When I talk to people working at banks, even UI people, they love blaming their bad banking services on their legacy systems. So far I’ve been semi-succesfull in convincing people that you could do all those pretty graphs, without touching those old COBOL-mainframes.
Mint.com uses imported data.
I don’t think banks want to give you a good picture of your economy as it won’t make them more money, maybe it would make them less, and they find excuses for it. To prove a point I’d love to make a bookmarklet that uses JS to generate a page with budget data, or even import it to an online service like Swedish Spenderat.se.
One tool I love in scrum is the burndown chart. It clearly shows how much time and work is left. A quick glance shows you if you’re going to hit or miss your mark.
It occured to me that that’s exactly how I’d like my economy, my monthly spending, to be visualized. The only difference is how the goal should be to stay over the base line. Being over the line means extra money saved. Under the line means you’ll be out of money before the next paycheck.
(Made up example) Someone was able to adjust and save money.
The main point is to trigger a more saving approach and get continous feedback on ones financial situation. It’s a bit obvious, but the chart only makes sense for what you’re planning to spend until the next paycheck. Big expenses on the first day, like rent, electricity, etc, will mess up the chart.