uFincs Update #1

Just putting this out there.

Today, there is a certain matter that concerns my existence that I gladly want to talk about: the status of my current project/company, uFincs.

Introducing: uFincs!

For those unaware (aka, the vast majority of the human race), I've been working on this personal finance app called uFincs for quite a while now — more than 2 years, if we count the time spent during university. Yes, university! uFincs was originally the capstone project for my Software Engineering degree; I decided to continue working on it post graduation, in hopes of polishing it enough that it could become a full-fledged product.

If I had to describe uFincs quickly, I'd say that it's a personal finance app where you manually track all of your transactions, never having to connect to your bank. It is very privacy friendly (hence, no bank connections), being end-to-end encrypted, while trying to make the process of manually keeping track of your finances as simple and easy as possible.

So why did I decide to build uFincs, when there are ostensibly a million-and-one other personal finance apps out there? Well, it mostly comes down to dissatisfaction: dissatisfaction with what was my existing personal finance solution and dissatisfaction with the other available solutions.

First, my original solution was GnuCash. A highly competent piece of software, for which I thoroughly enjoyed entering my transactions manually using double-entry accounting, but whose interface design was... dated, to say the least. Not to mention the mobile app was a crap-shoot, so entering things on my phone (aka, on the go) was a non-starter.

I really wanted to keep the spirit of GnuCash (hands-on finance management), but most every other personal finance solution on the market was one of two things:

  1. An aggregator that just connected to your bank account

    • I hardly trust giving away my bank credentials to a third party, no matter how 'secure' they say they are.

  2. A budgeting app.

    • I don't care for maintaining budgets. I just want to quickly enter transactions and be able to view their history, along with some stats applied over them.

There just really didn't seem to be a good app that handled entering transactions manually. Yes, some (even most) apps had such functionality, but they always seemed geared primarily to connecting to a bank, so such functionality always felt like an afterthought.

Of course, I could have just made my own spreadsheet (as many people have done), but I'm a software developer, damn it! There should be a better solution out there than a damn spreadsheet!

So yeah, as part of the capstone project for my degree, I decided to build my dream personal finance app: uFincs.

That's the general backstory behind uFincs just to catch you up, so now I want to talk about where uFincs is today.

uFincs Today

After a lot of work in 2020 (including a total UI redesign, finally adding e2e encryption, etc), uFincs now stands as... an un-launched product unknown to most and used only by me. However, that is all to change soon! The most recent work I've done is on building the marketing site for the app. Once that's finished, I intend on starting the 'launch' process by getting the app into the hands of a limited set of users (aka, the beta test).

Is this less than ideal? Well yes, of course. Ideally I should have been getting the app into people's hands during the entire development/redesign process. But I was intent on building something that I was, first and foremost, proud of. Of course, the fact that I just kinda wanted to work by myself, along with thinking that "I know best" certainly couldn't have helped...

However, now that I am quite proud of where uFincs is at, I'm finally starting to break out of my comfort zone to get this damn thing in front of other people. One step at a time, better late than never, etc.

The focus of 2021 will really be getting uFincs into people's hands (aka, applying the wonder that is marketing), and getting paying customers. I'm putting it on public record that my goal is to get 100 paying customers on any paid plan (monthly, annual, or lifetime) in 2021.

So yeah, keep an eye out on ufincs.com. I'll definitely be posting here to let you know the progress on the way to the official public launch!