Paying bills one day in late 2016 it dawned on me I'd been using the same Excel workbook for my budgeting since November 2004. That's one workbook with 144 sheets! My document had (obviously) served its purpose well, but manually creating new months, copying and pasting repeating bills and making math connections between cells became daunting. There had to be a better way. A quick Google search revealed there are plenty of budgeting applications out there, but none that would give me a daily totals in a month view and didn’t link directly to my bank accounts.
At the beginning, this project seemed out of reach. By writing down what functionality I wanted my site to have at the start, I was able to orgainze this project into manageable parts. With each step I would search the web for a tutorial, take time to wrap my head around what the code was doing, then deconstruct, reconstruct, modify and make it work for me. The limited time I sat down with a developer provided momentum to help me move forward with the increasingly difficult tasks.
Overall, this project leaves me with a great sense of accomplishment after every hour or day I spend with it. Programming works the problem solving side of my brain differently than the graphic design side, but I find myself breaking down complex design tasks similarly to the way I chipped away at this calendar's features. While working on either kind of task, I constantly ask myself, "Does this do what I think it should do?" And keep finessing until it's just right. There have been so many moments throughout the process when something clicks, and I am able to make it better.