6 Dec 2023

Does removing stress make you wealthy?

I spent a lot of time and energy in the last 3 years or so getting my money management story in order. What is the investment plan for long-term needs? What is the savings plan for short-term needs? How to tell if I am running a budget surplus or a budget deficit? How to protect family money from my whims?

It was stressing me out before. I kept working on solving one problem after another, and now everything is starting to fall in place. But that reveals another issue: I don’t know how to use the free time available now! So far, most of my free time went into making and tweaking my finance plan. Now that a mature plan is in place, I don’t really need to be actively thinking about those problems.

I have free time now. I need to figure out how to use that time. A good problem to have.

They say that “wealthy” means you have freedom over how you spend your time. Does that mean I have become relatively wealthier? 🤔

4 Dec 2023

Jupiter Pots: a failed experiment?

I started using Jupiter a year and a half ago. The sole reason I signed up for Jupiter was their savings feature called “Pots”. I was already keeping money aside for different purposes; Jupiter Pots gave convenient tooling for what I was doing.

Jupiter Pots impressions

Pots were great when I started. I liked them so much that I wrote a blog post praising them. While the rest of Jupiter has continued to improve and evolve, the Pots feature has stagnated mostly. There have been some changes, but they fall short of being good.

For example, there is a Super Pots feature that lets you create fixed deposits using Pots. But on maturity, super pots will self-destruct, and the money will move to your saving account. That means Jupiter will put you at the risk of accidentally spending saved-up money on something unrelated! To me, that looks like a lazy implementation that doesn’t stop to consider why the customer created a pot in the first place.

Then they introduced Habits, which are essentially recurring deposits. Habits are buggy too; they move money from your saving account a day or two in advance. Reporting this issue to Jupiter hasn’t really accomplished anything. But maybe that isn’t surprising, given they don’t even support updating communication address of bank accounts. (Not allowing address updates is a KYC norms violation, one would think?)

Back to Pots being unloved. Even basic things like modifying pot names, rearranging pots in the UI, etc are not done even after so many months. Tells you how much they care about Pots.

Looking into the future

The thing with convenience is that we are impressed by simple convenience initially. But over time, we take things for granted, and our needs evolve. We want more convenience. We expect our tools to do more for us. Same for me with Pots. I was able to overlook their flaws before, but now they are glaring.

The Jupiter team not investing in Pots is understandable at the same time. Jupiter is a startup. Possibly a small team executing at their capacity to make their company a success by building features that people want to use. I strongly believe that no one outside a small niche of customers wants or uses Pots. If Pots aren’t bringing them customers or usage, the Jupiter team would be right to call Pots a failed experiment and go on to explore other ideas.

Back to my use of Pots. If Jupiter won’t continue to be relevant for my needs, I suppose I should take care of them on my own. I already track my mutual fund savings using a spreadsheet. Making a similar tracker for bank account will be straightforward.

Say, I close my Jupiter account and move all Pots to a tracker of my own. My primary bank provides auto-sweep fixed deposits, which means the money I hold as short term savings will earn a higher interest than the 3% Jupiter pays me.

On top of all this, I’ll be able to tweak the tooling as/when necessary. Such a flexibility is seldom available in a pre-packaged product. Looks like this is the end-of-the-road for Jupiter-and-me.

• • •

Finally, Thank You to the Jupiter team for making Pots in the first place. Their product helped me see the convenience of separately labelled short-term savings. I may sever all my ties with Jupiter, but they have changed my life for the better. They deserve credits for that!