Hey there,

A few things to share:

  • AWS Lambdas are literally the best thing which happened to me a past year in the development stuff
  • Most of the software is getting so expensive.
  • Personal budgeting is rather difficult

λ == 🧡

Server-less is a perfect match for tiny projects. I knew it. It’s obvious. It’s proclaimed on EVERY blog post, article, or whatever about lambdas. But still! It’s so enjoyable technology to work with. Even cosy I would say. I’ve made a couple of bots using it and it’s really nice. Deploy? You don’t need it! Infrastructure? click click – boom. Packages? Almost all stuff from pip/nuget. If it’s not there, you can bump it with a package. It’s literally a deploy. Upload zip and that’s it. Very cool! Pricing can be costly but not for small projects. Free tier provides you with a sufficient amount of requests and IO. Of course, you have to estimate properly what is your load before making a decision but for such things as bots, it’s just right. What is also important if you’re building solutions cloud nativish it’s so nice to use the whole spectre of AWS services from native AWS package.

“Two cups of coffee” like subscriptions

One of the advantages of using lifelog journals is to increase your ability to store and recall certain events. And to share your thoughts about badass coworkers of course. Or this stupid talkative guy in the metro. Or to memorize something cool. I barely can remember how my kids are grown but it’s so cute to look back in time at how small they were. Not all people have the same problem. Some of them “remember everything”. I don’t believe them though but the problem remains.

How to make your lifelog journal? you’re looking for an app and start using it. How to make your lifelog if you’re are a geek? You looking for a way how to automate it. Then, you will discover that for most of such software you have to pay something around 25 euros annually. It’s not an amount which I’m willing to pay for a tool with no clear goals in productivity or not saving me anything.

Personal budgeting

Talking about saving me something there’s a good example. Accounting your expenses and incomes. I don’t have a lot of incomes and neither has my wife but we have a lot of different expenses. A basic idea is to track all expenses, categorize them and analyze. “what da fuck did you drink so much coffee outside??” my wife typically concludes.

I started using for such purposes probably 10 years back. I tried:

  • Excel
  • Financisto
  • YNAB
  • HomeBudget
  • Expensify
  • ZenMoney
  • ABN AMRO Grip
  • Money wiz

All of them either subscription based/one-time payment or doesn’t satisfy my criteria. My criteria are very simple:

  1. Sync between devices
  2. Android, iOS, and fully functional Web/Desktop app
  3. SMS based transaction import. Or automatic sync with banks.
  4. Reports customization.
  5. Transaction import and export.

Point number 5 became crucial lately. Not all Netherlands’ bank sends you an SMS message when a new transaction is made. I would even be fine with email. But no. Moreover, it looks like nobody cares. I cannot understand how the bank system work here but not only because of the lack of such notifications. It’s still not Google/Apple Pay. 2k19. No. I mean you can pay (standard is there, bank support is not). Cards which are issued cannot be used for online payments unless you specifically order such card (and you’re gonna pay for master card 1 euro or so at least monthly). And then, we come to account statements. Do you remember these old fashioned transaction lists? You’re gonna have only that. So your transaction log will look like “bla bla DEBIT account”. What was there? Where? No answers. In some advanced bank systems, you can even see what is in the receipt was, which goods, what is a store location, etc.

So for me, personal budgeting is painful. I have to validate all these stupid transactions and categorize one by one. And even then there’s a huge possibility of error.

So, conclusions.

  1. Lambdas are awesome, and I’m gonna explore more what are the possibilities to use them in my work tasks and automate my life.
  2. Damn subscriptions for worthless services
  3. Personal budgeting/finance is something where a lot of improvements can be made.