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Family checking account management- is there a way to do this or is it in the works? RRS feed

  • Question

  • So like most married men, I share a checking account with my wife. I would like some way to manage the checking account on my Windows Mobile phone, while she also manages it from her Windows Mobile phone, and have the data sync every day (or even every time we use it, or maybe even in real time).

    So, for example, I open an app, enter in my purchase details (price, description, catagory, whatever). When my wife (who is at another store, across town) makes a purchase, she opens the same app on her phone, and it has all of my purchases, as well as the correct current balance, all up to date. She then enters in her purchase info, and we both have all the latest up to date information on both of our phones. And there could be a PC app that also syncs with both mobile apps. So we can manage the accounts from either the PC or the phones.

    The PC app could just be a website, and both phones sync to the website every time you open and close the app (and also at a scheduled interval every night like MyPhone). But there would have to be a way to get more than 1 phone to sync with it.

    And heck, even make it so I could sync the shared account with my wife, and also manage another account that I don't share with her. And she could sync the shared account, and also manage another one that she does not share with me. And neither of us should have access (or even see) the others private, not shared, accounts.

    Also maybe have a way to have automatic purchases populate automatically. So, for example, the monthly Netflix fee automatically enters itself on the correct billing day, and whatever other monthly bills that are automatically billed to your account (and the amount never changes) can be entered in once and automatically populates every month. 

    There would not need to be any bank routing numbers or anything that syncs to the bank itself. Just something similar to the little register book that comes with yoru checkbook- but an online version. Something we give a personal name to for identification purposes, and then enter the starting balance, and enter every purchase from that point on.

    This is the type of thing Windows Mobile phones are supposedly made for, right? If there is a way to do this already, please let me know. And if there is not a way, lets add this to the request list.

    Between Windows Live and My Phone, I would think Microsoft already has everything in place to easily make this happen.
    Saturday, December 5, 2009 8:07 PM

Answers

  • Well, it seems that mobile access to the LIve Mesh through both the mobile client and the mobile website has been disrupted ever since a system update that took place earlier this week. Up until now Live Mesh has worked fine and been a really terrific service.

    Even though the mobile client has been documented by users as not working on WM6.5 devices, it appears that a workable client will be available sometime after the first of the year.  If I were you I'd check back and give Live Mesh an honest go.  I think you'll be pleased with how well it works.

    To answer some of your earlier questions about the mesh:

    You can set up Live Mesh through your existing Windows Live ID and you can invite people, such as your spouse, to share specific folders in your Mesh.  As the owner, you can give assign up to 4 levels of access to anyone you want to share files with:

    • Creator: Can create, read, update, and delete files; add, remove, or change permissions for members; and choose to stop synchronizing a folder with the Live Desktop. This permission cannot be changed.
    • Owner: Can create, read, update, and delete files as well as add, remove, or change permissions for members.
    • Contributor: Can create, read, update, and delete files but cannot add, remove, or change permissions for members.
    • Reader: Can only open and view files. (Readers will see a notification at the top of the Live Mesh bar (Appears when you open a Live Mesh folder, allowing you to invite and remove members, read and post news items, and change synchronization settings.) indicating that the folder is read-only.)

    Each person uses their own personal Windows Live ID to access these folders on the Mesh.  If you have other folders on the Mesh that you do not wish to share with anyone they will be kept private and be accessible only to you.

    All files that are accessed from a mobile device are done so either through the Live Mesh Mobile client or through the Live Mesh mobile website (since the client does not run on my older pocket pcs I use the mobile website on those devices). 

    If you use the Live Mesh Mobile client, the files reside on any devices that use the Live Mesh client and are updated whenever you login to Live Mesh.  I use Live Mesh on my computer, so mesh designated folders are updated almost instantaneously there, but the files on my windows phones are only updated when I login to the mesh from the Mobile client.  On the older pocket pcs (the ones that I use the mobile website for), I have to download the files every time I want to use them. When a file is synced, the entire file is synced (not just incremental changes)

    You could manage the worksheet from your computer and set it up specifically for your needs (within Excel's specific limitations).  The worksheet would reside on your windows phones and be updated whenever you login to the Mesh. 

     


    Prof Julie, Microsoft MVP Mobile Devices | http://pocketprimer.com
    • Marked as answer by MaryAliceC Monday, December 21, 2009 6:34 PM
    Sunday, December 6, 2009 3:24 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Seems to me you could do this pretty easily as follows:

    Set up an Excel spreadsheet to act as your check register
    Install Live Mesh to your computer
    Install the Live Mesh mobile client to each windows phone
    Save the Excel spreadsheet to a Mesh folder on your computer.

    The file will be synced to your Mesh account
    Then you can set up each device's Live Mesh mobile client to access the Mesh account.
    The file will be synced to each mobile device when you log into to the Mesh.

    Try it and see if that works for you .
    Prof Julie, Microsoft MVP Mobile Devices | http://pocketprimer.com
    Saturday, December 5, 2009 11:32 PM
    Moderator
  • So for this to work, I would need to create a Windows Live ID that both my wife and I share, right? Would this conflict with our already existing email accounts that we actually use and our MyPhone accounts?

    Also, having never used Mesh I am not familiar with the process so forgive my ignorance, but...

    How tedious is the process of signing into Mesh and opening a folder on the Phone?
    Would it be possible to put a shortcut directly to this file on the home screen to simplify the process?
    Does it upload/download the entire file every time or only the changes?
    Would there be a way to have it automatically add the recurring entries this way (monthly bills that are on auto pay)?
    Would there be a way for me to have my private checking account without my wife having access to it? Because we share an account, and then we each have our own private accounts too (which we use when we buy each other gifts and things like that).
    How tedious would it be for me to have 2 different Mesh accounts on 1 phone?

    It just seems like Microsoft is missing something simple that would add tremendous value to the consumer experience here. I'm glad that it appears there is a way to get this done. Even though it is a very tedious process, and probably a lot easier for me to just keep my own check register and manually add my entries to my wife's every so often, at least there is technically a way to do it. But for Microsoft to simply add this simple feature to any of the available services (MyPhone, Mesh, etc) would probably be very simple to add and make the end user experience a lot better.

    Or, I guess Microsoft could sit on their hands and watch Android or iPhone get this feature first and continue to lose market share...

    Thanks for the tip though. I'll check it out and see if it's something feasible or too tedious to bother with.
    Sunday, December 6, 2009 1:40 AM
  • So just to update, no Mesh is not an option. See this thread:
    http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/LiveMeshMobile/thread/68a60806-e55e-44bf-99d0-f20f23e87264

    Mesh does not work on later HTC Devices (including the Touch Pro 2 that my wife and I use). So tedious aside, the service doesn't even work on current model HTC phones. The last post in that thread at the time I am posting this is:

    "Stephen BootsMVP, ModeratorUsers MedalsUsers MedalsUsers MedalsUsers MedalsUsers Medals
     
    Vote As Helpful
    Unfortunately, you'll need to wait for a new version of the mobile client, release date unknown, in order to use Live Mesh on the later HTC devices.
    -steve
    ~ Microsoft MVP Windows Live ~ Windows Live OneCare| Live Mesh|MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator ~"
    Sunday, December 6, 2009 2:19 AM
  • Well, it seems that mobile access to the LIve Mesh through both the mobile client and the mobile website has been disrupted ever since a system update that took place earlier this week. Up until now Live Mesh has worked fine and been a really terrific service.

    Even though the mobile client has been documented by users as not working on WM6.5 devices, it appears that a workable client will be available sometime after the first of the year.  If I were you I'd check back and give Live Mesh an honest go.  I think you'll be pleased with how well it works.

    To answer some of your earlier questions about the mesh:

    You can set up Live Mesh through your existing Windows Live ID and you can invite people, such as your spouse, to share specific folders in your Mesh.  As the owner, you can give assign up to 4 levels of access to anyone you want to share files with:

    • Creator: Can create, read, update, and delete files; add, remove, or change permissions for members; and choose to stop synchronizing a folder with the Live Desktop. This permission cannot be changed.
    • Owner: Can create, read, update, and delete files as well as add, remove, or change permissions for members.
    • Contributor: Can create, read, update, and delete files but cannot add, remove, or change permissions for members.
    • Reader: Can only open and view files. (Readers will see a notification at the top of the Live Mesh bar (Appears when you open a Live Mesh folder, allowing you to invite and remove members, read and post news items, and change synchronization settings.) indicating that the folder is read-only.)

    Each person uses their own personal Windows Live ID to access these folders on the Mesh.  If you have other folders on the Mesh that you do not wish to share with anyone they will be kept private and be accessible only to you.

    All files that are accessed from a mobile device are done so either through the Live Mesh Mobile client or through the Live Mesh mobile website (since the client does not run on my older pocket pcs I use the mobile website on those devices). 

    If you use the Live Mesh Mobile client, the files reside on any devices that use the Live Mesh client and are updated whenever you login to Live Mesh.  I use Live Mesh on my computer, so mesh designated folders are updated almost instantaneously there, but the files on my windows phones are only updated when I login to the mesh from the Mobile client.  On the older pocket pcs (the ones that I use the mobile website for), I have to download the files every time I want to use them. When a file is synced, the entire file is synced (not just incremental changes)

    You could manage the worksheet from your computer and set it up specifically for your needs (within Excel's specific limitations).  The worksheet would reside on your windows phones and be updated whenever you login to the Mesh. 

     


    Prof Julie, Microsoft MVP Mobile Devices | http://pocketprimer.com
    • Marked as answer by MaryAliceC Monday, December 21, 2009 6:34 PM
    Sunday, December 6, 2009 3:24 AM
    Moderator