Healthy Cupcake = Healthy Budget
According to multiple studies, Millennials (the generation born between 1980 and 2000) are the only ones in recent history who are financially worse off than the previous generations. Yet, according to the data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey, Millennials outspend other generations on eating out and consuming alcoholic beverages. We believe this is due to many reasons, especially the rise of "Food Porn" culture on Instagram. To help Millennials make more fiscally sound decisions. we developed Fundz for Funz, which makes budgeting more fun.
What it does
FundzforFunz creates a "fun budget" for the user by collecting information on their monthly income and expenses. The cupcake represents the budget. Every time a user "digs in" to the budget, the cupcake gets "eaten" which represents their budget depleting. When the user has completely run out of funds for their budget, the cupcake is fully eaten and the user receives a warning message to cut back on their spending.
How we built it
We built the server using python and the flask framework. The data is being stored on dynamodb and managed with dynamodb ORM for python. Finally, the server is being hosted on amazon EC2 servers. For the front-end graphics, we used Vectr and Canva.
Challenges we ran into
Two thirds of our team members are first time hackers, while the remaining member has never developed an Android app. This was our first time collaborating on a project together since we are also from different schools. We all pushed ourselves by using technologies that were completely new to us. Additionally, we ran into issues with connecting to the internet in the beginning which affected our progress initially as we were unable to watch important tutorials on using Android Studio that we needed due to our lack of experience. Connecting to EC2 was also an extremely hard challenge. We launched it multiple times and everything became very confusing for hours since we did not have prior experience with denamodb and EC2.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to build a functioning prototype at Technica!
What we learned
We learned the importance of communication in team projects, as we initially struggled with finding a good platform to communicate with. Ultimately, we ended up creating our own Slack channel in the Technica workspace to collaborate.
What's next for FundzforFunz
In the future, we will be creating a widget on the homescreen that shows the user how much of their budget is still remaining. Additionally, we would like to create a button on the widget that allows them to easily state that they depleted their budget. We will also send out reminders every Monday if the user has not spent any of the money in their Fun Budget to ensure they haven't forgotten to enter it in. This app can be developed further as in it can provide the user with different tips and short paragraphs to help them manage other financially related matters. It can serve as tip of the day or different articles that the user can refer to whenever they have time. Another implementation would be asking if the user has long term saving goals. With inquiries about debts and plans for taking out potential loans, it can guide the user to know if it is practical to manage paying them off on a longer term.