It's pretty easy to keep track of purchases based on when they occur and their price, but what if you categorized everything you bought by how guilty it made you feel? Guilt is an interesting new app that hopes to help you keep tabs on your regular purchases and not only how much they cost but also on a level of how guilty you feel after purchasing them. The hope is to give a new perspective on your finances to help keep things in order from month to month.

Read long with us after the break to see if Guilt could help keep your personal finances in order.

Android Central Android Central

There isn't a whole lot of visual flare to Guilt, but I think that's a good thing. Upon opening the app, you're greeted with an easy to use and navigate holo interface, in a basic gray/white background with the green, yellow, orange and red colors mixing things up. The first screen of the app is a reverse chronological listing of previous day's spending, with the current day's purchases expanded to show each individual purchase. There are just three quick options at the top of the screen.

Those options are used to add a new purchase, view a day/month/year summary and change the settings. Adding a new purchase couldn't be easier -- simply tap the "plus" button at the top of the screen, enter the name, date and price and select the "Guilt Value" of the item. This is where the app gets its name. For every purchase you make, you put a self-assessed Guilt Value on the item -- no guilt, low, medium, high and "guilty as hell" -- to say how critical of the purchase you should feel. For example you may not feel bad about paying your monthly power bill, but maybe buying a $350 Nexus 4 in the middle of the month was an uncharacteristic splurge purchase.

It takes some self-control to get into the mood of critically assessing what things you purchase and how necessary they are, but so does every personal finance app. You'll get the most benefit out of Guilt by spending a few weeks (or a few months) honestly assessing your purchases and going back to review it later.

Android Central Android Central

Speaking of reviewing weeks and months of your purchases, Guilt does a pretty good job at breaking down the data to more manageable listings. The full version of Guilt -- which is just $1.99 -- gives weekly, monthly and yearly breakdowns of purchases. You get a tabbed interface to select between the three, and the chart and table below repopulate with the proper data. You get a horizontal bar chart (which reminded me of a hard drive storage graph) to visually express the proportion of spending each guilt level occupies, and a table that breaks it down more granularly by spending amount. The table shows a grand total, and a total for each guilt level with the percentage of spending that landed in that level.

If you tap on the "person" icon (which is seemingly the stock Jelly Bean icon for People) you'll get a personal summary of what your overall statistics are, such as your highest and lowest expense for the period. From here, if you feel like bragging to your friends about how well you did this week or month you can share directly to any app in the sharing menu.

If you'd prefer just to keep things in sync between your devices, the paid version of Guilt also offers Dropbox sync between them. It's a nice feature if you have a phone and tablet -- Guilt fully supports 7-inch tablets -- you'd like to keep in sync with purchases, and it also means that you know exactly where this potentially sensitive data is going.

Android Central Android Central

Guilt will definitely fill a need for people that just want a basic way to track purchases and give another perspective on where the money is headed every month. For the power user, there are better options out there that will pull in data directly from your bank accounts (such as Mint) and give you granular monthly financial statements. As far as a simple smartphone app for personal finance goes, Guilt does just what the vast majority of people will want it to do.

If this sounds like something you could benefit from, go ahead and give Guilt a try. It's free in the Play Store with slightly limited functionality, but there's a great full-featured and ad-free version as well for just $1.99. That's a small price to pay for some simple financial insight.


Reader comments

Guilt: how bad do you feel about your spending?


I think it would be a much better program if it had, online banking integration.
It could then simply give you a list of recent transactions to rate.

It's an interesting idea though.

Simple has this, the Guilt bits and is an online bank. GoBank offers the same, if, albeit, in not as nicely done a package. (Which isn't to say the app is ugly, far from it. Just Simple has kept things well... simple. Elegant and minimalist I'd put it.)

Credit Card companies would never implement this since they want people borrowing as much as possible because they make money off all your interest

Credit Card companies would never implement this since they want people borrowing as much as possible because they make money off all your interest

This seems like an interesting concept. I'll try out the free version for now. And as a side note, I wonder where on the guilt scale the purchase of the full version of the app would score?

I sometimes feel guilty about spending money on stuff for myself, and usually end up buying something for my wife too, unless I discover she's wasted a whole lot of money on something I think is unimportant!

I reckon on average I spend less on gadgets each year than she does on her hair, so really I shouldn't worry about it :-)

I felt guilty once but than she woke up half way through... Family Guy :-) But seriously it looks like a good app but I've been using Easy Money pro for a couple of years now so yeah.... What I would like is one that takes picture of your receipt and automatically adds transaction, that's what I'm waiting for.

I've been using EasyMoney Pro for a while now too... it's simple and works good. It would be nice if there was a way to integrate it with my bank online to automatically clear transactions. Otherwise it's a great app and is so much nicer than using the old school paper registry that comes with your checks. I like being able to enter transactions right away since I always have my phone with me.

What a great ap! For the one percent. To remind them that they're spending money they stole from the rest of us.

Those of us with money to spend need to do so to get the economy back on track. Preferably for physical items that someone had to actually make, rather than digital items, that are just copied bits.