Inspiration

We believe that we should be in control of our money and not let money control us. Accordingly, we developed a web application that will help users take control of their finances.

What it does

Ependyo incorporates four financial tools into a single, handy platform to simplify the control of finances and to develop healthy financial habits. This web app features an income tax calculator that calculates salary after taxes according to the province or territory. There is a budgeting tool that allows users to visually see where their money goes to. Next, there is a compound interest calculator that visualizes the growth of compounding interest. Finally, there is a loan calculator which calculates how long an interest accumulating loan will be paid off. In addition, we built a chatbot that guides the user to better financial literacy. With these four tools and the chatbot, our users will be able to gain awareness in their financial decisions and make the best choice for them.

How we built it

Our team collaborated using Git, using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. We use the Bootstrap library to improve the website’s aesthetic, Chart.js to develop the plot visualizations, jQuery to simplify the JavaScript, and Microsoft Azure to implement the financial assistant.

Challenges we ran into

We ran into some difficulties when exporting the IBM Watson chatbot to our web app. Uncertain of its viability, we ended up pivoting to the Microsoft Azure chatbot instead. When calculating income tax, the math was more difficult than it seemed as certain portions of our income are taxed at different rates. With multiple provinces/territories that tax at different rates at different brackets—with a varying number of brackets as well—implementing a polymorphic solution was challenging. However, we managed to develop a solution using a clever trick in storing the tax rates and brackets.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of the visualizations we developed to help the user extrapolate their financial situation. Exporting the chatbot to our web application was also a difficult at first but ultimately proved successful. Developing the various algorithms to create each finance tool required some deep thought and lots of whiteboard work, but we are proud of what we have implemented.

What we learned

Through the development of Ependyo, our team sharpened our JavaScript skills, incorporating various libraries and API’s along the way. Additionally, we realized the importance of intuitive and sleek design in presenting data to best serve the customer. Design has been an important aspect of visualizing data as graphs.

What's next for Ependyo

There are more tools Ependyo can incorporate to fully inform users of their financial decisions such as incorporating a stocks and investing tool to observe and manage stocks, cryptocurrency, and other types of investment.

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