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Budgeting apps may be smart, but can they hold you accountable?

Today, 34% of 18 to 34 year-olds have at least one budgeting app on their phone, but how useful are the tools that exist today? According to experts, they fall short in two crucial areas that are foundational to our vision: holding users accountable to their budgets and educating them about the long-term strategies that help them truly build their wealth. That’s where we come in.

Our vision is to demystify financial planning for all, not just to help people with short-term savings goals that they set and forget. Will you be able to build a budget in StashUp? Yes. But what comes after that? Let’s talk a bit about how we plan to provide functionality that will help build that missing accountability.

We are building our app to merge the budgeting tools users expect with powerful payment functionality and controls that will allow them to stay accountable to the goals they set, rather than simply checking them at the end of the month. While we are working toward this functionality, we’d like to set up a hypothetical situation.

Let’s say you are a StashUp user who has set a concrete budget at a large, brick-and-mortar supermarket. As you approach, your phone buzzes. StashUp has sent you a notification: “It looks like you’re approaching ABC Superstore. As a reminder, you’ve spent $246.45 out of your $300 monthly budget for this vendor.”

You browse the store, place your items in your cart, and approach the register. The cashier scans your items and the total now reads “$57.43”. You pull out your phone and open StashUp to pay. Before your payment is processed through the app, you get another notification.

“It looks like this purchase will put you over your monthly budget at ABC Superstore? Would you like to update your budget?” You are still figuring out exactly how much you are willing to spend with this vendor, so you go ahead and hit “yes.” StashUp adjusts your budget to meet this new limit. The cashier processes your payment and you leave the store.

At the end of the month, StashUp notifies you that you overspent at ABC Superstore. It asks if you’d like to review your budget for that vendor. Over time, as you adjust your spending within that category, StashUp will intelligently modify your budgets to learn from your behaviors, while still encouraging you to be thoughtful about that spend.

By merging payments technology with budgeting functionality, StashUp can make budgeting an active part of your spending habits, rather than a passive process you consider at the end of the month. Building that habit and deepening your understanding of how and where you spend your money is the best way to ensure you are meeting your financial goals.

While the scenario above is hypothetical, we are building StashUp to create a seamless, simple, and smart budgeting experience that can help everyone build their financial future. If that sounds like something you would benefit from, make sure to follow us for development updates.

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