3D Budget 2.1

Codrut Nistor February 18, 2011 0

Some of the people I know have a really wrong idea about their budgets – they think they don’t earn enough to make plans. If you ask me, I can tell you only one thing I heard not too long ago, but a simply brilliant line, in my opinion: “It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep.”

I can only hope you got the idea and will be planning your expenses and savings accordingly from now on, if you weren’t doing it already… but I am sure that a computer program to help you track your cash flow can’t hurt, no matter what, so this is why I chose 3D Budget for the last day of this week. Before moving on, let me just add that this program doesn’t need a 3D accelerator to run properly… in case you thought that the “3D” part has anything to do with 3D graphics. ;)

Setup

Released at the end of last week, 3D Budget 2.1.2 is available as a fully featured, 30 days trial version, while the registration fee is $29.95. According to the official page of this product, “you must have a Windows PC” to run it, so I guess it’s supposed to work with all Windows version. Even better, a Mac version is expected to be released anytime soon. Sweet!

3D Budget 2.1.2 comes inside a little MSI package that has only 866 KB in size, so I am sure you figured out already that toolbars and/or spyware are out of question. Fortunately, the installer allows you to install 3D Budget in just a few clicks, but even so I think the process could be made faster – for example, removal of the window displaying the “Read Me” info before the last screen of the installer shows up, or the window where you can only choose to add a desktop shortcut or not… not to mention that the text-logo-wannabe that you can see in the setup windows is simply horrible!

Interface

Come on, people – is this a joke? I enjoy jokes a lot, but I always hate software jokes like this one. 3D Budget looks like a school project, not a serious commercial software! Really, there’s only some kind of wizard, no multilanguage support, some minor things that matter done the wrong way here and there (“Reconciliaiton” is one of them) and, to be honest, the overall feeling that I get from 3D Budget is that 1995 called back. Thanks, but I won’t answer… :|

Features

… and it doesn’t get much better with the features, either: I won’t hold it back any longer and I’ll tell you from the start how’s everything about 3D Budget: there’s nothing really out of this world here, not even some things you’d like to have when buying such a program now, in 2011. For example, this program has no support for connecting to your bank account or some similar online service and extract data/keep it synced. Sure, it can import (pretty bad idea to call it “upload” here…) data from Quicken or MS Money files, but… we’re in 2011!!!

Just look at the Tools menu, for example – we have the Budget Manager, Account Manager, a History Analysis tool and, finally, that “Reconciliaiton” thingie I mentioned earlier. Could you trust such a program? I couldn’t and I wouldn’t, there are plenty of alternatives on the market. Seriously…

… but if you really want to hear something to make you try 3D Budget, I should also tell you that this program isn’t really such a big mess, after all – at least it offers plenty of features for those who want to track their expenses offline, but who still does this when everything goes online and automatic payments are no longer something that seems a Sci-Fi tale?

I guess this is it. I just can’t go on in telling you about the features of a program that would have been really useful two decades ago, while now it’s far from that. Too far…

Tips & Tricks

Spend smart, remember that all that matters is what you keep, not what you earn and, obviously, be smart enough to avoid buying programs like 3D Budget!

Strengths

3D Budget 2.1 is easy enough to use, offers a decent set of features, seems to work with all Windows versions and its trial version has no functional limitations, but…

Weaknesses

… there’s a rather long list of weaknesses to be mentioned here, starting with the lack of any online backup/sync support and going as far as the ancient looks of the interface and documentation. Even these two are too much for me already, so…

Final Thoughts

… this is it: I’ve had it! This may not be a Friday, the 13th, but it feels like one to me. Hey, even my father avoided a serious car accident this morning by a few inches, so I think there’s something in my DNA, after all. Well, too bad for 3D Budget – but the team behind it have a lot of work to do until this program will step into this century the right way. :|

Install
Ease of use
Features
Resources used
Value
Summary 2.4/5
Download 3D Budget 2.1

Screenshots

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