We have published a few minor updates to Budget – one which improves the usability of the Budget overview and several minor changes to improve the overall quality of the App.
We have added an account filter above your Budget overview. This new filter lets you see which budget items belong to which account. You can now set a colour for each account and filter by account, this should make it easier to see where your money is needed.
Changes and fixes
We noticed some other issues with the App and have implemented the changes and fixes below.
Updated the styling for all the forms in the account section.
Updated the styling for the start and demo forms.
Corrected the navbar background colour on public pages, no more colour switching after signing-in.
Corrected a spelling error in the newly registered email.
Spent a little time refactoring the Budget service ready for future updates.
In the next release we are hoping to improve the onboarding experience as we know getting your data into an App is a problem, no one likes data entry. The new tool should make it much simpler to get started, we will post more when we are ready to show you.
We have pushed out the final changes for the official release and Budget is ready for primetime. Most of the changes were spit and polish, we needed to make sure we had dotted all the “i”s and crossed all the “t”s.
The beta started in earlier November and it’s been an eye opening two months. Our users helped us improve the App to a level I don’t think we could have got it to on our own.
We have streamlined updating your balances. The first step in the workflow is updating your balances. Previously you needed to do this per account, the new set balances screen allows you to set all your current balances in one go.
Forgot your password?
It turns out we had failed to implement the forgot password function – you could do it directly by the API but that option isn’t suitable for many users. Forgot password now exists; hopefully you never need it but if you do, creating a new password is one email away.
The monthly summaries have all been tweaked but more importantly, the summary for the current month now only calculates the total income and expense for “unpaid” budget items. This should make it easier to reconcile with the projections.
Lots of Content
We have added a Budgeting section to help get you started and added additional help pages. We also took the opportunity to rework the menu, navbar and footer for all the added content.
We have more planned but are going to shift our focus more towards Budget Pro. There will be a small release at the start of February with a couple of new features and of course we will fix any issues we spot in the meantime.
Budget Pro is due to be released in the first half of this year. We have a lot to do and have learned so much from getting Budget ready for all of you.
We have published a few minor updates as we get ready to remove the beta tag and replace it with an official tag.
If you use the show and hide paid toggle, you will no longer need to keep toggling it as you use the App – we have updated the App to retain your view preferred setting so where you go we display what you requested.
Improved budget item list search
We have reworked the search for the budget items list. The search will now match your search term against the name, description, and amount for each item, this should make it easier to find what you are looking for. Additionally, the entire row for a budget item will remain visible, not just the half containing the match.
We have also adjusted the spacing in a couple of sections, tweaked the footer, fixed an alignment issue on mobile and renamed the “back” button when viewing a budget item.
The next release will be the official release. We need to do a final pass over the content and add more help pages. We’re aiming for the end of this week.
We have published another couple of updates and fixes for Budget, this time we reviewed the demo.
New users can load a demo on sign-in, this makes it easy to review the App design and all its features without first having to enter your data. The demo didn’t do a good enough job of highlighting the features of Budget so in addition to now including a one-off expense, the demo also includes examples of disabled, paid, and adjusted expense items.
The demo is now also aware of when it is created, one off and annual expenses will always be visible in the first displayed month.
We have continued to tweak the Budget overview, we have added spacing to separate sections, adjusted text sizes where we felt necessary and tweaked the pagination so that you will always return to the projections.
When a budget item is deleted, local cache will be deleted if necessary.
We have removed some unnecessary backend dependencies.
On the way
We have two major features on the way – support for batch actions (marking multiple expenses paid etc.) and budget overview sorting controls. These will be the last two major features before we remove the beta label.
We have published another couple of updates and fixes for Budget as we took another look at the projections and monthly totals.
We weren’t happy with our previous tweak so we had another go. The “Edit account” button didn’t seem in the right place and it felt like the dates and balances were not aligned.
Expenses per category
Below each month we have added a visual overview of the category splits for all your expenses. The ideal goal is 50% fixed expenses, 30% flexible expenses and 20% savings/pension – the little indicator gives you an idea of where you are.
Expense & Income per account
We have updated the total expenditure and income totals for each month. Rather than a single total value, we now provide a total per account and if there is more than one account, there is an overall total. The goal is that this should make it simpler to work out the budgeting requirements for each of your accounts.
We have fixed the navbar on all content pages, the menu should be in line with the logo.
We have tweaked the Budget overview search when you type fewer than three characters.
We have published a few more new features for Budget – all focused around improving the usability of the Budget overview. Check it out or continue reading to find out more.
We have added a simple search to the Budget overview which should make it easier to find the expense you’re after especially now that we’ve increased the number of budget items to 100. Once you enter three characters in the search, the Budget overview will start filtering.
We have added a toggle to allow you to show and hide paid budget items. This is particularly useful near the end of the month when you want to see the last few remaining expenses. No more searching, just click the button and we hide all the budget items you have marked as paid.
Multiple “new” buttons
We have split the “New Budget Item” button and there are now three – “New Expense”, “New Income” and when conditions are met, “New Saving”. The forms for each have been slightly reduced as we have been able to remove any fields not necessary to the budget item type.
On the way
We have several features in the works and in the next version we are hoping to add support for batch actions. You will be able to mark multiple expenses as paid, no more needing to go into each one.
We have published a few new features for the Budget App which are now available – check it out or continue reading to see what we’ve changed.
We use Budget ourselves and our mantra is that if it isn’t suitable for our needs, then it isn’t likely to be suitable for anyone else. We received feedback concerning the limit and got close to hitting it ourselves. We don’t want to think about reaching the limit again so we’ve increased the limit to one hundred budget items.
If you track multiple accounts, there is an important piece of information missing from the Budget overview – the account an expense relates to. Space is at a premium on the Budget Overview; we can’t add the name of the account in addition to everything else as it will end up looking too busy. To solve this, we now allow you to set a colour for each account. Each expense will now include a small icon in the relevant colour so you can identity the account related to the expense.
We have made a couple of minor changes to the design of the projection sections – primarily for mobile users. This area of the Budget overview is very much work in progress and we are figuring out to use the extra space for tablet and desktop users.
We have tweaked the expense bars to show a larger differentiation for smaller value expenses. Under £5 will now display differently to under £25.
We have made a couple of minor content changes and update the included env.example file for any developers who may want to host their own version of Budget.
On the way
We have several features in the works, feedback has been incredible and by using it ourselves, we are able to see where the usability falls down.
We are going to add a search to the Budget overview
We are going to add a “transfer” option – more on this soon.
We are going to add the ability to act on multiple budget items at once. Again, more on this soon.
We have published a couple of fixes for the Budget beta both of which relate to editing an expense.
Account / Target account
When you edit an expense, the “account” and “target account” fields will now be set to the correct value. Previously, the first value was always selected.
Editing a one-off expense and changing the “due date” could cause the expense to disappear. The expense still existed; it just wouldn’t be shown because of a data issue relating to its end date. We have corrected all one-off expenses and they will display again.
We have a couple of fixes on the way:
We are going to make the app easier to use for people who have multiple projection accounts.
We are going to increase the limit for expense items. A freelance user informed us that they need to use one-off expenses and the limit of 35 isn’t friendly for that type of usage so we are going to set the limit to one hundred.
We have released an update to Budget which includes the first batch of changes raised by our beta users.
Please review the below and let us know if there is anything we have missed. Our goal is to make Budget as easy to use as possible and all the lessons we learn with Budget will make Budget Pro better.
Locked in the demo
Users who opted to load the demo felt locked in once the demo had loaded; there was no obvious way to return to the beginning and create your own Budget. Our thought process was based around the user “adopting” the demo and using it as the starting point for their own Budget. We have added a button which always shows next to “Adopt” which takes the user to the reset page so they can reset their App and start afresh.
We had added four more currencies to the App – Candian, Australian and New Zealand Dollar and the India Rupee. We will add additional currencies upon request – just let us know if there are currencies you’d like included.
Hello fellow developers!
The Budget App is open source. We reviewed the README and have updated the installation instructions to ease setup and we have added some helpful values into the .env.example file.
You can set up your own instance of Budget or even submit suggestions via GitHub. All contributions welcome and very much appreciated.
This release continues to clean up the API and correct some of the design issues introduced during the addition of new item types. Forecasting and budgeting will be making their way to the API soon, it makes sense to simplify some of the unnecessary abstractions that crept in. The forecasting and budgeting system will not behave in the same way as traditional expenses so it doesn’t make sense to try and adapt the system I had, rather allow there to be differences between all the item types.
There are 11 development stories (more will be created) and the rest of the tests to write, the API will then be ready to ship, well, the soft release will be ready. The API is not officially ready until the documentation has been moved away from Postman and budgeting forecasting support exists, either way it will be a massive milestone for us.
After that, I move towards getting the App to the same stage, soft release. When the App and API are at the same milestone, development begins on forecasting and budgeting, there might be a small intermission whilst I build another app but that can be thought of a proof of concept for the budgeting.
The next four months are going to be full-on, all we can do is see where we are in September and go from there.
We have added our first schema files for OPTIONS responses and started working on the tests.
We have added tests for category management, found one bug when creating the tests.
We have updated our response class for OPTIONS responses, we now allow parameters to be defined for POST requests. One example of where we need this is the create password POST request, password and password_confirmation are required fields, however, token and email are required parameters. Before this update, you had to parse the returned error of read the OPTIONS request description.
We have started splitting config files, a config file should be for one purpose.
We have spent quite a bit of time reviewing the API structure and refactoring. We have removed unnecessary complexity, renamed classes and methods to describe intent more clearly and removed pointless base classes.
We have reworked how allowed values are generated for the different item types, allowed values for fields and parameters have been split, and we have removed all abstraction.
We have removed some route validation files which didn’t do anything useful after all the item type work.
We have reworked the responses class, removed exception parameters when not necessary, pass in an exception if thrown and now delegated responsibility to the responses class to decide if the exception should be returned in the response.
We have upgraded the API to Laravel 9 and PHP 8.1.
Options request incorrect for the auth.register endpoint (Test added).
Options requests returning response twice.
Type corrected in OPTIONS response, authentication status/requirements now a boolean, not a string.
Minor correction to the description of two POST endpoints.
Corrected a type in the OPTIONS response for the month parameter.
Corrected the partial-transfer JSON schema file.
Allowed values not showing for category on GET endpoints.
Inconsistent usage of the responses helper.
Category validator allowed duplicate names due to incorrect params, caught by model.
We have removed the ItemType base class and all the child classes.
We have removed a redundant validation class and moved the response method into the main response class.