I recently had my one year anniversary of being self-employed (I’m a contractor). Among the many things I had to learn as part of the transition from permenant employment to contracting was budgeting and setting limits on how much both I, and my family, spend on certain things. While, after a year, I feel I’m getting quite good at this now, I’ve recently come across a new app, released today, that would have made this transition far easier. Enter Limits by Money Master created by developer Matt Corey.
Limits1 is a lightweight, elegant app designed to help both individuals, and families, track their spending across various user-created categories. While there are quite a few budget tracking apps available today, Limits has a big focus on tracking expenditure amongst families. Limits takes advantage of iCloud Sharing, allowing you to share chosen budget plans with family members, so you can all add, and keep track, of things in real-time. This is an under-used function across iOS apps, so it’s great to see it being put to such good use here.
As you can see from the screenshots above, the UI of Limits is very elegant and, at first glance, very simple. While some users may find the design a little too minimalistic, this is a real selling point to me. I’ve tried various tracking apps in the past, for food consumption or budgeting. The overly complex apps, or those that require a hundred steps to get items added never stick for long. Limits keeps things clear, and both setting and updating limits are always only a couple of taps away. When creating a new limit, you tap the plus symbol and enter a name and an amount you want to set as the limit for the ... limit. Once created, each item will appear within the homescreen view. From here you can tap into the category and add a transaction, which again involves a straightforward naming and amount for the transaction in question. After submitting the dashboard is updated to show how much is now remaining.
While you will generally find yourself jumping into the app to add new transactions regularly, Limits also includes some good Siri Shortcuts support. Within each limit or category you’re presented with an option to add an option to ask Siri to tell you about the limit, which will let you know how much of a given limit is remaining. You can also add a Siri Shortcut request to add a debit / transaction to the limit in question. This is a very nice addition which helps remove further barriers to just getting the content you need into the app.
Limits is in no way bad looking, in fact I really like the design of the app, but it’s clear that Matt, the developer, has actively kept it as simple as possible. Very few people, I would imagine, enjoy keeping tabs on their finances, so the app doesn’t feel the need to add unnecessary fluff to the design that would likely be wasted. Similar apps will often include things like an ability to add a header image to each category. On the face of it this sounds like a nice little touch, but ultimately it’s unnecessary and will detract from the task at hand.
The launch version of Limits is just the start, however, and Matt has an entire roadmap planned out for where Limits will go next. You can read the full list in the link above, but some particular highlights I’m looking forward to seeing include:
- **Apple Watch Support – Know what your spending limit is with a glance at your wrist, and enter a transaction on the go!
- Receipt Scanning – Prefer to go about your shopping, and record your purchases at the end of the day? No problem – just collect your receipts, and then scan them all when you get home!
- Location Reminders – Have a few stores that you commonly shop at? Let Limits know, and it will remind you whenever it notices that you’ve stopped in.
Matt has 20 years of experience in developing, but his recent projects are being worked on in his own time. To this end, new features are going to depend on how well Limits, and his other apps sell. Pricing plans for Limits are very interesting. I’ll allow Matt to explain the plan in his own words:
Pricing will follow the iterative plan described above. Because the initial launch of Limits will not fulfill the full vision of the product, it wouldn’t be right to charge customers an amount of money that matches the eventual value of the product. As Limits approaches that vision, however, I will be adjusting the pricing accordingly.
This innovative approach to pricing should have the effect of welcoming early adopters to the platform, and help to find those who are interested in moving the vision forward. As Limits progresses, and the price changes accordingly, those early customers will receive these updates at no charge.
I think this is a really honest and open approach by Matt and it makes a lot of sense. A lack of a WatchOS app is a big missing piece for me, in all honesty, but I’m pleased to see it’s planned and I am wholeheartedly behind an apps cost increasing as the apps functionality increases. I’m interested in seeing how this goes.
If you like what you see now, or even just wanted to help support an indie developer move the app closer to the final vision, you can pick up Limits on the App Store now priced at a very reasonable £1.99/$1.99.
The official name of the app is ‘Limits by Money Master’, but that’s a bit of a mouthful. For the purposes of this review I’ll refer to it simply as ‘Limits’. ↩︎