About This Project
The Budgeting and Expense Tracking App
You only have to take one look at South African news headlines to see what a financial crisis our Universities – and the students that attend them – are in. The #feesmustfall protests swept across our country at the end of 2015, with students demanding a decrease in the cost of tertiary education, and even though they got it there is still a lot more work to be done.
An area that needs a lot of focus is the money management skills of the students themselves. Many rely on funding and bursaries to get through their degrees and have to survive off very little money every month, which can be a difficult and stressful thing to do. Money management isn’t something that comes easily to most people, least of all students, and so I have developed a simple and light-weight app to help make the process simpler and easier. Cue MoolaMate: the budgeting and expense tracking app.
This ThundaFund Project
The first version of MoolaMate is complete and is currently available for free on the Android app store. It is time however, to make some significant upgrades to the app to make it a truly useful tool for students to use.
The R40 000 that I am looking to raise will be used to implement a range of new features that will make using MoolaMate more informative and interactive, which will make the money management process more rewarding.
To begin with though, let me explain what features the app currently has so that you can understand more clearly what it does. From there, I will explain what features I am hoping to add with your generous funding.
MoolaMate Existing Features
MoolaMate has the following features that make it ideal for the average student:
1) The file size of the entire app is only 750 kb.
2) It works entirely offline. All of the information is stored on a localised database on the phone itself, meaning that there is no data usage and that the information is always secure.
3) It features a handy and unique pay-day countdown function, which lets users know how long their remaining budget has to last them.
4) Users can view graphic representations of how their budget is performing. They can view:
– What percentage of their budget has been spent.
– A doughnut graph representing how much each budget category has used of the overall budget.
– A line graph representing the decreasing amount of their money for that month.
5) They can access their budgeting performance from the previous 3 months, with a break-down and summary of their spend for each one.
Using the app is incredibly simple. As users go about their day, they simply need to insert their expenses into the relevant budget categories. The process takes several seconds and the expenses are recorded and tracked accordingly, allowing users to view their financial situation at any point in the month.
MoolaMate has been built to a point where I have exhausted my technical skills. It has been a project that I have been working on for over a year and I have coded every aspect of it, but the updates needed to make it a long term and sustainable money management application will require some investment. The updates that I would like to implement are as follows:
1) Synchronise user’s budgets and expenses with an online database to allow them to access their budgets from other phones and to create back-ups of their budgets.
2) Create a “shared budget” function which would allow two people to share the same budget and track expenses together.
3) Release a version of the app for iOS (Apple). The way the app has been developed means that a whole new set of code is not needed for an iOS version but it will require a few unique updates and an Apple Developer Account.
4) An incentive scheme in partnership with businesses near university campuses that rewards students who achieve their savings goals. Rewards will be in the form of discount coupons and free vouchers.
5) Improved reporting features which will give users and even better understanding about how they’re spending their money. The current features only offer the very basic of information.
6) A scheduled payments feature which allows students to set debit order payments which will automatically be taken off the relevant budget category.
These updates will require someone with more development experience than myself to work on the app, which is a costly requirement. App development costs are extremely high, but the bulk of the work has already been completed which means that the overall costs will be limited.
The Value of MoolaMate
My hope is that this app will help students change the way that they look at money. Too often, people get into the habit of spending their money recklessly or worse, spending money that they don’t have. I feel that if students learn good money management skills before they reach the working world, they will be better prepared to deal with the financial pressures that all adults feel. Saving money has become extremely difficult – especially with the current cost of living – but by tracking your expenses against a budget you’re able to have better control over your spending. MoolaMate is designed to make this possible.
My name is Michael Moodie and I have been working in the digital marketing industry for the last two years. I’m trained as a journalist but was lured away from the newsroom by the potential that digital media has for a country like South Africa.
As a student, my money management skills were terrible and when I started earning a salary I tried very hard to look at money differently. My biggest issue was that I never knew where my money was going and so I decided to start developing an app to make finding that out a little bit easier, which is when MoolaMate was created.