The idea about Cashflux appeared far ago, and the service has been working since 2011. Its look and functionality have been changed many times, but the one constant thing was that I was developing it for myself only. During that time I have tried a lot of ideas and approaches and have tested them with my own finances. As the result I desided to improve the appearance and implement multi-user feature in order to share the service with everyone.
The main idea of the service is based on the game "Cashflow 101" designed by R. Kiyosaki, who is also known by the book "Rich dad, poor dad.". Those, who is familiar with his financial approach, will find many similar things in my service. In my opinion, the manage of private finances can be boring, complicated and inconvenient, but Cashflux turns it into a fascinating game where you will find important financial indicators, pretty diagrams and even a path to win.
First, I would like to pay your attention! Most of people refuse to deal with online services for private finances, because they do not want to trust their data to third party sides. There is a fear that the provided data can be used against them. In order to calm you down, I would like to explain some important issues.
- Actually, you do not have to hide or encrypt your data. In some cases it is enough to hide the information whose this data is. Cashflux does not require anything from you except for your Email address (only with the purpose to let you restore your password). Thus even a database administrator has no chance to find out who you are. If you worry so much you can create a special separate Email address for Cashflux only.
- The database does not store your password. Instead it keeps the password's hash only, so even in an unlikely case of hacking the database nobody can still your password.
- The service uses HTTPS, therefore when you are logging in your Email and password are encrypted and unreadable in every node of the network between you and the Cashflux server. Be careful regarding this at other websites that use http: instead of https: as the prefix of URL.
- Your data are truely deleted when you delete your account.
- In order to give everyone the possibility to know how Cashflux works in details, I am planning to share the code as Open Source.
Other day I seriously thought about implementing data encryption. As an example, I could sign any instance in the service with a special digital sign like it is done in cryptocurrency transactions. Unfortunately, all such approaches have a nasty disadvantage: the user has to keep a special file of keys at his device (or has to remember his password all the time), and in case of losing the file it is IMPOSSIBLE to restore the access. Imagine a situation, you forgot your password and the service responses to you: "We are sorry, you lost your password, so we cannot help you.". Absurdly? But that is the reality in the cryptocurrency world. In other words, if you have million bitcoins at your account but accidentally deleted your keys (for example, if your hard drive was broken) you will NEVER get your money back. Also it is necessary to mention, a private computer is much easier to hack than a web-server. So your file of keys can be copied silently with a virus, that makes your data unsafe. Considering all of this, I have made a conclusion that the simple registration with Email is much reliable for private finances. This is why it is implemented in the current version of Cashflux.
So, now I would like to tell you why I decided to develop my own service instead of using an existing solution.
To manage private finances most people prefer a sheet of paper or Excel. Also there are a lot of software to do it, but their convenience is a matter of individuality. Plus, most of them are not free and not confidential enough. As for me, I was always stopped by absence of some features such as:
1) Confidentiality. This point seems to be the most important and complicated for user. Above I described my view on it. I can add, also there are offline services for private finances. In spite of high security, because the data is stored on your device, there are some problems to use them such as: 1) syncing between devices, 2) some problems to restore the data is case of losing your device, 3) managing together with other members of your family. So you should be ready to face them. That is why, eventually, I chose the online way instead.
2) Auto calculation of expenses. Let's consider food for example. I know exactly every spend for food everyday, but I can be very wrong regarding the monthly expense in long term. If to finalize the balance each period (each month or each week), it seems to be too rough and long, and still does not show the full picture. For instance, one month I can visit a store one time more than the previous month, because this month has one more days or more weekends, or just the first and the last days were the days to buy in a store. Thus even in case of constant expense the numbers for periods may vary hard. Therefore we need a different way to analyze that must be uniform and homogeneous. To resolve this task I designed a special mathematical algorithm that calculates expenses from given history of payments at different dates. It is able to show the correct numbers after 1-2 weeks.
3) General financial indicators. Everybody is able to calculate the total sum of cards' amounts by his own. But the cashflow (the average amount of money coming for a period) is not easy to find, though it is an important indicator that could be helpful to plan your purchases in the future. In my opinion, the financial pillow and the financial stability are important as well. As it is easy to guess from the names, these indicators ensures the absence of stress and bustling in case of accidents in your life like immediate losing the income. You can read more about them in FAQ. And of course, it is impossible to not mention about the level of reachness that is the full analogue of the goal in the game "Cashflow 101" by R. Kiyosaki. If this level reaches 100%, you win the game and become a rich man.
4) Diagrams. It is not a secret, visualization is a powerful tool for analysis. In Cashflux there are various data analytics implemented. I have got to say, when I had added diagrams in the service I found out many new things about my money. In other services, there are diagrams as well, but in Cashflux I was seduced by the opportunity to add exactly those diagrams that I find interesting. I cannot assert that my choice is definitely more convenient than in other services; actually, it is subjective. I am sure, there are like-minded people in it who should like it.
5) Financial grammar. Most services allow you to add information about your incomes and expenses, but they do not advise about which move is better, what are your goals and what knowing financial grammar means. I am deeply convinced, the financial grammar is not easy knowledge, it includes many factors, so I wish we studied it at school. Cashflux shows important indicators of the quality of your financial account and is able to advise. As for the indicators, you may increase them trying to make them all green that would mean that everything is fine with your money and financial grammar.