New app helps couples manage finances

Two of the co-founders of the Honeyfi app, Joe Stanish on left, with business partner, Ramy Serageldin. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen

An Ohio Township man and his business partners have recently developed an app that could solve lots of problems for lots of couples struggling with financial issues, a situation long regarded as being a leading cause of divorce,

Joe Stanish of Ohio Township and two business partners, Ramy Serageldin and Sam Schultz, have developed the “Honeyfi” app, a blend of Honey -- the couple -- and finances -- the problem.

For those in need, getting started is easy, according to Stanish.

“Just download the app, provide a bit of information about yourself and your partner - -name, e-mail -- link your bank accounts, and choose what information to share with the partner. After you sign up, we pull your transaction data, use our nifty algorithm [a set of steps to reach a conclusion] to categorize your transactions and analyze your spending, and then provide a suggested, but fully editable, household budget. That's it. As you make new transactions, we'll automatically categorize those transactions and update your budget so you always know how you're tracking against your monthly budget.”

To explain what "link their bank accounts" means, Stanish said that users log in to their bank accounts and grant access to transactions and balance information

“Honeyfi cannot transfer any money on your behalf. All we can do is pull the transactions and balance information. We actually use a company called Plaid, partly owned by American Express and Citi Bank, to manage the linking, so Honeyfi doesn't store any bank usernames or passwords.”

Stanish addressed any additional security concerns by noting that a dedicated page for security soon will be added to the site.

“Honeyfi will also send an e-mail to your partner, inviting him/her to have the opportunity to link their bank accounts if they have any that haven't already been added,” Stanish said.

“Honeyfi is built for two people,” Stanish continued to explain, “So we have some cool features that make communicating and collaborating on finance easier. One of our most popular features is allowing each partner to add comments to any transaction. So if you see a transaction that you don't recognize, you can add a comment asking your partner what that transaction is. That’s saved many users money, by making it easier for them to identify mistaken charges. Or, you can use it the way our co-founder's wife uses it. He eats too much fast food, and she loves adding ‘STOP EATING JUNK,’ or other words of encouragement.”

He added that letting couples share access to their account balances and transactions encourages better communication about money. “Studies clearly verify that the more couples communicate about money, the happier they tend to be.”

Stanish said that he and his business partners have been working on Honeyfi, borne out of all three co-founders’ struggles to manage money with their partners, for a little over a year and that the app has been well received.

“It's going really well,” he said. “While we've definitely had our fair share of bugs to work through, the feedback has been incredibly positive. It's been extremely encouraging to have customers tell us that they're finding a lot of value in what we've built. Just yesterday, we were speaking with a current Honeyfi user who also has a personal blog, and she mentioned that she's going to write about us on her blog, encouraging readers to check it out. It's a pretty awesome endorsement!”

And there are many studies available to support the app, one conducted by Toronto-Dominion Bank being among the most impressive.

As an additional note to the credibility of the Honeyfi team, Stanish said, “Both the two other co-founders are married, Ramy with three children. I'm not married, but have had my share of challenges managing money with a significant other,” he admitted.

Honeyfi is available on both Google Play Store and the Apple App Store,