Hello, Please would you consider the following budgeting tool - from experiance I can tell you it is a very powerful system for helping to save money. It may look simple but it is very effective (and apologies for the long post)
So, the concept - A graphical representation (a chart) of your spending progress day to day against your budget that gives you an exact figure, positive or negative, of where you currently are in regards to your overall budget. ( I know it sounds like something you already offer but please bear with me…)
The user would need to enter only 3 pieces of information, start date, end date and budget. From this, the app can calculate the number of days in the budget period and then the budget per day. For example, period is 01/10/17 to 01/11/2017 and lets say a budget of £620.
There are 31 days in the budget period and so the budget per day is £20. Then Imagine you spend the following
01/10/2017 Spend 1 13.00
02/10/2017 Spend 2 21.00
03/10/2017 Spend 3 46.00
How are you doing? You’ve spent £80 in 3 days out of a budget of £620 - are you on target?
You are currently £20 over budget (Spend of £80 minus Budget of 3 days x £20). You could then divide this over spend (or under spend) by the budget per day (£20) to give you the number of days you need to spend zero pounds in order to get back on track (or the number of days “credit” if you are under your budget) - In this case £20/£20 = 1 day. This number is far more meaningful that saying you have spent £80 out of a budget of £620 in 3 days.
Another example, you have spent £395 out of £620 in 18 days - how are you doing? It’s hard to know without thinking about it but in spending days you would be -1.75 days, meaning you need to spend zero pounds for 1.75 days to be back on target.
When you add these details onto a graph you see a graphical representation of how you are doing. It turns saving into a game as you try to widen the gap between budget and spending, it makes you take responsibility for every transaction as you immediatly see it’s impact on your overall position. You also have a very accurate number that represents your current position, rather than some rough idea (which then allows you to kid yourself that you can afford something)
When you make a purchase, you immediately see the effect on the chart. It creates a strong desire to reduce spending and it makes you question the necessity of every purchase. The user is forced to take responsibility for everything they buy as the impact on the overall position is instant and not something that can be “caught back later”
Please see the attached picture for an example. The straight diagonal line is the budget line, the line that snakes around it is the spending line. The difference between the two (purple line) is how well you are doing. It is trying to get this line higher (making the gap between the too blue lines wider) that becomes the game and ultimatly leads to effective saving. I know this because I have tried many approaches and this is the only one that worked. I think it would be a great addition to your app as I am sure it would help many people save a great deal and arrive at the end on the month under budget.
Thanks for reading.