Scale-ups in the spotlight

MoneyCoach helps people get their finances in shape and build money muscles.
Posted on June 15, 2021

What started out as one man’s personal budgeting app has gone international in a big way. Co-founder Perjan Duro explains how MoneyCoach is helping millions of people get their finances in shape and build their money muscles for the future.

MoneyCoach Co-founder Perjan Duro

Why don’t you start by walking us through MoneyCoach.

MoneyCoach is an intelligent iPhone app that helps you control your spending and achieve financial wellness. You set it up with some basic information like how much you have in your bank account, when’s payday and how much you earn. Then you start adding budgets: anything from monthly groceries and utilities to education and entertainment. After that, you just enter your expenditures from day to day, and MoneyCoach tells you if you’ve reached your spending limits.

But there’s more. You can also set up goals – like a holiday or major purchase – and MoneyCoach will nudge and motivate you to save for them. The app also generates reports to help you understand your spending behaviour.

MoneyCoach keeps you in line and helps you ‘work out’ to develop healthy financial habits and the financial strength to achieve your goals – just like a personal trainer!

So what got you interested in financial health in the first place?

Growing up, no one really taught me how to manage money. Years later when I immigrated to Germany with my wife, I amassed a lot of debt that I had to pay back as soon as possible.

After searching for and not finding a suitable solution, I started working on MoneyCoach as a personal tool – it was never meant to be released to the public. I simply wanted to understand where my money was going and find a way to pay off my debt.

What was the turning point?

Seeing that I was not alone, that there were millions of young professionals and millennials all around the world struggling to manage their finances and pay off their debts. That’s when I knew MoneyCoach needed to be for everyone to download and use for free.

I remember when the first reviews came pouring in. Users spoke from their hearts about how an app I had made for myself as a side project was helping them to save money, reduce stress and even improve their mental health. I was like: ‘I’m positively affecting the lives of all these people with just a few thousands lines of computer code. What?!’

I can honestly say this is why co-founder Krist and I show up every day to work on MoneyCoach.

What do you see as the biggest hurdle to working on our financial health?

The will and commitment. It’s like getting rid of those extra kilos: you have to understand your body, calculate your daily calories, go to the gym and stick to a diet. MoneyCoach can help you do the same thing for your finances, but it’s up to you to work at it every day if you want to be financially fit.

How do you measure impact, and what have you achieved so far?

An increase in new users and daily engagement is always a good sign. Needless to say, MoneyCoach’s popularity has spiked since the pandemic started. It seems that people today are paying very close attention to their money, and we’re more than happy to help them through these tough times.

Five-star ratings and tons of reviews from users who’ve managed to do the impossible, in their eyes – to save money after just a month of using MoneyCoach – also show that we’re changing people’s lives.

And being constantly featured by Apple on the App Store as Apps We Love or Best Budget Apps and even as App of the Day is a huge validation of our vision.

What do you have in store for 2021?

We have some amazing new reporting functions in the works that will give users even more control and show what their finances might look like in the future. We’ll also be adding some new quick and easy ways for users to enter expenses, manage budgets and track their goals from their Apple Watch and so much more.

What sorts of challenges do you see down the road for yourselves?

To be honest, it’s tough for an independent company like us to compete with apps backed by big banks and venture capitalists with huge advertising budgets. Nevertheless, we’ve been topping the charts in the App Store for financial wellbeing apps. How about that!

So to give credit where it’s due, TFI has been great in helping us expand our network and putting us in touch with the right people. That’s made a big difference.

To conclude, what would be your one piece of advice to people in financial distress?

Be mindful of your daily spending and what that adds up to in a week, month or year. People are often shocked when they realise they pay 180 euros a year for just one streaming service and they have four or five of these services, some of which they hardly ever use. That’s close to 900 euros a year just for entertainment.

So start small. Make a simple budget on a piece of paper and try to stick to it. Progress might seem slow at first, but at least it’s progress. Then up your game with an app like MoneyCoach to achieve your goals and make your dreams come true.