With the economy suffering across the country, it is necessary now more than ever to encourage individuals to make smarter choices with their money. Unfortunately, with the fatigue of quarantining at home, managing personal finances is difficult without the help of a supplemental tool.

With the national unemployment rate at a startling 8.4% and less than 50% of American households following a budget, people are subject to the dire consequences like going into debt and experiencing extreme financial stress. Many of the issues with current budgeting services can be attributed to not engaging with their users enough or not providing enough features that are easy to use. This leads to people not sticking to their budgeting plan, worrying more about the tool rather than the plan, and not practicing self-discipline because of dull incentives.

Through Smart Spending, we wanted to not only provide rewards for daily tasks, but also promote a healthy lifestyle for its users.

What it does

It tracks user expenses and controls spending through interactive challenges and rewards, incentivizing personal accomplishments like daily workouts by increasing user budget. Entering the app, users can sign in or create an account easily and be able to save their data going onwards. The Dashboard provides a clear view of your total balance, balance goal, monthly expenses, and monthly goals. Expenses and income can be easily tracked and accessed later on through the Expenses tab. The Challenges tab promotes healthy lifestyles and provides rewards in the form of increased budget. Finally, the Debt tab is able to track what you owe to others and what other users owe you.

How I built it

Money Goals was built with an HTML/CSS frontend and a Javascript backend on

For the front-end construction, we mostly used HTML and CSS. However, for the Tips section on the About page, we also incorporated some JavaScript so that the user could navigate between tips. All of the "tips" images along with most of the other graphics were created and edited through the pixlr image editor.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We're proud of being able to finish our main features as well as being able to work well together virtually - proved to be a very valuable tool! We were also able to implement some of our additional features, like the "Future" tab with debt information.

We are also really proud of the overall finished product because it works as intended and the user experience is really smooth and positive. We think that the front and back end together work well and our project could be deployed in the real world and put to use by anyone who could use help in budgeting or managing money.

What I learned

Some of our members were more HTML/CSS experienced while others handled more Javascript, and we were able to learn from each other and the code. Some frameworks like Bootstrap were unfamiliar to some, for example.

What's next for Money Goals

In the future, we plan to:

  • connect user credit cards and make logging expenses automatic
  • create community challenges
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