It has long been said that necessity is the mother of invention. That's definitely true with FitFin, a tool that's been five years in the making.
It all started when my wife had twins in April of 2009. We went from having one kid to three, overnight. In the months after they were born, my wife would call or text me at work at least three times a week, asking me to swing by the store on the way home to pick up diapers, etc. I'd probably spend $25.00 on Monday, $15.00 on Wednesday, and another $30.00 on Friday. I started stressing about how to stay on top of these expenses.
I tried using a popular personal finance software, but it was intimidating. Then I simplified things and created my own spreadsheet to help me track. This worked well, but I found that I'd stopped tracking things after about two months, mainly because it was inconvenient to disrupt my routine to go sit at a computer and look at numbers. Silly, I know, but the truth.
The idea to combine my shopping list with my budget came to me in the baby aisle at Target. It made total sense to have a tool that allowed me to look at my budget right when making my shopping list, not after I went to the store like with other programs. When I had the idea in the summer of 2009, I'd never heard of a smartphone or mobile technology. Luckily, the "there's an app for that" craze soon went mainstream, allowing for things that used to only happen at a desk to now happen on the fly!
It's taken nearly five years of trial and error to create a tool that would allow me to budget in real time. And although my original idea was selfish in nature, I did discover on this journey that:
- Only 1/3 of Americans have a budget
- 25% of Americans have no savings at all
- Only 18% of Americans are confident that they'll have enough to retire
- 36% of Americans don't save anything for retirement
These are stats I picked up while in the process of creating FitFin. They made me realize that there are others who could use this tool. That's why I'm so excited to finally bring it into the world! It's my hope that it can help you in one or many ways. Whether you need assistance with saving money or just want the best grocery list maker available, FitFin can help. It's been my passion to build this tool, and I'll continue to work hard to make it even better. We're already figuring out ways to make it more powerful, convenient, and intuitive.
Oh, and you may be wondering about our name. FitFin is short for Fit Finances. If you want to get in better physical shape, you exercise regularly and you watch what you eat. If you want to get in better financial shape, you monitor your budget regularly and watch what you spend. Thus, FitFin.
I truly hope that FitFin will improve your life. Please drop me a note and let me know what you think about it, good or bad. And thanks for joining the FitFin community!
Rick Portillo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
March 1, 2014