First project – An app tracking financial independence progress

(ftr, no that’s not my financial stats)

Well it turns out that there are a lot of spreadsheets out there in the world. A lot of really good spreadsheets. Finding this one honestly really discouraged me. At first glance it seems like basically everything I want. A really nice concise dashboard for tracking progress that displays pretty much everything I want to track.

I still may end up integrating just this exact dashboard into things in the future (either a smart mirror or a smart display of some kind that’s in my face without having to specifically put it there). However, for a first project I think I want to go more down the app road. I’d love a notification on my phone displaying similar information. I’m not sure yet what direction the app will go, but I think a good starting place is just building one with a general information screen that integrates with my accounts.

Today I’m playing around with the plaid api. Sadly, this means that what I’m building isn’t necessarily shareable (for more than a hundred users they require a $500/month subscription), but I think a good place to start is building things directly for myself. It’s also possible that once I play around with the api for a bit, I’ll prefer to just scrape my everydollar account or something.

More updates to come.

A Statement of Purpose

I’m a software engineer.

I’m also one of the (seemingly many, these days) people striving for financial independence the hard way. Saving. A child of the mustachian order. An angry fientist of sorts. I’ve hesitated to start yet another fi blog because, frankly, when it comes to the general principles of saving and investing, I don’t really have any new information to add to the myriad of other bloggers out there. I’m not particularly early to this game, and I’m not a particularly interesting person. So that’s been that.

But I am a software engineer. I know that many within the fi community are in the computer industry, so I don’t think that makes me unique or anything. However, lately I’ve fallen into a bit of a rut with my fi journey and I’ve come to a place where I believe that integrating these two parts of my life more may be beneficial to both of them.

It further occurred to me that writing about the experience will not only potentially be useful to someone out there at some point, but also would keep me motivated along the way.

I want to start building tools/scripts/apps to help out in the process of becoming fi. I have some ideas of my own (I’ll probably start by writing a scraper for personal capital, because data is king), but I’m also really interested if anyone out there, maybe not an engineer themselves, or maybe an engineer with just not enough time on their hands has any ideas about ways that software could help with this whole thing. It could be an app, a site, a series of scripts. Anything really.

I’m not looking to make a bunch of money off of some idea. I just want to build things that help me and maybe share that with others if they think it’d help them too. I like the idea of the fi community helping each other out.