Author Topic: Let's design the perfect financial tool for FIRE people  (Read 2364 times)

beee

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Let's design the perfect financial tool for FIRE people
« on: October 12, 2017, 10:16:34 PM »
Hey guys,
My name is Ildar. I'm a software engineer by day, and a mustachian by night.
I've found MMM almost 3 years ago, and since then have been maintaining 65%+ savings rate and investing in index stocks.
Part of the reason why I was able to do it is my personal finance software called HoneyMoney.

I've been running it for 6 years, but it's only in Russian right now.

The main focus of my app was always to make personal finance cool, simple and enjoyable.
Through becoming aware of your spending, you gain power to change it.

This year I want to bring HoneyMoney to the English world.
I want to make it the perfect tool for Savers/FIRE-people/Mustachians.
I think we deserve a tool specifically tailored to our needs.

You can find my work in progress here: https://HoneyMoney.io

What do you think? What will make it perfect for you?




A little bit about me:
I immigrated to Canada from Russia 7 years ago.

When I got a job, I saw how people around me spend all their income and then some on huge houses, new cars every 4-5 years, and eating out several times a week.

I didn't want that.

If we spend so much time earning money, then we should be wise about how we spend it, shouldn't we? So we need to track and plan it.

I didn't like any existing budgeting tools on the market, so I created the one I like.
And it turned out I wasn't the only one who liked it. HoneyMoney has around 300 happy subscribers now.

My goal is to work full-time on HoneyMoney because I'm really passionate about developing a tool, which improves people's lives. This is what I'm planning to "early retire to".

FIREySkyline

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Re: Let's design the perfect financial tool for FIRE people
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2017, 09:14:18 AM »
Hey Ildar. This sounds awesome (most of us are using a mess of spreadsheets and/or YNAB & Personal Capital) and your webpage looks cool. I think what most people will want to know is, what will your tool offer that existing tools lack? I'm a heavy YNAB user myself (the old desktop version, not the slow, icky web version with yearly costs). I'm interested in new capabilities, but you definitely need to figure out how to contrast yourself with existing tools.

beee

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Re: Let's design the perfect financial tool for FIRE people
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2017, 02:03:42 PM »
Hey Ildar. This sounds awesome (most of us are using a mess of spreadsheets and/or YNAB & Personal Capital) and your webpage looks cool. I think what most people will want to know is, what will your tool offer that existing tools lack? I'm a heavy YNAB user myself (the old desktop version, not the slow, icky web version with yearly costs). I'm interested in new capabilities, but you definitely need to figure out how to contrast yourself with existing tools.

Thank you!
Yep, I understand that.
I'm translating the system right now, and will have a demo account in the near future.
I plan to create several pages which describe all the differences between HoneyMoney and Mint/Ynab/Excel/others in full details.

When somebody asks me how it is different, my go to answer is to describe these 3 principles:
1) Tracking income and expenses manually is essential. That's the key to improving your financial situation through getting more aware of it.
2) Simplifying the process is important. You don't have to count pennies, think of a budget for each and every category, restrict yourself in any way and force it. If the process is not easy and enjoyable, you doom yourself to failure, you'll abandon it when the willpower won't be enough.
3) Savings Rate is the most important metric.

HoneyMoney focuses on these 3 things.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Let's design the perfect financial tool for FIRE people
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2017, 02:46:16 PM »
Sorry, haven't had the time to look at your site yet. But I can give you some general things I would like in a financial tool.

I my opinion such a tool should do a couple of things:
- show expenses
- budget your xpenses
- show level of savings and stash growth
- show total assets
- help you count how high your stash needs to be to be able to FIRE

My internet bank has a "my economy" function that shows my expenses per category. I can see per month or per year how much I spent on different categories. I use the tool very often. But I miss the option to compare several months or 2 years beside each other.
The tool also only shows me my expenses, not my savings. I want to see both.

In my stock overview in my bank I find it a difficult to see how much I build up over time. I just see what I bought the stocks for and how much it is worth currently. But I buy stock all the time. I would like to see some graphs that show how much I added over time and how much is profit.

A budget tool should probably use your past expenses and there dates to suggest a new budget.

My bank can also show me all my assets, savings, house, cars etc. But it doesn't include stock, which is stupid. I want to be able to add everything relevant (not the car) and see whether my stash in total is enough to FIRE. Now ai need to update my excel sheet manually with my stocks.

For FIRE I made a excel sheet where I can add all the parameters of our local tax system. This way I can calculate automatically how much I need to pay on wealth taxes, income taxes, stock profit taxes, after FIRE. I also have a parameter for the safe withdrawl percentage and the wanted nett spending level. So I can calculate how much I need to reduce stash to make it. I think this will be very difficult to fit internationally, because tax syatems are so different in all countries. But maybe you could pick out some of the big countries.

doneby35

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Re: Let's design the perfect financial tool for FIRE people
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2017, 05:17:57 PM »
I signed up to get notified once it's available. Would like to see how it's different or better than personal capital.

aceyou

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Re: Let's design the perfect financial tool for FIRE people
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2017, 07:30:34 PM »
Is it possible to allow users to get alerts when the sites they like post new blog posts or podcasts.  For example, I'd love to have a single place to get an alert whenever one of the following things happens:

- New MMM post
- New MadFientist podcast released
- New Freakonomics Episode
- GoCurryCracker post
- RootofGood post
- Afford Anything post

Like, a section where you have tons of these types of things available as options, and you just click on the particular ones you want updates on.  I don't know anything about programming, so I have no idea if this is a thing. 

Oh, and I checked out your site, it looks promising.  Clean, simple, and fun enough for people who are intimidated by personal finance.  Looks like you are trying to make it robust enough for people who are hardcore.  I like what you are doing.  Good luck to you.

doneby35

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Re: Let's design the perfect financial tool for FIRE people
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2017, 02:49:01 PM »
It's important that the tool is able the add all of the accounts, even if the accounts have 2 factor authentication or security questions/answers enabled. For example, Personal capital cannot add my HSA account because it requires a security question and it does not prompt for it whereas Mint does. Mint on the other hand I believe does not add Bank of America accounts if 2factor authentication is enabled.

beee

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Re: Let's design the perfect financial tool for FIRE people
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2017, 09:29:51 PM »
I can give you some general things I would like in a financial tool...

Thank you, Linda.
HoneyMoney does have everything from your post except taxes.
Taxes are too country-specific.

Is it possible to allow users to get alerts when the sites they like post new blog posts or podcasts.

Yep. You can subscribe to the websites you like via RSS (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS).
I use this client (https://feedly.com).

Oh, and I checked out your site, it looks promising.  Clean, simple, and fun enough for people who are intimidated by personal finance.  Looks like you are trying to make it robust enough for people who are hardcore.  I like what you are doing.  Good luck to you.

Yep. I want more people to start paying attention to their finances.
I say that HoneyMoney is for "Savers", but in reality most users sign up because they want to become those "Savers".


I signed up to get notified once it's available. Would like to see how it's different or better than personal capital.

It's important that the tool is able the add all of the accounts, even if the accounts have 2 factor authentication or security questions/answers enabled. For example, Personal capital cannot add my HSA account because it requires a security question and it does not prompt for it whereas Mint does. Mint on the other hand I believe does not add Bank of America accounts if 2factor authentication is enabled.

Thank you! HoneyMoney is a more hands-on approach to finances.
Mint and Personal Capital are financial aggregators which do everything automatically for you.
HoneyMoney philosophy is that you need to pay attention to your money, if you want any changes.

In addition, aggregators want you to hand over all your online banking passwords.
This is not safe, because shit happens (google "Equifax breach"), and the bank may not cover you if it happens.
HoneyMoney is completely anonymous, only email is needed.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 10:06:17 PM by beee »

beee

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Re: Let's design the perfect financial tool for FIRE people
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2017, 12:37:38 PM »
Just opened registration for HoneyMoney.io:
https://honeymoney.io

You can check out demo here: https://demo.honeymoney.io

HoneyMoney is manual by design, no need to provide banking credentials.
Totally secure, flexible (accounts and envelope-based budgeting, multiple currencies (even bitcoin)), fast, designed by your fellow mustachian.
It's for people, who want to actively track their finances and optimize them.

Future plans: add investments tracking, more savings rates reports, and some FIRE-goals tracking.


robartsd

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Re: Let's design the perfect financial tool for FIRE people
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2017, 01:14:33 PM »
I agree with your philosophy on manually tracking expenses. What I've been looking for is something that makes that tracking easy. DW and I have joint accounts. We each have Andriod devices. We make finaincial transactions at times when we do not have internet service for our Android devices. I want an app that lets me enter and review financial data offline but can sync (preferably automatically) the data between devices when a network is available. I also do not want any subscription costs. The app should allow me to decide how detailed the budgeting needs to be.

beee

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Re: Let's design the perfect financial tool for FIRE people
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2017, 01:36:40 PM »
I agree with your philosophy on manually tracking expenses. What I've been looking for is something that makes that tracking easy. DW and I have joint accounts. We each have Andriod devices. We make finaincial transactions at times when we do not have internet service for our Android devices. I want an app that lets me enter and review financial data offline but can sync (preferably automatically) the data between devices when a network is available. I also do not want any subscription costs. The app should allow me to decide how detailed the budgeting needs to be.

I have such mobile apps for both iOS and Android, haven't translated them yet. They'll be available in the next couple months, I think, for no additional cost.

As for subscription costs, it's the easiest and most straightforward way to support the development of the product.
I don't want to deal with selling advertisements or provide user information to "partners".
It's not possible to make the product free, I think you understand this.
Maybe I'll add lifetime plan down the line.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 01:43:32 PM by beee »