Entering university, we all get shiny new debit/credit cards made but no proper guidance on how to be smart while using it. Spending can go unchecked and as college students, we can suffer greatly from this.

While many of us spend hours a day on our phones, and multiple applications exist, few of us take the time to monitor our financial records.

What it does

Enter Budget.SMS. We help you budget your finances and thus be more financially aware. You sign up for our service using a simple SMS message. Once registered, we help you stay on budget, notify you when any purchase is made and on request give you a record of all transactions you made that month. We do this by looking over the transactions that are safely recorded on a MongoDB Atlas instance and notifying you with our services over SMS using the Twilio API.

The benefit of using Budget.SMS is that any payment issuer, or financial institution can quickly and efficiently connect to our service and provide their customers with real-time updates into their financial history, without having to build their own complicated messaging services, or risk exposing sensitive data through APIs. Instead, these companies can simply send a quick HTTP request to our services with information about a specific customers behaviour (e.g. a recent purchase) and we take care of the rest.

Best of all, all that is required for a customer to get started is their phone number. Budget.SMS simply records the transaction history associated with each phone number provided, and then users can simply text to our services to obtain information about their history, or have our services notify them of any recent activities.

How we built it

We build this primarily using Standard Library which simplified our workflow for making API calls. The backend here is written in node.js and we used MongoDB Atlas as our database.

Challenges we ran into

We had trouble connecting to MongoDB Atlas on standard library but were eventually able to figure it out.

What we learned

We learned how to better delegate tasks in a team environment and improved our proficiency working with API calls, database queries and HTTP requests.

We got to explore new technologies such as Standard Library

We got to solve a real world problem that we ourselves face on a regular basis using some of the latest and greatest technology

What's next for Budget.SMS

  • Integrating payment processors and or financial institutions into our services.
  • Expanding our services to include more rich features such as "query specific date ranges"
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