A lack of financial literacy has caused large credit debt in the U.S. Beginning from 2022 Q3, the average credit card balance has reached $6,004 per person which leads to a total of $925 billion of credit debt in total. According to CBS News, 59% of Americans who earn less than $50,000 a year carry a credit card balance from month to month. As credit debt accumulates under interest rates and inflation, individuals would find it harder and harder to get themselves out of debt. Once individuals are in debt, reaching their other financial goals become much harder. Besides lowering an individual’s credit score, debt may lead to a delay in educational goals or a feeling of being trapped in a job which decreases a sense of fulfillment in life. According to a new survey from Bankrate, 40% don’t know the interest rate they’re being charged on their credit debt.
A report from the National Financial Educators Council shows that 38% of individuals in a recent survey said their lack of financial literacy cost them at least $500 in 2022. The average cost was $1,819, according to the survey, among about 3,000 adults across the country.
It is important to raise the financial literacy of U.S. citizens.
What it does
With Finlead, companies can empower their employee by providing daily educational financial knowledge and developing the habit of making budget plans. On the ‘Explore’ page, employees can read through daily financial news and one financial awareness lecture. After employees finish reading, they will get Fincoins which can be used to redeem gift card rewards. This feature aims to make users motivated to learn financial knowledge day by day to raise awareness. On the ‘Journey’ app, users can track their monthly spending report and their savings from our ‘Round-up’ saving plan. This plan is aiming at help users to save money while spending, they can set different round-up percentages for different categories of spending to better constrain certain areas of spending. For example, when the user spent $3.01 on food, the app would automatically puts $0.15 into savings if the percentage is set to 5%. From building savings and spreading financial knowledge, Finlead aims to raise financial literacy and control individual owes to help its users.
How we built it
We used Flutter and dart to build the APP.
Challenges we ran into
We had lots of difficulties when writing code in flutter as we are all new to flutter and have to learn it from scratch.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to complete this prototype of FinLead in under 24 hours, which I am very proud of. We did not know about Flutter at all before the hackathon but we learned it from the scratch and used it to write our entire project. We learned by ourselves from the website, Youtube videos, and from mentors. We were really proud that we learned a new coding language for app development.
What we learned
I learned so much about app development and front-end development, as well as the coding language of Flutter. Besides, we also learned a lot about the current status of credit debt and the financial literacy level in the U.S. and methods to encourage saving habits in the no-saving population and their purchasing habit.
What's next for FinLead
We found that most employees found their 401k and IRA very confusing. Some want to check how much more they can put into the IRA and how far they are from their set savings, and others want to check all 401K accounts and receive notifications of transferring savings to avoid tax penalties after changing jobs. In the future, we hope this app can visualize and centralize their retirement plans.