We all have, at some point, made a compulsive and guilty purchase of a product that we quickly regretted. As long as these spendings are occasional and fit within a well-balanced budget, there is not much to worry about. However, it’s always relevant to keep track of superfluous expenses and have the ability to differentiate them from essential ones.
There are countless applications on the Play Store that let you thoroughly manage your expenses, but many of them either ignore the relevancy of a purchase, or are too complicated to use. Guilt offers a well-balanced solution that lets you record expenses and associate them with a guilt level. At a glance, you see which transactions were unnecessary versus the ones that were essential and didn’t make you feel guilty. The basic concept behind Guilt is KISS – Keep It Stupid Simple, which the uncluttered and very-user friendly interface definitely supports.
Add an Expense
Recording a spending is a breeze and takes just a few seconds. It’s done by tapping the + button, naming the expense and entering the monetary value. The last step is to give your expense a Guilt Value on a 5-point scale, ranging from Absolutely No Guilt to Guilty as Hell. Thanks to the colorful gauge, you can easily pick the proper Guilt Value before saving your expense.
Guilt gives you the possibility to edit or delete expenses after they’re created and also allows you to record spendings made on a previous day. Unfortunately, the app won’t allow you to create a record at a future date, so you will need to remember to add your expenses when you actually pay for them, or at a later date.
Track Your Guilty Spendings
Guilt offers several ways to track your expenses: The Expense List, Periodic Reports and an Overall Summary of all of your purchases.
The Expense List summarizes all of the expenses you have recorded using the application. They are grouped by day and a color tab on the right shows the average Guilt Value of all the expenses made on a specific day. Guilt takes the monetary amount into account and weights it in order to calculate the average Guilt Value of that day so the final result is consistent.
Guilt can also display weekly, monthly and yearly reports of your expenses. These reports show the total of your spendings and break them down by Guilt Value. The application also makes it more visual by generating a color-coded repartition graph, letting you view the proportion of guilty spendings. Sadly, there is no possibility to tap a Guilt Value and see the details of the expenses categorized by remorse level.
The last type of report Guilt can show is an overall summary of your expenses. It is organized exactly the same way as the periodic reports, with the addition of a few indicators. This summary includes your medium Guilt Value as well as the ones you use the most and the least. For the records, it also displays your maximum and minimum expenses, which are the only metrics that display what the expenses actually correspond to. Again, the personal summary doesn’t let you display your spendings by Guilt Value, even though it wouldn’t make a lot of sense in this section.
Settings & Exporting
Keeping in mind Guilt is designed to be simple, its settings are very well in phase with the app’s philosophy. You can only set the currency you want to use to track your expenses and your preferred date format.
Guilt also lets you export your expense list, either locally on your phone or an SD card, or to your Dropbox, so you can access your expense list from another device. The exported database is an SQLite file and is essentially meant to be imported back into the application, preventing you from using Guilt with your favorite expense management software on your computer.
Although Guilt is a great and promising application, it isn’t flawless and misses a handful of features to be a comprehensive budget management application. For instance, recurring payments, bills, income management and debt repayment are not within Guilt’s scope. These limitations make sense: the concept behind the app is to remain simple and to focus on the remorse level, rather than to offer a broad range of functions to manage your cash flows. Keeping this in mind, we can understand that too many elements would lead to a congested interface and turn Guilt into a clone of so many other expense management solutions.
Nevertheless, there are features Guilt could – and should – consider for future development: there is no option to track expenses by tags or categories, which would have been helpful, as you could for instance set a default Guilt Value for a category, but overwrite it when adding an expense. A good example would be the Food category: you set it as low guilt, but mark an expensive dinner as guilty. Similarly, there is no option to filter your expenses by Guilt Value, therefore preventing you from analyzing the list of your needless purchases.
Another annoying element is the support for only a limited number of currencies and no option to add a custom one, which could be frustrating if yours is not supported. Worse, Guilt can’t manage expenses in different currencies, meaning expenses made abroad would have to be converted manually before being punched into the application.
The app is also not integrated with the cloud, and there is no way to add an expense from a browser or to automatically sync your expenses with any other cloud-based expense management solution. Lastly, Guilt doesn’t offer any option to save your password or protect your expenses in any way, so you might want to be careful and lock your phone properly.
The vision and concept behind Guilt are remarkable and let you have a better vision on how essential your expenses are. The application is very intuitive and good-looking, which is usually rare when it comes to expense management solutions on Android.
Nevertheless, Guilt remains a basic application that essentially tracks what you spend without further details. Yes, it does summarize your expenses according to the Guilt Value you select when you add them, but it can’t do much more than this, leading to frustration when you try to further analyze your weekly or monthly spending. For the time being, Guilt can be described as a great concept that makes expense management fun, but the developers should quickly look at adding more features to truly emphasize the concept and allow users to study the essence behind their expenses.
There is also a free version of the application on the Play Store that we suggest you try before buying the full version. If you decide you like the app, go for the full version, which does have the advantage of being at a lower price point that other full-featured expense tracking solutions.