Who's Behind This
My name is James Long. I made Actual. I hope you sign up.
Me lookin' all smug because I won 2nd place
This all started back in 2013 (it's been six years? what just happened?). I got tired of having no idea what was going on with my finances. There happened to be a local hackathon going on, so I decided to go and build my own finance visualizations based on data pulled from Mint (it was the easiest way to get transaction data). The picture above is me winning 2nd place at the hackathon!
The next several years I read all about budgeting and tried many different methods. The one that stuck the most was a spreadsheet that showed all the months for a year at once and implemented something called "zero-based budgeting," where you budget all of your money into individual categories (similar to "envelope-based budgeting"). Read more at How It Works.
Spreadsheets suck at stuff like managing a list of transactions though, and I wanted automatic transaction downloading. After making several prototypes (that were so painful to use, but I forced myself anyway), around 3 years ago finally figured out exactly what I wanted to build and Actual was born. I personally have been using Actual for those full 3 years, so I am deeply invested in it.
I am working on this full-time. I was doing contracting but a few months ago stop taking work and am totally focusing on this. You can trust me about as much as you can trust any startup — anything could happen, but I'm 100% committed to building this into a real business. And remember, I don't even host your data, it's all on your device. If I disappeared Actual would keep working.
Personally, I think I've undersold Actual. I haven't even talked about the custom spreadsheet engine inside of it. The custom language and virtual machine. There are so many cool possibilities if I can get this thing off the ground. I'd love your support!
If you're interested in working together, or have any other questions, send me an email at hello@actualbudget.com.
- James
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