My first project will be a community based debt snowball tracker. It will allow you to create your snowball, track your progress over time, and allow you to invite friends to hold you accountable.
This is a tool that I would use, and that would really help me. It seems that as every month rolls around, life is almost completely different. There are different expenses, different expectations and different goals. There is one thing that I want to be steadfast and true, and that is my debt payoff.
Not only my debt payoff, but accelerated debt payoff. You see, I can make the minimum payments on everything. But that’s not my goal. I want to be contributing as much as I possibly can to get it out of my life.
Without debt, people can be free to be who they want to be. They can choose to work in something that is actually in line with their passion, and not just a day job that covers the bills that they have because they are in debt.
Debt stifles you. It creates a mindset that you feel like you are stuck, but you should be happy because you have the things that you went into debt for (car, house, degree, etc.). In reality it’s just not true. There is so much more joy in working hard for something over time, and then being able to get it when the time is right.
I will never go into debt again, that’s for sure. But one thing that discourages me is the fact that if I don’t accelerate things, my payoff is going to take near 10 years to accomplish. That’s way, way too long to not be able to do the things that I want to do with my money.
There are so any people in the situation that I am describing above. They are in a lot of pain, stress and overall sadness that they can’t escape from. I hope to change that with the tool that I make.
I want to make it so that it is fun to pay off debt. I want it to be like a game. People love games, especially when they have great real life ramifications. You should have a goal, and then you should smash it, and you should be rewarded for the hard work that you put into it.
The tool itself will be a web app, as well as a mobile app. It will allow people to log in, link their bank accounts, observe their current situation and create a plan of attack for paying it all off.
It will be accessible from anywhere, and it will keep you updated about your progress often. It will remind you what your goals are and the steps you should be taking daily to get there.
The tool will also be social. It will allow you to share, uninhibited, all of the debt that you have with other people that can hold you accountable and also support/cheer for you along the way.
This aspect will be so helpful for many. I feel that many people hide all of their debt in shame. I don’t really think your friends care about what your financials look like, but rather that you are accomplishing the goals that you set out for yourself.
It will be rich in data, as well as being very user friendly. It needs to be simple enough to get the job done, but complete enough to provide all of the necessary information that a person needs to make daily financial decisions.
I’m not exactly sure when I will complete this project. It will take several months, but I need to break down the pieces of work that need to happen to get this thing off the ground.
On the back-end, the tool needs to connect to bank accounts, calculate financial data and generate plots. It also needs to manage user accounts, have a social aspect and have information that is accessible on any platform.
On the front end, it needs to have rich graphs and information specifically about what a user’s debt payoff will look like over time, and how some of the little changes they can make day to day will affect that result. It needs to be mobile friendly, designed in a way that is accessible for anyone, and simple to use.
There also needs to be quite a bit of work done getting the tool documented, packaged and deployed. Before it is released to the public, it will need to have significant marketing associated with it. I don’t want to launch to crickets.
This is a Journey
I don’t know how to do all of the things I just talked about above. I don’t know all of the code, the processes or solutions to most of the problems I will face. This will be a journey for me to show my progress as a web developer and build something that has meaning.
I will be documenting things along the way, so stay tuned. I want to fill people in on the journey and show that anything is really possible if you put your mind to it.