When building our platform – eHyve Personal – from scratch, and having received feedbacks from the first users of our demo-version, we quickly realized something big yet so obvious: Personal finance management is just that – Personal – which is no more than a true reflection of our weird habits and lifestyle.
After we built the transactions aggregation module of the platform, we were able to centralize all our accounts data into a single page. We were very excited to show our entourage how empowering it is to be able to have a bird’s-eye view of our all transactions, live, in one place. This rapidly pushed us to enrich and take the most of those data, and we started to work on our budgeting tool.
“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. (Dave Ramsey)”. From this definition, we started to develop an online system which digitally represent the well-known budget-envelopes, organized by expense category. An envelope for “Transportation/Gas”, another one for “Utilities/Mobile phone” and so on. All this with nice colors and wonderful charts, displaying the categories.
Very proudly, we came back to our early users to demonstrate our hard work. That is precisely when we had a rude awakening. Basically, all feedbacks were: “Your tool looks really nice, but I cannot use it. It does not stick on how I am organized.”. Indeed, users were right (they always are…).
We tended to overwhelm users with a daunting number of categories and sub-categories, which don’t make much sense to them…
The system we built with so much efforts was just a trendier version of what was already available in the different financial cockpits offered by banks. Trying be “one size fits all”, we did the same mistake – we tended to overwhelm users with a daunting number of categories and sub-categories, which don’t make much sense to them.
We then started to question ourselves on how we can adjust, and build something that our users want. We had to recognized that categories are important, and the “envelopes” as well. But we decided to go further: a budget should let you plan your finances, and helps you simulate changes, in order to reflect what happen in life.
One of the most innovative aspect of eHyve Personal: the concept of “financial stream”
This reflection paves the road to one of the most innovative aspect of eHyve Personal: the concept of “financial stream”. We will get on the details of this concept in another blog post, but to make it short, we consider that a transaction could be enriched with more information than just an expense category.
Let’s take a car as an example. A car is an asset which can regroup many transactions in different categories such as gas, insurances, services, parts and so on. When including the car as a financial stream into your budget, an entry will then represent the car as an asset, with all related expenses. This will let you answer the question: “How much does my car cost?”.
Now let’s imagine you need to choose between having a second car or using public transportation for your commute. A financial stream for “commuting costs” will allow you to include tickets for sure, but also the morning coffee and paper grabbed at the station, as well as afternoon snack and refreshment for the after work. This way you are able to compare an overall situation, including side costs.
One of your hobby could be riding your roaring motorcycle during weekends. As we all know, budgeting is also deciding between needs and wants. In that case, your motorbike is a want. A car and a motorbike share the same category of expenses. However, by creating two different assets, eHyve Personal will let you affect a transaction to his financial stream (moto vs car), and therefore distinguish the need from the want without reviewing five different budget envelopes.
We build a software that reflect what happen in life and let you plan for projects…
The way with live today is more made of projects than envelopes. That is the reason we build a software that reflect what happen in life and let you plan for projects. Will the solar panel on your roof and the new electric car be financially interesting compared to your current vehicles? Will renting a second home cover for the expenses and keep taxes low? Let us help you answer those kind of question and plan much more.
eHyve Personal is a platform that make money management simple. Whatever your financial situation is, eHyve will embrace it and provide insightful advices in minutes.
eHyve, January 22, 2018