In America, a majpr problem exists. Far too many American come home and spend their entire paycheck leaving nothing in their savings. When retirement comes along, these Americans end up struggling to make ends meet and often these Americans need to postpone retirement. We wanted to solve this issue by instilling good values about saving money by making it fun to save and devastating to not.

What it does

Signing up with Ink requires just two things: a bank account and a Facebook account. Ink constantly monitors your spending usage encouraging you to spend whenever possible. This is done primarily by automatically transferring 10% of the cost of every purchase into a virtual savings account (so a $10 purchase would transfer $1 into the savings account). This means that, while you still do technically have the regular amount in the bank, the app will monitor it to ensure that you don't exceed your non-saved balance. Inside the app itself you can see your balance (saved, unsaved, and total), transaction history, any updates the app has to give you, and you can manually transfer more money to savings. One way we encourage savings is by automatically sending you encouraging push notifications when you save money. This allows saving money to be just as fun as spending it. You can even get streaks and achievements for patterns of good savings.

But, more effective than just the positive, kind-hearted messages that happen when you save is what happens if you don't save. If you miss your savings goal by just a bit, it's not a huge deal––Ink will simply retaliate by posting a bunch of embarrassing memes onto your Facebook feed. And, if you still don't get the memo that it isn't okay to miss your savings goal, the app gets harsher. Instead of posting harmless memes, the app takes over your Facebook account posting pictures and messages supporting embarrassing political views, endorsing violence and/or terrorism, and more. Ink is tough.

How we built it

Ink contains three components: a server, an iPhone app, and a web app. The server was written in Node.JS, the iPhone app in Objective C, and the web app in Javascript/HTML/CSS. The centerpiece of the app, the integration with banks, was handled using the Plaid API and the Facebook punishments were all delivered via the Facebook API.

Challenges we ran into

Originally we wanted to do things on Facebook such as like incriminating pages and change your relationship status. We then found out we could only post text and/or pictures so we adapted and spent more time writing a system that could be just as evil to those who don't say using just text.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are very proud of getting the bank data to work and analyzing that through the Plaid API as well as the system that creates incriminating Facebook posts as punishment.

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