personal finance app could opt for Wally Lite as it contains all the essential features. Alternatively, pick Wally Next if you want a group space to share financial information amongst participants or the ability to deal with foreign currencies. Android users can only use Wally Next but may want to skip Wally altogether – read the next session to see why.
iOS users are positive about Wally, so let’s start there. Like we said, Wally comes in Lite and Next versions. Wally Lite gets 4 / 5 from reviewers, with general praise for its ease of use. In fact, a number of users have commented that Wally Next is just too complicated and that they prefer to stick to Wally Lite.
Nonetheless, iOS users also like Wally Next, scoring it 4.1 / 5, with one user commenting that they appreciate the more advanced features. Clearly, which app you prefer really depends on your personal requirements. Another user made an important point. Wally never links up with your checking or credit card accounts, which means you never need to share these very personal details with the app’s creator. For some, this would be a positive privacy consideration.
Wally hits a speed bump when it comes to its Android app. On Google Play, the Wally Next app scores 2 / 5. This is a particularly poor score for an app supported by a professional team. Users complain about app bugs and glitches, starting with the registration stage. Another common thread is the confusing Wally user interface and users suggest that Wally customer support is of no help whatsoever. If you only have access to Android devices it may be worth giving Wally a miss.
Do you use an Android phone? Well, why not check out Mint instead. Mint links directly to your checking and credit card accounts, importing transactions on the fly. It can accurately assign spend categories as far as the merchant reports these correctly, but you always have the option to manually assign transactions.
Mint, an Intuit company, has been around for some time and offers advanced financial planning tools that go far beyond what Wally offers. However, for some users Mint may simply be too complex. If you have an iPhone or iPad you could consider Wally Lite as a simpler, pen-and-paper substitute.