Designing Finance Management Software

I’ve been playing with the idea of developing finance management software. Mostly this idea stems from my own need to manage my finances better. Beyond that however, I am interested in expense tracking, savings, and projections.

Businesses usually employ chartered accountants or excel savvy office administrators to do a lot of what I’m talking about. And I understand that its not just a matter of fancy software, but staying on top of your tracking and expense reporting. However, I believe that a system can be developed that can force (or motivate) it’s users to manage their finances better.

Right now, the components of such a system (in my mind) would include the following:

– Static recurring expenses (mortgages, insurance)
– Dynamic recurring expenses (phone bills, hydro)
– Future scheduled expenses (car, home, or training course)
– Unplanned Expenses (car accident, illness, apology gift)

– Static recurring revenue (monthly pay cheque)
– Dynamic revenue (personal profit from side business, sale of an item)
– Future scheduled revenue (plan to sell your car in the summer)
– Unexpected revenue (win the lottery, gifted cash, inheritance)

The system would show your projected expenses and revenue for the next month / year / 3 years, and give you an estimate on potential savings if don’t go outside the system.

If you would like to purchase something, either via cash or credit, you can enter the dollar amount into the system, and it could show you how that purchase would affect your future finances.

Now, what I am concerned about is the practicality of such a system, and the potential drawbacks of using or depending on such a system.

I am also aware that finance management software currently exists, however of the few that I’ve used, I’ve found them to rather un-intuative or difficult to use. Also, the software I am speaking of would be free. If there is free software out there that can do much of what I’ve just discussed, and is easy to use, please point me in it’s direction!

I would appreciate some constructive comments on this!

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