I just want an expense tracker for now. Can PearBudget do that?
Sure thing. A lot of people are in this situation: They know they should set up a budget, but they’d rather just track their expenses for a couple of months, to see what they’re spending.
PearBudget can totally work with this setup. Just mark your “planned” amounts as $0.00, and as you get receipts in, enter them in. The Review page will show that you’ve overspent your categories (since zero minus anything is negative), but you’ll be able to see what your actual spending has been.
That being said, our recommendation is that even if you have no idea what you spend, that you just guess. That way, you have a record of where you thought you might be. For example, a true story: one PearBudget user sent us a note telling us that she budgeted something like $50 for eating out for the month, and after she entered in her receipts, she realized her dining out spending was more like $300. The difference between her initial guess and the actual amount was just as useful to her as knowing how much she had spent.