University students often come up short of their savings targets, or lack a realistic picture of their expenses - it’s time to foster money-conscious individuals. Today’s most popular budgeting apps fail to hold users accountable to reaching their goals in the long-term. budgetbuddy not only allows users to track their spending and saving patterns, but effectively builds a money-conscious lifestyle for users through a buddy challenge system.
What is budgetbuddy?
budgetbuddy serves three key values for users - budget, track, save. Based on income, lifestyle, and personal financial goals, the user creates a budget that suits their needs for a cycle of 2 weeks. We decided to go with bi-weekly budgets rather than monthly because oftentimes when faced with a large commitment (duration of a month), it can be harder for users to commit or they find it doesn't suit their needs any longer. Thus, the 2 weeks adds flexibility. Daily, the user can enter and track all their expenses. They can enter challenges with a buddy, where both users must spend below their budget by monetary amounts set at the beginning of the challenge. Multiple buddies can also be added and join in on their challenges. For each day they achieve their challenge, they get to mark it off as a "streak" creating an incentive of not breaking the streak - thus saving more.
How we built it
Having identified the market need amongst students and young adults for a sustainable financial literacy solution, we discussed the functionalities and visual layout of our app and split off into designing and developing within the team. To design the UI prototype we used Figma, with functionalities such as creating an account and signing in, entering daily spending, and entering challenges with a friend coded in Java and XML in Android Studio.
Challenges we ran into
One of the biggest setbacks we found was the designer-developer hand-off. Although we all were in our roles of designer/developer and had an idea of what was and was not feasible, we found that due to time and experience constraints we were not able to implement all of the features imagined in the prototype (and even in the prototype design itself). But that is okay! Having had this experience we have learned to optimize this bottleneck for future hackathons even if that progress is just by 1%.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Many of us being first-time hackers, we were able to learn about and use Android Studio to build the account creation and log-in function in less than 24 hours. Overall, we're extremely proud that our app provides the necessary tools for young individuals to build money-conscious spending habits, in terms of sustainable spending and saving habits, through our unique buddy system and user-friendly interface.
Challenges we would like to be considered for
- TD's Best Green Hack
- FuturFund's FinLit
- Best Financial Literacy Hack for Young Women
- Best Design