Regions and Date Formats

How do I change the currency and date format (e.g., £, 31/01/11)?

Formatting your Region

SimpliBudget uses the currency symbol and date format appropriate for your region. Your region should have been set appropriately when your device was first set up. However, in case you are seeing the wrong currency format (e.g., US dollars instead of UK pounds), follow the appropriate instructions below.

If you are using a Mac, follow these instructions:

  1. Open System Preferences and select the 'Language and Text' icon
  2. Select the 'Formats' tab
  3. Change the Region

If you are using an iPhone or iPad, follow these instructions:

  1. Open Settings and select the 'General' icon
  2. Select the 'International' tab
  3. Under, 'Region Format' select the appropriate region.
  4. You may also adjust the 'Date and Time' setting as well, if necessary. This is also found under the 'General' icon.
Using iCloud

When you enter your budget on the iOS version it is automatically saved to your iCloud account. If you have two iOS devices that are both linked to your iCloud account you should see that changes you add on one device are automatically synced to your other device within a minute or two, depending on your connection speed. The Mac version works a bit differently. By default it does not use iCloud. Here are some instructions on how to sync both Mac and iOS versions:

Syncing your Budget
Sync a Mac budget on your iPhone/iPad

If you want to sync your budget with your iPhone or iPad, select the 'Export document to iCloud' option from the File menu. This will convert your Mac budget to an iCloud document that is then synced to your iPhone or iPad. If your budget is already saved on your computer, it will move all the data to your iCloud account. Some people find it helpful to keep a backup in another folder (simply select the 'Save As' option from the File menu to do this) because then they know where on their computer it is (the mysterious iCloud is a bit unsettling, more on that below). However, you can always access your iCloud document using the 'Open iCloud Document' option from the File menu.

Problems syncing your budget

Occasionally our users can have some initial problems getting SimpliBudget to sync between the Mac and iOS. If this happens to you, you should delete the iOS app and re-install it (don't worry you won't get charged twice). If that doesn't help, try the following:

  1. Delete the app from your iPhone again.
  2. Open your Mac version, save your data file to a new file on your Desktop.
  3. Select the 'Export Document to iCloud' option on the Mac version
  4. When it asks if you want to overwrite the existing iCloud file, click yes.
  5. Save the new document
  6. Wait a couple of minutes
  7. Install the iPhone app. Wait a couple of minutes to see if the data show up.

Sync an iPhone/iPad budget with the Mac

What if you start with the iPhone/iPad? In this case, everything you do is automatically saved to your iCloud account. All you need to do is select the 'Open iCloud Document' option in the Mac version to retrieve this data.

Making Changes to Your Budget

Once you've synced your budgets on your Mac and iPhone/iPad its really straightforward to make changes. SimpliBudget on the Mac automatically opens your last used budget file. If you (like most people) only have one budget file, and it's your iCloud document, any changes you make are automatically synced to your iPhone/iPad *after* you save the changes using 'Save' from the File menu. Your budget changes will not sync unless you select Save on the Mac version. In contrast, any changes you make on the iPhone/iPad are automatically synced to your Mac. However, you need to reopen SimpliBudget on your Mac for the changes to show up (they won't show up automatically).

More Information for the Curious

Lets be honest, iCloud and syncing are confusing! Some people expect any changes they make on their Mac or iPhone to immediately show up on the other device. This isn't how it works! Sure, if you're in a wi-fi network it should happen really quickly (within a minute or two) but it can be a little bit slower on your cellular network. If you're testing the syncing and switching back and forward between your devices quickly, bear this in mind!

Your SimpliBudget iCloud document actually exists both on your computer and your iPhone/iPad. It's in a special place on each device where the Apple software knows that it needs to sync the files. So, it's not like a web server where everything is sitting on a remote server! The syncing between your iCloud documents on the Mac and iPhone/iPad happens quite frequently but its a bad idea to try to make changes simultaneously on both devices. This creates a 'conflict' where each device thinks it has the latest file. In this case, SimpliBudget is designed to sync the latest file changed. However, it's best to try and avoid this situation by simply working on one device at a time and waiting until any changes are synced on the other device before working on that one!

Want to learn more about iCloud? Peachpit Press offers a Visual Quickstart Guide called iCloud: Visual QuickStart Guide in both print and eBook formats.

Starting a new month
How do I start a new month?

It's September and SimpliBudget still shows that it's August. That's because SimpliBudget updates the month when you enter your first transaction for September. Once you enter your first transaction for a new month, a new budget is created for that month and the new transaction included in that month's budget. You can always view or edit a previous month's budget by selecting that month in your Budget screen. SimpliBudget keeps a record of all your previous monthly budgets.

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