Lemon is a free service to organize receipts online and keep track of your expenses easily. Whether you itemize your deductions on your taxes, or you just like to know exactly when and where you spend your money, a program that helps you track your expenses is a good idea. Lemon is such a program.
Limitations in Free Version
You have three options with Lemon, the free version, and two premium versions, costing $49 and $99 a year ($4.99/month and $9.99/month, respectively). The free version of Lemon is advertising driven. That’s to be expected. The free version gives you some features that are pretty helpful for the busy person in today’s world. If you own a smartphone (Blackberry, Windows phone, iPhone, and Android), you can snap a picture of a receipt, and upload it to the Lemon website. It will be added to your receipt collection.
You can also generate a spending report summary, capture specific information from your receipts, manually enter your receipts on the website, and a few other features, including a unique @Lemon.com email address. The ability to capture specific purchase details such as items purchased, taxes and tips paid, is reserved for only the high end $99 a year subscription. From what I’ve read in the Lemon forums, this is a recent change and has made many of their users, EX-users.
With the increase in identity theft incidents, I’m hyper-vigilant when it comes to my financial details. I don’t like the idea of giving purchase details to an unknown entity like this. Letting a commercial website know my spending habits is just asking to open my email account to mountains of spam, at the best, and waking up to find money missing at the worst.
I track my expenses using Quicken and Quickbooks. Almost all of my spending is done using my Paypal card, so I get an email for every purchase I make. At the end of every day, I log those purchases into Quicken and Quickbooks and then I verify them on my Paypal account.