We knew that a common request was going to be the ability to share a budget with someone who uses a different iCloud account. Since release, we have indeed heard from a number of you that this is important. This is the “next thing” we’ve been working on, along side fixing some of the bugs and other issues that came up from the initial release of MoneyWell 2023.
We’re pleased to let you know that we have this working, but before we release it, we’d like to get some extra eyes on this to help us test this. There’s only so much we can do with our small team, so for anyone who’s feeling brave, details follow on how to sign up to try it out.
Everything seems to work as it should, but there are still a few niceties that we’re working on before it’s hopefully ready for release via the App Store. There may of course be some bugs we haven’t hit in our internal testing.
How does sharing work?
We continue to use Apple’s provided iCloud service as much as possible. Sharing is no different. To share a budget, you’ll need to invite any participants that you wish to share with via iCloud. The screens will probably look familiar if you’ve used iCloud sharing for any of Apple’s apps like Notes. You can send an invitation via iMessage, e-mail or even just by sharing a link.
As previously, we have no access to any of your financial data. All of your financial data is stored either on your device, or—only for the purposes of syncing—on Apple’s iCloud service using your own iCloud account and the iCloud accounts of any participants you invite to share your budget.
How do I sign up to test sharing?
During the (long) beta for sync, we used App Center for testing on Mac along with TestFlight on iOS. This was a little clunky. Going forward we’ll be using TestFlight for everything.
As with all betas, it is pre-release software, so please be prepared for things not to work exactly as they should, and for the potential of data loss. In short: you need working backups before you start.
For Mac, you need to join the TestFlight app here.
For iOS you need to join the TestFlight app here.
Once you’ve signed up, both apps will be available in the TestFlight app for the respective platforms. TestFlight behaves exactly like the AppStore in terms of installing apps and updates.
If you don’t already have the TestFlight app, you can download it for all platforms here.
Does the person I’m sharing with need their own subscription?
Maybe. But probably not. Each Mac will need an active subscription to avoid running in “Free” mode (limited to 200 transactions). However, we have enabled family sharing for MoneyWell, which means that if (as we expect in most cases) people are sharing their budget(s) with family members, you’ll also be able to share your subscription using Apple’s Family Sharing.
If you want to share a budget with someone who you are unable to share your subscription with via Family Sharing, then you’ll both need your own subscription if you want to be able to share a budget.
I use Direct Connect. Will the person I share a budget with have access to my password?
No. Direct Connect passwords are not stored in the budget database, they’re stored in your Mac’s Keychain, which is an app designed for the storage of passwords. These will not be shared. This means that someone you share your budget with will either need to know your password to be able to use Direct Connect, otherwise Direct Connect will only be available on devices which have access to those passwords.
What happens if I stop sharing a budget with someone?
First of all, once you start sharing your budget with someone, you need to assume that they have a copy of your data that you have no future control over, the same as if you e-mailed them a copy. However, when MoneyWell is notified that a user has had their access revoked to a budget, it will attempt to remove that budget from their device(s). Please be aware of this when revoking sharing permissions.
Can I share a budget with multiple people?
Yes. This should work fine. You can invite multiple people.
Does the person I share with need to have a Mac?
No. You can share a budget with someone who only has an iOS device. You can manage sharing on MoneyWell Express too.
How do I set up sharing?
When you first set sharing up, if you’ve been using a previous version of MoneyWell (up to 2023.04) and have sync enabled, unfortunately you’ll first need to disable sync before you can enable sharing. There are various boring technical reasons for this, and going forward this won’t be necessary. The Manage Sharing… screen will explain that process which you can find from the File menu with your budget open.
For more information on setting up sharing, please see our article, Budget Sharing
Can I go back to the release version after trying this out?
Not easily. Once you Re-enable sharing in the beta version, it won’t be possible to open that same budget with the current shipping version of MoneyWell.
Once we release this properly via the Mac App Store, you’ll be able to switch over to that version seamlessly.
If you needed to get your data back into an earlier version you’d need to disable sync again. Then when you open an earlier version of MoneyWell, you’d be able to open the file and enable sync again.
What if I was a beta tester for sync before?
If you were testing MoneyWell Express via TestFlight, this is a different link to sign-up. As it requires an updated Mac app as well, we didn’t want to confuse anyone by pushing out a build to all of the people who were previously signed up for that.
If your question isn’t answered here, please contact support and we’ll do our best to help