When I first met hubby, I was blissfully unaware of just how his mind worked. As I got to know him, I realised that his career in web development was the perfect fit for how his brain worked. He questions absolutely everything; likes to find a solution to every problem and refuses to accept things at face value. There aren’t many hours in the day when I can’t see the clogs in his brain turning!
When our thoughts turned towards starting a family, my instinct was to start choosing names, cooing over scan photos and eventually, telling our happy news to friends and family; hubby’s instinct was to set those brain clogs spinning.
He’d heard about the research which suggested that it costs almost £250k to raise a child to the age of 21. Hubby being hubby, he couldn’t accept that could be true. Who had that kind of money? Who had it once, let alone twice, three or even more times over? How did they come up with that figure? I wonder if you can guess where I’m going with this?!
Yep, you guessed it. Hubby wanted to disprove this figure and decided we were going to embark on an 18 year social experiment to do so – yes, we were going to record every single expense for our son Jack, who was born in June 2013.
At first, I thought it was a flash-in-the-pan idea and that he’d get bored pretty quickly. How wrong was I?! Initially everything we spent got rather crudely recorded on a spreadsheet which hubby edited after each shopping trip. I soon got used to holding on to my receipts!
But then things got serious. In between his day job of contracting, hubby began building Version 1 of the app to record the expenses. This first version was very simple and just replaced the spreadsheet that we’d been keeping. However, as time went on, more detail was added and I soon found I had a part-time job in recording everything we were spending.
However, as time rolled on and hubby developed the app, adding more features, I began to realise this wasn’t just about recording our expenses for our, by now, two boys. Hubby had a vision for a data management system and our social experiment was providing him with a vast amount of data which he could use to test and develop what he’d already mapped out in his head.
Though I have very little understanding of the development side of things, I began to understand the vision hubby had as I watched the app develop. It suddenly dawned on me what it was capable of and indeed, I’ve been able to contribute a few ideas of my own, much to hubby’s annoyance!
Now I’ve explained how it began, I’ll be sharing more information about the project and the app’s features in coming blogs. In the meantime, please follow us @coststoexpect and let us know if you’d like access to our beta app!