Millions of Americans are only $400 away from financial hardship. One-quarter of adults have no retirement savings and skip necessary medical care because they are unable to afford the cost. For students, the numbers are even worse.
Not everybody is comfortable with sharing details about their expenses with a friend. Unlike other budgeting apps out there that make you set unrealistic goals that make you regret your life decisions even more, Budgetary is an interactive tool that helps you track all kinds of expenses and provides you an opportunity to analyze & improve spending habits while setting realistic goals to become financially stable.
We were all pretty certain about our interest in the equity vertical of HackSC from the very beginning.
What it does
After creating an account with Budgetary, users are placed into an interactive session with non-other then Budgetary themself. At the users request, Budgetary can assist users with linking their bank account to their Budgetary account in order to get quick, personaized budgets.
How we built it
We used React paired with a node express server with MongoDB as the database.
The core of Budgetary lies in the Zero-Based Budget system (ZBB). Before launching into development on Budgetary, our team did extensive research into what makes a budget work. This lead us to discover ZBB, a budgeting system promoted by the likes of Dave Ramsey and other prominent personal-finance coaches. According to ZBB, every dollar has a purpose. Whether it's to pay down debt or go out to each, every dollar that comes in the door must be put to work. Budgetary uses this approach (with a variety of additional weights/biases to stay in the realm plausibility) when attempting to calculate a user's budget in order to give them the best budget for their finances.
Challenges we ran into
Financial instability is a prominent problem all over the world and there are many solutions out there. Coming with a new idea and to be sure what we wanted to do was not implemented before was a challenge.
At the same time keeping the user hooked to the application was the key to Budgetary. It's very likely that a user might just stop using the application if something were to go south. The responses, therefore, needed to be positive and encouraging to keep the user on track.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our entire team is very interested in the problem space and we are proud of the solution that we chose to create. Our developers worked tirelessly throughout the hackathon to create a working react prototype.
Most of all, our team is proud of the Financial tech solution that we have planned and created. The interactivity with the user is far better than any to be competitor if Budgetary was to enter the market today.
What we learned
The team worked through every problem that we faced, whether that be forging into the unknown without documentation to guide us, to learning new languages, like typescript, to overcome database limitations.
What's next for Budgetary
Our team worked together to create this application within the time frame of the Hackathon. We will continue to work on it by polishing the responses of our bot and the database to eventually bring Budgetary in mobile.