THEIR PROBLEM - OUR INSPIRATION

One piece of advice we’ve heard repeatedly at SheHacks III is to focus on a problem, and try to solve that problem. Our team applied that advice and came up with our FuturSave app.

Setting up alerts with your bank account, tracking expenses, and allocating a specific monthly budget are all ways that people try to stop spending. For high schoolers and even young adults, often those are the only budgeting methods accessible to them. These methods aren’t enough. Here’s why.

Bank account alerts only send you texts after you’ve gone over your allocated budget.

Tracking expenses isn’t easy, especially for youth who often haven’t developed the discipline to stay on top of their records.

A monthly budget is hard to set, let alone commit to. Most people just decide that living off, say, $200 a month sounds good. However, given that spending $200 on food is very different than spending $200 on Girls’ Nights Out, setting a good monthly budget is a more complex process. There should be different “types” of spending, and an allocated budget to each “type”.

THE SOLUTION - MEET FUTURSAVE

FuturSave not only helps you, the user, budget better, but it gets in the way when you try to go over what you’ve set for yourself. To make it even more helpful to youth, we’ve decided to integrate FuturFund’s financial literacy program right into the app.

After signing up with FuturSave and linking the app to your bank account, you’ll be asked to set your own “budget” categories. In our demo, the categories are food, social, school, and gifts. Once created, you’ll be asked to set a budget for each category. If the total budget is more than 80% of your monthly income, it will prompt you, asking if you’re sure. If the total budget is more than your total monthly income, it will give you another prompt, strongly recommending against the proposed budget.

FuturSave works best with Apple Pay, as we’ve noticed it’s become an increasingly used method of payment. When you go to tap and purchase something, before you’re able to have access to touch or face ID you are asked to select a category. If your current purchase would put you over that category’s budget, a warning will pop up on your screen, asking if you’re sure you want to make that transaction. This is what really makes FuturSave stand out as the more effective budgeting app. While most budgeting apps either don’t give you that alert, or send you a text alert well after the transaction has been made, FuturSave stops you right in your tracks before you send money and makes you think.

Finally, FuturSave works with its parent company, FuturFund, to help you make better budgeting decisions and improve overall financial literacy. The app does this by including links and prompts like, “Haven’t opened a bank account yet? Click here for our videos on opening bank accounts,” or “Click here to see how you can invest and save even more.”

HOW WE BUILT IT

Sophia created code that takes back-end data on how much you’ve spent and uses it to determine if you’re going over the indicated budget category at check-out.

Dongming created code that will take various amounts as input and store them in the app to be fetched, analyzed, or used in triggering the appropriate prompts.

Corina and Kimia created a prototype using Adobe XD to show how the app will eventually come to life, and what its different aspects look like.

CHALLENGES WE RAN INTO

  • Kimia and Corina barely know anything about code.
  • Kimia and Corina have no clue how design or UX works (Komal’s workshop came in clutch).
  • Kimia couldn’t download Adobe XD for a while and had to figure out why her computer was being mean to her.
  • Kimia and Corina both needed to learn Adobe XD and basic UI/UX principles from scratch.
  • Sophia and Dongming didn’t have much development support, since the other half of the team didn’t know anything about code.
  • Sophia has never integrated platforms

ACCOMPLISHMENTS WE’RE PROUD OF

  • Actually completing our product
  • All coming out of SheHacks III with a new skill/greater knowledge
  • As a team, quick collaboration, communication, and decision making so we had a firm idea and could get started early on
  • None of us knew each other before the hackathon yet were able to come together and excel
  • Nearly every one of the challenges we ran into, we figured out how to solve
  • We applied knowledge from workshops in our project — proof of our learning

WHAT WE LEARNED

  • UX design
  • How to create an app prototype
  • How to make a changing interface - with changing windows/looks, etc.
  • How to integrate external images into the interface

WHAT WE WANT TO ADD TO OUR PRODUCT

  • When you take out cash at an ATM, you should get asked which category that should belong to
  • When you purchase with chip or online, you should be sent a notification and asked to categorize
  • Google Pay integration
  • Create a FuturFund education site with videos, notes, and other financial literacy resources that can be linked within the FuturSave app.
  • Make the ux design better for our target market - 13 - 22 year olds

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