Inside Even

The money funnel

How we watch our money disappear.

The way you manage money on uneven pay is easy to represent as a funnel.

The following description of that funnel is a synthesis of dozens of people’s responses to the prompt, “Think back to the last time you got paid. Can you walk me through what you did next?”

On payday, when your paycheck is deposited in your checking account, money enters the top of the funnel.

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Now that you know how much money is in the funnel, you start a 2-step process.

Step 1: Cover priorities

Within the next few days, you move most of the money back out of the funnel by allocating it to your priorities. You do this by paying bills, setting aside for upcoming bills/expenses, and sometimes saving.

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Step 2: Spend the rest

With the money for priorities out of the funnel, you shift into “spend the rest” mode. You can safely let what’s left in your account (minus anything you’ve set aside for upcoming expenses) flow out through spending on “everything else.”

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So what?

Although people often sign up for Even expecting we’re going to give them some sort of complex expense-tracking-and-budgeting wizard, the underlying behavior they’re seeking help with is really quite simple: cover priorities, spend the rest. And there’s no reason we can’t provide them with a service that’s equally simple and built around their existing 2-step flow.

But why do people even need some kind of service, if their process is so simple? Because the version of the funnel I represented above is quite idealized.

In the next post, I’ll take us on a tour of a more typical money funnel, the many things that can go wrong inside of it, and what that shows us about the kind of money-management service people might need.

Until then, here’s the complete, ideal money funnel:

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