16
Jan
j

Saving money can be hard, but Level is here to help. No, it doesn't modify your behavior through aggressive negative reinforcement when you spend recklessly. However, it does link up to your bank account and help you track spending and build a plan. It's pretty too.

If you've ever set up a financial app like Mint, you'll be familiar with the process here. It can be a little bit of black magic to get things flagged correctly, but once you've pointed Level to all your income and bills, it tracks your spending and tells you how much breathing room you have. It seems to be good at automatically detecting most items, but if you have irregular income, Level might get a little confused.

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Level has a very clean minimalist UI that has all the right Android-y features. There is a slide out navigation pane, an action bar, and so on. There is even a home screen widget that tells you how much disposable income you have remaining. The app and service are completely free.

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Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

    I've eaten oranges that were less orange than this app.

    • Cheeseball

      I like them oranges.

    • kirindave

      I regret that good produce is not available where you live. If you'd like, we can rush order you some of the good ones.

      • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

        I didn't say *all* of the oranges I've eaten looked like that. Thanks for the concern though.

    • Cat Astrophy

      Mint's green all over so...

      • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

        That's comparing apples and oranges.

  • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

    Call me old fashioned, but the last thing I want in an app is access to my bank account.

    This app sure looks pretty, and I'd pay for it and use it if I could input my own data.

    • coolscrotie

      you can't do that?!

      • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

        I don't think you can, but I can't really check as it's not available in the Mexican Play Store anyway.

        I currently use YNAB to keep track of my budget, but it sure is ugly. Financious is my favorite, but there's no desktop client...

        • Andrea Mennì

          Money Manager EX is an awesome alternative. Solid app, pretty UI, free and open-source, can sync on Android, Linux, Windows and Mac.

          • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

            Wow, that sounds amazing!

            I'm totally checking it out, as I really don't like YNAB. I'm only using it temporarilly because a friend 'gifted' it to me through Steam :P

          • David Walton

            Try Cash Organizer (www dot cashorganizer dot com) - after trialing endless offline/online apps *which didn't connect to bank accounts* it blew me away and Quicken was finally dumped for good. Rapid entry on any device with online or local databases too. Simply good software.

          • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

            Thanks for the suggestion. I'll give it a try too, it looks rather pretty and sounds promising. Now I just need to figure out if the cost is worth the switch :P

          • Ricardo Silva

            WOW, seems to be the best app that i've seen so far! And believe me i've test Dozens... I've only found similar for IOS.
            I was looking for desktop and android platform and sync, multi-user, import csv data, nice UI, good reports and free! I'm testing at the moment and I'm quite happy, thanks!

        • Andrés

          I use Google Spread Sheet. Available on all my devices, all my financial data is neatly organized, I get the stats and projections I need with graphs and all.

        • Martim

          Could you give me a link for Financious? I can't find it on the Play Store...

      • kirindave

        No. We think manual input is a red herring. Some people find it useful, but the main reason we don't support it is because the whole point of the app is to provide asynchronous and least-effort guidance. Entering in manual data is contrary to that goal.

        Which is not to say that we won't do it.

    • kirindave

      Hi, Lead Engineer and VP of engineering for Level here. We don't actually keep the access credentials with your bank account. We use the credentials once to establish a read-only connection with your accounts, and then discard them.

      This means the Level app can't be used to move your money, only track the recent expenditures of linked accounts. We think this makes it MUCH more useful than a manual-entry tool.

      That said, we're looking into support more manual entry and correction features in the future.

      • Patrick Thompson

        I hope you'll support more financial institutions soon as well. I like what the app does so I am using it, but I don't feel like I'm getting the full potential because I can't like savings accounts, etc.

        • kirindave

          We're doing our best to grow the list of institutions we support. Level's in a unique position where we ask a lot more of financial institutions than most clients do. It means it takes us longer to get new institutions supported.

          • Eric Vaughan

            Any chance ya'll support Simple yet?

          • kirindave

            We support Simple, and most of our users are happy. Please be aware that if you rename a transaction in Simple, we don't handle that correctly right now.

          • Eric Vaughan

            Excellent Just linked it!

        • lincthra

          If there any hope on information about when/if Greendot/GoBank might be supported?

      • http://www.dominic-martin.com/ Dominic Martin

        Hey any chance you guys will be moving over the pond anytime soon? This is exactly what I need in my life.

        • kirindave

          We definitely want to expand, but we need to flesh out our US bank list before we can do that. I'm sorry I don't have a timeline for you.

          • http://www.dominic-martin.com/ Dominic Martin

            Fair enough, thanks for answering!

          • Wesley Da’Nomad

            I could sure use some Navy Federal Credit Union lovin...
            Also, how does the company make money? Are there ads? I'd pay a couple bucks if I knew there was no hanky panky going on in the background and no ads displayed.

    • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

      I'm also on the same boat. This is the reason why I never used Mint. Even if some org says they won't store the password or do something malicious, these days you can't trust anyone. Specially when it's your life savings.

      I use an app called Moola. All manual entries. UI is kind of dated, but gets the job done. Looking into Financius now.

  • PhantomPtI

    Derp. Incompatible with both my new Moto G and old HTC One S

    • Aaron Sarazan

      Dev here. This may be because you are located outside the US. Android is not very good at messaging geographic restrictions vs hardware ones.

      • PhantomPtI

        I see, thanks. I'm in the UK.

  • wjrandon

    I'm sticking to offline financial management applications like Easy Money.

  • David Monteiro

    Unfortunately, I'm not from the U.S.. Does anybody know a good personal finances app, besides from this one?

    • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

      I *really* love Financious. It looks very pretty and is very functional. It even lets you backup and restore from Google Drive, however there's no Desktop Client.

      If you're willing to pay, YNAB has a very ugly Android + Windows app.

  • edukr

    I use Financius, and it's the best, do everything i need. It's free and not orange.

    • Patrick Thompson

      Can you link your bank account or is it all manual input?

      • edukr

        Manual.

        • Cat Astrophy

          You need manual? Seems like a step back from account linking.

          • edukr

            I REALLY don't need that, if i receive something, i just put in the app, how lazy people are they can't do that? Or am i missing something?

          • Cat Astrophy

            Why aren't you just working off a piece of paper? Or at best just an Excel spreadsheet? I'm sure you can do the math all on your own. If the word convenience or anything similar comes to mind then you're a hypocrite for using the word "lazy" when it comes to account linking.

          • edukr

            Because i have Financius, and it does the job in simple way. I really don't need something connected with my bank account. If you use a credit card, for an example, it only make an discount from your account one day of the month. And, if you pay for a coffee or something at anywhere WITH CASH from your wallet, you can just take your phone and put that in the app. See? Not everybody needs an app connected with the bank account, if you need, you just buy this one and use, feel free to do that.

          • Cat Astrophy

            It sounds like you're more concerned with the app being connected to your bank account. A valid concern and really the only thing you should have gone with. The rest seems petty and carries no weight.

          • edukr

            Maybe, if you use cash many times a day and you want to put in the app every time. I don't use everytime (one, maybe two times), and most of times with credit card, as i explained on the other comment, and i wait until i sit somewhere (work, home, etc) to open the app.

            Looking for other uses, the only thing i need is to know how much i still have in cash, so i just open the app (i don't use widgets) and it shows me.

            I really think that an app for that has to be simple as Financius are. But, i'm not everybody, maybe some people really need an app like Level.

    • John

      cool app

    • Matheus

      love it,very simple

    • subhramani

      Crap. I ended up buying 'Expense Manager'. Just tried out Financius and it is simply beautiful. It is exactly what I need. Thank you.

      • edukr

        You're welcome.

  • After all

    Google Music, are u?

  • Mystery Man

    How does this compare to Mint? Can anyone recommend something better than mint if such a thing exists?

    • Asgard

      I will add to your question because I was going to ask the same. What does this offers over mint? For what I can see the only thing that this has better than mint is the widget because it would look better in my lockscreen than the mint widget.

      • http://thomashunsaker.com Thomas Hunsaker

        From what others have said, Mint is great for finding out where your money went (which is what I use it for); Level tells you where your money will go and how much you can spend right now.

    • kirindave

      The big difference between Level and Mint is that Mint is more of a long term tool for evaluating your financial health. Level is a tool to help you make decisions as they come up. You can use both and get lots of good advice from both.

    • mgamerz

      Simple bank. Though you have to sign up for it...

      Though I love it, it's amazing how good their app is.

  • Terry

    I have been using YNAB (You need a budget) and it works great.

  • Roh_Mish

    I use expense manager. It supports my currency which is what i nead. And it has many features i need. Alrhough sync and some colaborative feature would be nice

  • wolfkabal

    Seriously, the only government bank supported is USAA? What about all the other military branch banks (NFCU, AFCU, MCCU, etc) Also it won't authenticate for my Amex card or my USAA account even though all credentials are correct.

    At least they're cute about the error messages. Otherwise the app is useless for me or most military individuals (As the USAA account is one that won't authenticate).

    • kirindave

      We're working on supporting more. NFCU is available in our beta bank program, for example. If you contact support and ask, we can put you in the beta bank program and you'll get access to more banks. Level demands a LOT more than most online financial apps from banks, so we appreciate all the help we can get.

      Please contact support about the auth issues. USAA has been a bank we've had problems with supporting them. We're working with our partners to try and get a better experience there.

  • SnowStalk

    I'm using anMoney. Highly recommended.

  • wolfkabal

    INSECURE!

    I'm still digging into it, but so far I've discovered the cached (locally stored) transaction history data is not stored securely. Stored in a database in clear text containing the merchant, amount, date and accountId [this looks to be per transaction and might be just for Level use as it doesn't correspond to any accountIDs i have).

    This is all while logged out of the application. Will update with additional findings.

    • kirindave

      Hi. Lead engineer and VP of engineering for Level here.

      We're aware of this. We made a decision not to encrypt the db until we implement the PIN code feature from iOS. Non-rooted devices will not let other apps see this data (if you're rooted, well then you do what you want!), because the database is not exported. So it's quite secure as is for normal use. And no, we don't export your credentials or account numbers; we use internal numbers as a secondary security measure (and because it's more convenient for us!)

      A moire technically detailed response:

      We could have just row-encrypted and then stored a password on the disk. You wouldn't have seen this and probably wouldn't have written this comment. But it would not be more secure if we did this. At Level, we don't believe in duplicitous token security like that. Any competent miscreant would see through that in a heartbeat.

      When we have our PIN code support implemented, we will change the storage format. When you set a pin, your transaction cache will be encrypted with a randomly generated password which is encrypted with your pin. Since we do not store your pin (or any indication of what a correct PINcode is) client side, this will be as secure as your PIN code itself affords.

      If you have more questions, please feel free to ask. We try to be as transparent as possible about our security.

      • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

        I really appreciated the technically detailed response.

        :-)

        • MistiXF

          Gotta love sarcasm ;)

      • wolfkabal

        I'm curious why an additional PIN is needed on top of the already needed credentials for logging into the app. I can see the separation of data adding an additional layer, but not sure why it wasn't implemented from the beginning.

        And thanks for the direct response, and feedback. Though I don't agree relying on standard OS permissions is adequate, at least you've recognized it and are proceeding accordingly.

        • kirindave

          > I'm curious why an additional PIN is needed on top of the already needed credentials for logging into the app.

          It was our #1 most requested feature for the iOS client for a long time until we implemented it. Users have a variety of reasons why they want it.

          The biggest challenge for us implementing a pin is preventing ANY form of plaintext oracle for your pin (which is why in reality we may do things slightly different than my poor explanation once I talk with our security consultants).

          If your phone is compromised to the extent that malicious code can access things outside of the standard permissions model, then it's probably going to be able to sniff your keyboard activity anyways.

  • Robert

    Financial Management application is one of the best but http://bit.ly/1gQxBng

  • solbin

    YNAB or bust.

  • Allen

    Do you have any plans of extending your service to Canada? Judging by the screenshots I love how the apps tells you simply and straightforwardly what you can spend in the short term. This is the kind of thing I need in a finance app. Are there any other apps that do this as well as Level and have a Dashclock extension?

    • Voganlight

      It feels cheap replying to you, but my app does exactly that. Somewhat disturbing for me is that it looks a hell of a lot like Level.

      Anyway, here you go: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teamheadlesschicken.budgethelper

      • Guest

        I wouldn't be too disturbed

        it looks a lot more like their iphone app which launched in october

    • kirindave

      Canada is much sooner on our roadmap than other countries, but I'm afraid I don't have a firm date for you.

  • Guest

    What's the difference between this and Mint? Latter has errors constantly and terrible customer service

  • Sorin-Mihai Oprea

    I'm in Europe, so I can't use this app.

  • Jason Bourne

    Eh, it's pretty buggy with some banks... I have never gotten it to work with USAA.

  • abobobilly

    US ONLY? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy :

  • abhisshack

    what is it does better which Mint.com app don't do. why people who use mint.com app are willing to use this app over Mint.com ???

    • Cat Astrophy

      Supposedly Mint talks about your financial health over a long period and offers suggestions on how to improve your spending habits.

      This app simply tells you:

      Here's what you actually have to spend right now because you have these bills coming up before your next paycheck.

      They're both useful in tandem.

      • abhisshack

        i think mint.com too tell us "Here's what you actually have to spend right now because you have these bills coming up before your next paycheck." did not they ?

        • Cat Astrophy

          No it just tells me how I've been spending. "You've spent X on entertainment and it's X more than last time" or "You just had a large deposit (my paycheck)."

          It never just gives me an up-to-date balance on what I actually have to spend until my next payday. This app takes the math out of the equation so I don't have to figure out what spending money I have every paycheck.

  • Mr.Kadi

    Please can you provide us with APK file.. it's not available in my country :(((

    • Cat Astrophy

      Won't do you a whole lot of good. Doesn't really support manual entry and won't likely support accounts in your country.

  • Fitzelgard Allan Gerard

    Nice, an app that acts like my wife, as if i didnt need another one.

  • jurrabi

    Not available in Spain :(

  • Zak Taccardi

    I really wish that they included Google Wallet, that's all that's missing!

  • Darren Orange

    This app really does not work yet, many banks won't connect. It needs some updates quickly otherwise I plan to discard it.

  • Peyton Allen

    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!PS: Sorry for my bad
    english

    http://www.swale-hernebay.tfmcentre.co.uk/