Jelly Fin: Automate Money To Live Better
Jonathan Irvin Aug 10 Updated on Aug 14, 2018
This is just a brief write-up about a personal project I've undertaken to abstract on an Excel spreadsheet I use for personal finances.
Chances are, you're a developer. Functions, variables, and constants are commonplace in our world. If you've never touched Excel, Microsoft's Spreadsheet tool, you could probably keep your head above water given enough time with it.
My wife pays the bills. Initially when we got together, she would monitor the bank account and use an app to keep a ledger on the transactions. She would input the transactions that have already occurred and input postdated transactions to predict the balance in the future.
The minimum balance of the bank account from now until the last postdated transaction was the amount we could spend without overdrawing the account. It's a rudimentary way to handle the finances, but it worked.
Fast forward to present day. Tracking individual transactions and making sure they align with your bank account is tedious. We offloaded most of our variable transactions to a credit card so what's left coming out of our shared account is constant amount bills and we can pay a flat rate to the credit card to clear any balances charged. Using constants, we're able to predict the balance of our bank account as far as we want. Right now, we're tracking to the end of the year.
So, here's my goal. I'm going to wrap an app using serverless technology (because the idea of not having to spin up VMs and code a crazy backend sounds like magic). The frontend will need to work on Android and iOS (maybe web later). I'm not set on a frontend framework yet, but it'll probably be React.
Ultimately, I want the app to be able to forecast our balance 3-6-12 months into the future and any variable transactions (like our electric bill) I want to use some statistical analysis to track seasonality...meaning if you know your bill goes up on average 40% from April to May, I want to predict that amount and help tighten the gap between a yearly average and actual values.
Anyway, that's the idea. I'll share more details later as the app progresses. You can follow along at #jellyfin