An automated expense & budget tracking mobile app designed to make spending more conscious and purposeful.
Our challenge was to design a way to encourage the act of saving money by operationalizing the desirability of this behavior. As a case study, we examined Bank of America's ‘Keep the Change’ initiative.
Walleta operationalizes the habit of saving money by providing an automated and immediate feedback system that makes users more aware of their behavior. Walleta analyzes spending habits and provides tips to users on how to lower their spending. Walleta is also desirable because it offers insights on users’ spending and saving habits as compared to their peers, therefore integrating a social component to personal finance.
Millennials, who tend to spend impulsively and are less financially literate.
Walleta aims to tackle these challenges to saving money:
Millennials are unaware of how each purchase affects their finances until they view their monthly bill. However, when they view their bill, each expense is viewed on a micro scale rather than as part of larger purchasing trends.
Seemingly small expenditures (i.e. coffee, sandwiches, smoothies) that add up due to frequency of purchase, and lack of awareness about how these purchases affect one’s finances.
Due to a lack of financial literacy, young adults are uncertain of how much they should reasonably be spending and saving each month.
Use of currency such as credit cards, Apple Pay, and PayPal further distances users from awareness of how spending affects their finances.
Walleta collects data on the user's monthly income and bills from their checking/savings and credit accounts, and calculates the user's monthly disposable income. Walleta automatically separates monthly recurring bills into major categories, but users can also enter additional monthly bills and adjust automated metrics, allowing for personalization.
On the next screen, Walleta provides guidance for the user on establishing a monthly savings goal based on spending and savings trends among the user's peers. In this way, Walleta increases financial literacy and awareness among Millennials. The user is then prompted to manually enter a savings goal, which gives the user agency and encourages them to follow through on the goal they set for themselves.
Walleta is linked to the user's credit accounts so that every time the user makes a purchase, they receive a notification that informs them how much money they just spent, how much of their disposable income for the month is left, and any spending trends the app is able to pick up based on their purchase. Different colors for the notification window indicate different statuses:
Green indicates that the user is on track to meet their savings goal
Red indicates that the user is not on track to meet their savings goal
When the user slides the notification window, their phone will direct them to view more details about their spending in the app. Note that users can view further details and analyses on what they spent their money on by tapping the “disposable income spent” portion of the pie chart (in dark green). Walleta aims to make awareness about one's spending as easy to absorb as possible through its simple and visual interface.
The design of Walleta took place during a one-week sprint. Joy and I brainstormed ideas for the app, and tied our design of Walleta to research on spending and savings habits of Millennials. We sketched out our ideas for the app on paper, and then I created high-fidelity visuals to depict our concept.
What we would do if we had more time:
It could be powerful for Walleta to further incentivize users to save in some way, such as partnering with a bank to reward users with 1-2% of their savings goal every time they meet it.
It would also be nice for Walleta to prompt an automatic transfer of the user's savings goal into their account each month.
Also, we received feedback that a notification every time a user makes a purchase might become a nuisance. It would be beneficial to think of creative and fun ways to notify users about their spending.