Budgetwise Update November 2021

The recent news about the YNAB price increase has led to many people looking for alternatives, and it’s changed the landscape for budgeting apps, including Budgetwise.

We had a clear plan heading into the end of the year, and all efforts were focused on that plan. However, we’ve gotten a lot more site traffic, signups to our newsletter, questions in Discord, and emails with tons of questions, which required us to pivot and adapt.

Alonso and I discussed several times whether we should continue pushing to finish v1.0 as soon as possible or spend some time developing and fixing the current version so it’s comfortable and usable without compromise. After some more discussion and a few facepalms, we decided that the best way to deliver and provide the most value to users is to have something working now.

Initially, we were focusing solely on building the new version of Budgetwise, but with so many people suddenly needing to find a new home for their budgets we decided to temporarily pause that and focus on getting the current version to a stable state. We will be opening user registrations back up tomorrow and pushing out fixes before the holidays for several things including:

  • The budget page displaying all values as “0.00” or flashing the incorrect values
  • Long load times
  • Fickle, broken import tool
  • Input fields clearing out before data entry is complete
  • Deleting or resetting budgets works only some of the time

Naming Releases

In all of our communications up until now, we called the upcoming version of Budgetwise “v1.0” which was short and simple. The current version has been referred to as “old Budgetwise”, “v0”, “beta”, “early access”, etc. To keep things simple we decided to start naming our releases now that there are two active projects.

Budgetwise v0 or “early access” will be named Budgetwise Pacioli.

Budgetwise v1 will be named Budgetwise Archimedes.

This naming convention will help us communicate which version new features and fixes are going out to, and until we release Archimedes, it will be an easy way for users to differentiate which version they are talking about.

What’s the difference between each version?

Budgetwise Pacioli is what’s existed since day one, when it was a very simple skeleton used as a tech demo and continuously evolved. Features and functionality were added on quickly with guerilla-style development practices and there was very little time or opportunity to improve the foundation. It works, but some bugs like the ones mentioned above still exist to this day that continue to affect some users and are preventing many from fully using Budgetwise.

Archimedes is a complete rewrite from scratch, with well-designed software architecture, features that have been planned alongside each other instead of tacked on sequentially, and a huge focus on performance, reliance, and scalability. We’ve worked very hard on developing a strong foundation and building on top of that, to prevent any of the issues that plagued the first version. No “minimum viability” mindset, quick-n-dirty solutions, or shortcuts in order to release faster. This version will be guided by one principle - make it right, or do not ship.

Why is Archimedes taking so long?

It’ll be a year and a half this December since the new version was announced. That’s a long time! We underestimated the amount of time it would take to move to different technology and a better architecture. There’s more behind this that we will be happy to explain in a more technical post, but for now, I can say that porting over the existing features and data, adding new features, improving performance by several magnitudes, and totally gutting and rebuilding the foundation is a lot of work. By fixing the current version and making it comfortable for users, it will let us take the time we need to make it right and ship the exact vision we have for Budgetwise.