There are applications on the market that can be designed to help monitor financial records. Quicken and Excel come to mind, but both are expensive and neither will actually remind you to pay your bills on time. Chronicle, by LittleFin Software is designed to do just that.
The recently introduced Chronicle 3, allows you to keep a record of your monthly bills, reminds you when they are due, keeps a payment history, and automatically charts your payments. It is also extremely easy to use.
Chronicle 3 Summary Page
What It Does
Once you enter the necessary data, Chronicle will remind when a payment is due. You select 1, 5 or 10 day notice. Chronicle remembers payment history and also allows you to scan receipts, which it then organizes by date so you can find them if you need proof of payment.
Chronicle also analyzes payments by month and year and displays the information in chart form, averages your payments to help with budgeting, and assists in setting goals for debt reduction and track progress.
If you use an iPhone or iPod touch and also have a MobileMe account that syncs your calendars, payment reminders will automatically be pushed to your iPhone.
Using The Product
Once the application is open you select New Bill from the Menu Bar and enter the data for a single bill. The following examples demonstrate a bill with a static amount due each month and one with an unknown amount due each month.
Sample Bill Entries
Once your bills are entered you have an Overview pane that is reached through the Menu Bar. When you are ready to record a payment, highlight the specific bill. This window opens, allowing you to enter the specific data and save a scanned receipt if you wish.
Log Payment and Attach Scanned Receipt
That's all you have to do. The charting and record keeping is done for you by the application.
The Bottom Line
In this day and age of bills sent and paid electronically it is easy to let one slip by if you are busy -- it happened to me over the holidays. If used properly, Chronicle 3 can help anyone avoid that kind of problem and it is very easy to use it properly. Just enter the basic data and let the application do it's thing. That's my kind of app.