Temptations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of our days are spent online, and with that come many temptations. At the click of a few buttons, we're able to indulge in a shopping spree from our living room couch, or subscribe to Disney+ in addition to Netflix in order to watch the new WandaVision series. Long story short, we spend. Fighting the urge to impulse buy is difficult especially when we spend all our time online, so our group decided to make a mobile app that lets you budget based on the income you receive, and keep track of your spendings, ranging from buying groceries to online subscriptions, in one place.

Personal finance is a crucial part of our lives yet it is not something that we are taught thoroughly in school. Many individuals mistakenly overspend their income in their earlier years causing excess stress during their retirement years. The main goal of PlumP Savings is to provide a light-weight tool for users to carefully monitor their spending habits to ensure that they are readily prepared for retirement.

What it does

Our mobile application enables users to monitor their spending habits to ensure that their monthly expenditures are within their targeted budgets.

Using our application, users are able to visualize the distribution of their income sources and cash outflows. Currently, the application only supports pie charts. However, we plan to implement additional charts and progress bars so that users can set goals and have a better picture of their overall financial situation.

How we built it

Because of our team’s background in the Java programming language, we decided to build an android application using Android Studio and Java. For the application’s back-end, we used Google Firebase as our server to securely store user login information.

Challenges I ran into

We encountered MANY bugs throughout the entire duration of this Hackathon. We had a few run-ins with Git while merging as well. We found that Android applications are much harder to debug than a regular computer-executed Java program.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We were able to successfully run the application on our respective android devices. Although we were not able to implement all the features we had originally planned on doing, I think we did a really good job considering our current experience levels. Being able to develop a working app for our first time within 18h (since we spent many hours trying to get GitHub to cooperate) is a feat in itself and we are very proud of it.

What I learned

We learned how to work together as a team through the use of GitHub as well as how to effectively communicate with each other for maximum efficiency and reduce overlap. Along the way, we picked up ways to effectively Google our bugs/questions to be able to swiftly find the answer we were looking for. We learned to not work directly from the master branch. Instead, we should create sub-branches and work off of them instead. Sub-branches are then merged to the master branch when the feature has been completed and thoroughly tested. Last but not least, we learned how to develop our very first Android application

What's next for PlumP Savings

Some features that we may implement in the future:

  • Implement different modes of budgeting - i.e. Conservative (using the 50/30/20 rule)
  • Enable push notifications that ask you, "Do you really need this?" when entering a shopping app
  • Allow user to take picture of a receipt and uses image recognition API to recognize and organize the expense into different categories Eventually, we will seek to raise capital from venture capitalists in order to expand our software developer team.

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