Initial Thoughts

Expense Tracker Project: an end-to-end solution

Initial Thoughts: higher level context

In which industry will I situate the expense tracker? Will it be in the financial planning industry? Self-development? Household management?
The different context will infuence the goals of the tracker.

Common Elements: any tracker will have certains elements in common

  • input
  • graphical display/output, UI coniderations
  • financial engine (performs core calculations such as shortfall, etc)
  • analytics / interfacing with different data sets, different apis’
  • saving to a database or local cache

The common elements can make up the minimum viable product. The specific goals of the tracker can be included as different features.

Starting point:

  • website layout: two navigation bars and hero section, use bootstrap - with mobile first strategy
  • class folder to describe object
  • database creation
  • connect database and tracker via a database class
  • figure out different types of interfaces with app: banks/credit unions, credit company, different users of same account (family members)

Key Points

  • automate calculations
  • provide variety of input points
  • easy to use GUI
  • charts and figures integration (a.k.a. choose your own adventure: different types of views based on chart type)
  • statistics capabilities (spending patterns, spending spread, etc)
  • different expense tracker versions for different users/customers (personas)

Developmental Method

  • develop for myself first (as a customer)
  • re-develop different versions for different market segments and different industry contexts (basically re-developing the tracker multiple times)

Screen shots are provided

initial design concept