The idea for this project sparked from a struggle we all share as students just starting out in university and trying to learn how to be “responsible adults.” A huge part of that: are we budgeting our money responsibly? For most of us it felt like the short answer was nope! So we designed the very app that would encourage us to use the knowledge we’ve gained in the renowned Lazaridis School of Business and Economics to plan out our financial needs appropriately. And to make that adjustment to adulting slightly less intimidating, we integrated a familiar and comforting element into the application: Pokémon!

What it does

Evolve your pokemon, level them up, and teach them new moves as you save money and budget your income responsibly! When you open the app you’re greeted by your starter Pokémon. New users will be prompted to choose their starter and add a nickname. At the start of the week, the user will be prompted to input their spending limit goals for the week, categorized by typical areas of spending: rent, bills, taxes, food, transportation, entertainment, and miscellaneous. The app will generate recommended values based on the “50/30/20” economic rule of thumb, recognized by established companies like WealthSimple. It suggests 50% of one’s income goes to needs, 30% to wants, and 20% to future goals. By connecting PokéPlanner to your mobile banking app, your weekly income will be pre-divided into the aforementioned categories, and the user will be able to alter these values as they see fit. After completing the weekly goal setup, this section will show you your spending goals for that week per category. As you make purchases through your credit or debit card, your goal balances will update accordingly. By the end of the week, if your goals are met or, even better, if you saved money by not overspending on luxury items, you’ll earn XP for your Pokémon. Earn 1000 XP and your Pokémon levels up! You can also use XP to purchase accessories and moves. For future prospects, users will be able to battle other users’ Pokémon, which encourages them to level up and earn XP by saving and spending responsibly. Users will also have the option to make in-app purchases for XP directly.

How we built it

To design the layout we used Figma for the first time. We implemented the application using Django and a SQLite3 database. User accounts and their connected information including Pokémon, weekly spending goals, and purchases, are stored as Django models and accessed and updated using SQL. The use of a database allows us to keep comprehensive records of purchases and spending goals per week, providing the option for users to view their spending habits and progress over time. To make the UI more interactive we used JavaScript to hide and show different sections on the main page with buttons, so that the user will always be able to see their Pokémon at center stage.

Challenges we ran into

Due to time restraints, we had to limit the scope of what we could include in the prototype. Despite having many ideas for improving the app, like including a currency converter for international users to increase accessibility, we had to be realistic in what we could accomplish in the code for the demo and submission.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Successfully learning how to use Figma for the first time
  • Coming up with a project that we would all use
  • Utilizing SQL
  • Creating a functional prototype

What we learned

  • Using Figma
  • How to work as a team to complete a project under a tight deadline

What's next for PokéPlanner

  • Multiplayer component that allows you to battle other users
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