Dollar & Sense

Dollar & Sense


If you find a bug, have a questions, comments or run into any kind of issue, please email: feedback at dollar and sense dot app

What is Dollar & Sense?

Dollar & Sense is a finance app for the family! It was built specifically for families with kids to help them track chores and the money they earn completing them. It's built by a parent for parents and their kids. The app is 100% free and 100% private, relying on Apple's iCloud ecosystem to store data and share it between parents and kids. Your data only lives in iCloud and is never stored or transmitted elsewhere.

Parents can create accounts and share them with kids as well as other parents. You can record transactions in an account or mark off tasks to automatically create transactions. When kids mark off transactions, they can go into a pending state that requires parents to confirm them before they're applied to the account balance. Tasks can be anything that recurs, whether it's daily, weekly, specific weekdays, days of months or monthly. You can use tasks to earn money, like when the dishwasher is emptied, or to represent regular expenses like a cell phone bill or Xbox Game Pass subscription.

How do you use this app with kids?

Dollar & Sense was specifically built to be used with kids, and the setup looks like this:

  1. Create an account for your child. For example, something like "Henry's Account".
  2. When viewing the account, click on the more options menu in the top-right corner. It'll display a list of menu options, tap on "Share Account". This will bring up the share sheet you've used before on iOS. Note: Sharing can only be initiated on iOS or iPadOS currently.
  3. From the share sheet, select "Share With More People" and then choose a method like Message or Mail. Make sure you send the share to your child's Apple ID.
  4. Your child will need to accept the share. They can do this from whatever app they received the share link from. Once they've accepted it, the share should show up in their accounts list in the app.
  5. Now that the account has been shared, you can adjust the permissions. This is done by selecting the "Account Info" menu option and then tapping on a participant (your child). The default permission behavior is to allow creating, editing and deleting of pending transactions only. The "On all transactions" option is not enabled by default, and it's this setting that makes the create, edit and delete permissions apply to every transaction, regardless of whether or not they're pending. Categories and tasks will default to "Create" only, but you can change this.
  6. Create a task or two for your child, something like "Empty the dishwasher" or "Take out the trash". Your child will be able to mark these off, which will create a pending transaction. It's up to you to confirm the transaction. Confirming a transaction makes the transaction "official" and the balance of the account will reflect that. When an account has a pending transaction, you will see two totals, the less prominent of which includes pending transactions, too.
  7. If you use this setup as a parent, you should enable the "Pending task transactions reminder" notification under settings. This will provide you with a single notification in the evening when there are tasks that you need to confirm. This is great for chores, like cleaning one's bedroom, that a child can mark off but needs the watchful eye of a parent.

Are tasks chores?

Sort of! They can definitely be used this way, and that's recommended when using this app with kids. You can also use it for recurring bills, like your cellphone bill that happens on a certain day of the month.

What is a pending transaction?

It means that the transaction has not been confirmed. This could be a task that's been submitted, a check you wrote that hasn't cleared, or a credit card transaction that's pending.

Why am I being asked to enable notifications?

If you're using iCloud, the app will use what's called remote notifications to sync your data while the app is in the background. What this means is, if say a child marks a task off, the transaction will be synced to your device even if you don't have it open via push notifications. These push notifications are silent, there are no banners or anything, they're just a way for iCloud to send data to your app.

There are notifications in Dollar & Sense, but they're all turned off by default. If you want to enable them, you can do so under settings.

So to reiterate, if you want syncing of data to work super smooth, leave notifications on. If you want notifications with banners and alerts and what not, you'll need to enable those individually via Dollar & Sense's settings.

Do I need to create a user account and login?

Nope! If you have an Apple device, odds are you have an iCloud account, and that provides you the ability to back up accounts to iCloud, share accounts, and sync changes from people you're sharing them with.

Where do you store data?

All app data lives on your device and in iCloud. It's 100% your data. The developer has no access to it and never will. There are no third-party analytics apps. Nothing is tracked, it's really as private as an app can be. And if you would rather not use iCloud, that's cool, the app works fine without it too.

How do I add my own categories?

When you are viewing an account's transactions there is an item in the menu at the top right on iOS, and in the toolbar on iPadOS and macOS called, 'Manage Categories'. The toolbar icon for this button on iPadOS and macOS looks like four squares. If you tap on that button, you will be taken to a screen with a form field at the top to add new categories, and you can also edit existing categories by tapping on their name or swiping on them to delete them.

How do I let another parent confirm transactions in a shared account?

When you are viewing an account's transactions there is an item in the menu at the top right on iOS, and in the toolbar on iPadOS and macOS called, 'Account Info'. The toolbar icon for this button on iPadOS and macOS looks like a speech bubble with the letter i inside of it. If you tap on that button you'll get a screen with your account information, and if you slide down you’ll see a list of all the participants your account is currently shared with. If you tap on a participant you can control the individual permissions for that user. For the parent you are trying to give access to confirm transactions, you’ll want to toggle "On all transactions" to be enabled. This will let another user confirm pending transactions. By default, this setting is off, and most parents will want to leave it off for their kids.

What versions of iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and macOS are supported?

iOS & iPadOS are supported from version 15.4 and above, but you'll get the best experience (such as charts) beginning with 16.0 and above.

macOS is supported from version 12.3 and above. On macOS, the app uses a thing called macCatalyst and it is soooo much better beginning with macOS 13, so please consider upgrading!

iOS 15.4, iPadOS 15.4, and macOS 12.3 will continue to be supported as long as Henry has an iPod Touch. Once he upgrades, I'll most likely drop support as it's a real headache to support these older versions and support all of the cool stuff in iOs16 & friends.

watchOS is supported from version 9.0 and above, but there's cool stuff that isn't broken because of the OS beginning in 9.2, so make sure you upgrade!

How much does this app cost?

It's FREE, and I intend to keep it that way.

Will you make an Android version?


Who built this app?

My name is Stan Lemon. I have three children and a loving wife, and I built this app for them.

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