During my leadership training, the instructor said before you can lead the others, you should lead yourself.

Whenever I think about the concept of leading myself, I can’t help to remind how easy it is to be carried away with day by day errands. It takes mindful actions to stay in line and marching towards your objectives.

And as easy as it is to be carried away with errands, it is easy to let go of small savings we could have. I recall calling an Uber many times and comparing prices: Oh, it costs only five brazilian reais to upgrade  my ride to Uber Black.

But assume that I take an Uber twice a week. That adds up to ten brazilian reais per week. In a year, it would have saved next to five hundred and fifty brazilian reais (roughly one hundred and thirty seven US dollars).

That's invisible money. Money I'm leaving in the table for the impression that a ride in an Uber Black takes me "better" to where I want to go rather than Uber X.

That's also the money that marketers want. Brands will try to upsell you any upgrade after they lure you to their cheapest entry product or service. This technique should be as old as marketing itself, and it works more often than not.

Wild thought, Wild Idea

It made me think: I should track that, somehow.

How can I make such invisible money, visible? That's one wild question living in my head for the past few weeks. Specially because I started planning my personal finances yearly instead of by month (as the average brazilian does).
Robert Kaplan would sIf you can measure it, you can manage it

In this modern age, perhaps I should use my software development skills to measure it. And nothing would be more modern (or hipster) than building an app for that.

Next Steps

Although I like both Modern Web and Android development, I have been focusing most of my time leading the Apple development team at Pluto TV, so starting with an iOS proof of concept, or MVC, makes sense to me.

Such application shall allow the user to input any marginal cost s/he would have and calculate instantly the savings if s/he didn't spend the money for a month, a quarter or a year.

Our memory is weak, so keeping each time you estimated a marginal cost must be also useful. And like the Clean My Mac app does, I would sum all the savings in one unified statistics for the user appreciation.

I have been studying functional programming with Clojure, so I wonder if I could leverage this project to put some of that in action. But the concept I got doesn't include the usage of any back-end service.

Prior to start developing, I will talk to some friends regarding personal finances and how do they see this problem. I may get some extra insights doing that. If you are reading this post and the problem interest you, drop a mention for me in Twitter: @thiagoricieri.