How to run Skype (or other Android app) on Chromebook without using Dev Mode

One of the biggest challenges I have faced in using a Chromebook compared to a Windows or Linux system is the lack of Skype.  I can use Google Docs for most of my word processing or spreadsheet needs and while Google Hangouts for video chat is awesome and works well, Skype is still the most commonly used platform and the simplest for most to use.  Below I will show you how to install Skype on your Chromebook without enabling Dev Mode and installing linux.

1. Download and install the Arc Welder Chromebook App – This is an app that allows you test Android applications on ChromeOS.  In our case we will use it to run the Skype Android app on Chrome.

2. Download the Skype android application – Once you download this file, you can rename it BEFORE you proceed as you will not be able to rename or move the file without breaking Skype as it relies on this file.

3. Launch the Arc Welder App – Once it launches, you will click the Orange plus (+) sign and browse for the Skype application file we downloaded in step 2.



4. Once added, Just click the Launch App button in the bottom right of the Window


5. That is all.  You do not have to repeat these steps again as you will now have a Skype icon in your Chrome App Menu that you can use moving forward.


Budgeting with Excel or Google Sheets

Creating budgets (and than trying to stick to them) is a necessary evil for those of us without a six figure income or a trust fund from which to live worry-free.  If you are like me, you constantly search for ways to create budgets besides paper or excel spreadsheets only to find yourself coming back to them after a failed experiment with some financial management tool.


I went from using Excel to Microsoft Money (before Microsoft abandoned it) to Mint to Yodlee to Excel than back to Mint to to YNAB (You Need a Budget) and now back to a spreadsheet again (actually via Google Sheets).   I have yet to discover a perfect solution that combines my need to make frequent changes to my budget while still allowing some way to monitor upcoming cash flow.

Outside of a spreadsheet solution using Excel or Google Sheets I have often found myself coming back to Mint or YNAB (You Need a Budget) only to change back to spreadsheets yet again.  Both of their advantages and disadvantages:

  • Auto-downloads data from linked bank accounts.
  • Budget tool is friendly but still seemed cumbersome as a whole.
  • Being constantly bombarded with adds for services and credit cards, etc seemed against the ideal of proper financial management.
  • Free – if you ignore the constant ads selling credit reports or pushing credit cards.
  • A paid option with no ads, etc could be really enticing
  • Great application that I want to love but without being able to live by their golden rule of “live on last months income.”
  • I constantly found myself keeping a spreadsheet as well to give myself the ability to forecast my income over the entire month.
  • YNAB is based on the premise of budgeting with only the money you have at the moment with no regard to what is planned to arrive.
  • Includes ledger with ability to reconcile accounts
  • Worth the cost.
  • Great blog and financial advice on their website

YNAB would be my choice for long term financial management because it provides a manual ledger (which I prefer to the auto-pulling of Mint) and the ability to reconcile.  In the meantime, I have created a simplistic but functional spreadsheet that will work in Excel or Google Sheets.  As you can see in the screenshot below, the idea is to seperate bills into the different pay periods. I have two columns since I get a paycheck twice a month but you could easily add or reduce the number if columns if you get paid weekly, monthly, etc.

I took it a step further and created a second column for each pay period so I can forecast and plan what I think my budget will be vs what actually happens as the month progresses.  Feel free to download this template and use or modify it as you see fit.  Hope you find it useful.


Download Link: