While a lot of personal finance apps are all about recording how much you’ve spent in the past, Plots is all about showing what you’ll be able to afford in the future.
Users start by inputting some basic information about sources of income and monthly expenses. Like Wally+, Plots is “bankless” so rough numbers will do.
This information is plugged into a calendar-style interface, which users then populate with items they would like to buy in the future, called “wishes.” In the lingo of Plots, “wishes” can be things like a new laptop or jacket, or events like a vacation or the repayment of a loan.
When you add a “wish” to the list, you can see how your ability to purchase future wishes either grows or diminishes. If I tell Plots that I’m going to buy an iPhone 6 today, for example, I might not be able to get the new coffee maker I was planning on getting tomorrow.
According to Plot’s founder, London-based creative director Christer, the app is intended for young users (18-35) trying to figure out if going to the bar tonight means he or she can’t get a new laptop next month.
Here’s why we think Plots is, well, awesome:
1. It has a unique focus
Plots biggest competitive advantage is its promise to “help you get the most out of tomorrow” by showing you the consequences of your actions today. Not only is this the only personal finance app out there that spends so much time stressing the future, but it’s also the only one that lets you see the long-term implications of all your financial decisions. Plot fills a hole in the market that a lot of people might not have noticed was there in the first place.
2. It’s got a great monetization strategy
Plot’s “Wishes” feature gives it unprecedented access to the long-term shopping plans of thousands of users, information which can in turn be used by advertisers to determine exactly when a campaign for a certain product would be most effective. According to Plot’s founder, “advertisers would login to a web interface where they can see buying “wants” and their popularity and create a campaign based off Topics/Words (using Freebase categories) in very much the same way you would use Google Adwords.” Selling aggregated user data, coupled with a little in-app advertising, promises to be pretty solid source of income for this free app.
3. It’s just plain addictive
It’s cool to know what would happen next week if you gave in to your urge to by a new laptop today. You can spend hours seeing how purchasing decisions of today might affect your buying-power in the future. This is a great mechanism for attracting new users, as well as for keeping current ones engaged.