Competition and why I choose to ignore it

Published at 2018-10-20

During a call with Matje, who showed interest in the project, he mentioned a certain budgeting software. He was a bit skeptical that I didn’t have heard about the app and didn’t research that many competing applications altogether (trust me, I did look at 20 or more, that was enough).

After I had a look at the mentioned application, I knew it didn’t turn up on my radar for good reason: It had neither of the two key features in Budgetfuchs. The harsh truth is: the majority of budgeting and personal finance applications out there are merely scratching the surface without going the extra miles in terms of collaboration, long-term planning, forecasting and even reporting can be missing.

I should mention that the various reports offered by hledger are quite an inspiration for me. Statements for balance sheet, equity shees, cash-flow, income, register and all those can be filtered for all sorts of aspect and grouped by week, month, quarter and year. Try doing that in Excel.

At a vernissage yesterday I had a quite interesting conversation. I overheard two guests talking about Excel, naturally I joined in by mentioning that I do collect specialized Excel files as inspiration for Budgetfuchs. One point made was that few people (and in this case the man’s ex-wife) have a insight on how little they are actually saving; and how small changes to their monthly recurring expenses (e.g. subscriptions) will result in tremendous gains further down the road.

What an interesting idea to visualize this benefit in Budgetfuchs.

I need a co-founder

Published at 2018-10-11

Whatever list of advise for a founder you read, there’s one I’ve kept violating for far too long: Don’t start alone

Budgetfuchs/Budget-Fox has been going since March, the app is getting useful and with just a few changes it should be ready for customers. This is in my eyes the ideal moment to get a second person onboard for these two things:

Product Ownership: I’ve out-grown this one. Budgetfuchs doesn’t have customers yet so I need a strong second opinion, someone to set course for this ship.

Marketing / Growth Hacking: Programmers can create amazing things, but without marketing it is completely worthless. I have a basic understanding and some ideas how to approach this but I’m also a very introverted person and no good at marketing.

If you think budgeting and accounting is awesome, if you keep your own household accounts or want to, if you didn’t have to look up “product owner” on Wikipedia, if you ticked off a box on your bullshit bingo when you read “growth hacking”, if aren’t afraid of working with a nerd on a lean startup (ha, another box ticked!) then please do write me:

Want to get a better picture of where the app is at right now? Try the demo

PS: I’ve worked almost eight years for people I never met in person and who were six timezones away. Budgetfuchs will be a remote operation through-out, but in case you are near Linz, Austria, that’s just a fine.

Budgeting as a family or couple

Published at 2018-08-02

Graphic based on
Think about the classic household accounts ledger on paper.
Throughout the month you pencil in your expenses in detail. At the end of the month you add them up, sort through them to figure what category (or the envelopes many like to use) went over or under budget. Doing such a hand-written ledger together as a couple or family gives you one not so obvious advantage: it’s hand-written. You can tell who spend what.

When I started my budgeting/accounting on the computer I did them just for myself but with a family now I have to think beyond my own scope. Putting this feature into code for Budget Fox was surprisingly simple and still, a lot of similar software does miss this great feature. You might be able to use small hacks like sharing an excel file with a person column or adding your initials to entries in less flexible software, but that’s unlikely to give you extra power when you want to create a report.

With Budget Fox you can invite your spouse, kids or even your accountant and let them access your ledger. We are still working to give this feature a lot more meaning but it is already very useful.