The dream of the side hustle

This year I’ve released three apps under the Costs to Expect name: two game scorers for Yahtzee and Yatzy and now Budget, a budgeting tool. Budget is a free app and next year the paid version will be released which, for now, I have imaginatively named, Budget Pro.

Budget Pro will be the first paid product under the Costs to Expect name and I have at least three more planned: an expenses tool, a data manipulation tool, and an importer/exporter.

Getting to this point has been a long journey. The first version of the Costs to Expect API was released in late 2018 and later that year we released our App (now redundant). The original idea was to have one App which handled all the distinctive features we wanted to support. However, as we added features, the App got increasingly complicated. Earlier this year I decided to ditch the monolith idea and build smaller, more focused Apps. To say that this change of direction paid off would be an understatement.

The first smaller app was the Yahtzee game scorer. After just two weeks, the app was complete and I was shocked at how simple it had been to create in comparison to the monolith I’d been supporting for two years. Next came the Yatzy game scorer which is just the Scandinavian version of the game. Having already developed Yahtzee, it was simple to create as the only difference was the scoring page.

Budget was next on my list. This had been planned for years and was one of the original reasons behind creating the API in the first place (Budget Pro not Budget). I took a copy of the Yahtzee App and got to work. Two months later, Budget is ready and now in beta.

To say I’m pleased would be understating things. With Budget ready, I’m more than halfway towards having my first paid product out there. If I had kept the old monolith around, I’m certain I wouldn’t be where I am now.

Budget Pro will be ready in the first half of 2023 and after writing these three smaller Apps, I’m confident of my estimate. There is always the chance that I’ll regret this decision later, but I doubt it as I have two options: one API and complex App or one API and many smaller more focused Apps – I’ll take the second option any day of the week.