PTM 013: Make Extra Money by Creating Your Own iPhone App with Jackie Beck of MoneyCrush.com

Part Time Money PodcastIn this episode I visit with Jackie Beck the creator of the Pay Off Debt App for the iPhone, iPad, and Android. Jackie created her app in her part-time with a roughly $1,500 investment towards the development. Now she is able to profit on average around $2,000 each month.

Jackie also blogs at MoneyCrush.com where she shares how to learn to love your financial life and reach your goals. Check out this post she did there about how she was able to put together the app without programming skills.

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Jackie Beck - Pay Off Debt App Creator

Jackie Beck – Pay Off Debt iPhone App Creator

Jackie’s Story: Creating a Financial App

An entrepreneur at heart, Jackie Beck can’t help herself when she comes up with an idea. She just runs with it. Jackie was looking for ways to make some extra money to pay off her house and to travel.

After getting an iPhone, she started browsing the financial apps and realized there was a need for one to help people track their debt as they were paying it down. She also noticed people commenting on credit-related apps that they wished they had that option. As one who had gotten out of debt herself, Jackie also knew how motivating it could be when she saw her progress in debt reduction. Check out this post to find other ways to keep yourself motivated to pay off debt.

Jackie had a vision for an app that people could input their debts along with the interest rate, amount, and payment amount. People could also input additional amounts if they applied extra monies toward their debt. They could organize it using the Dave Ramsey method (lowest balance to the highest), by interest rate, or customize it.

Making the App a Reality

Jackie did not have a background in software design or coding, so she knew she was going to have to outsource this project if she moved forward on it. She knew another real estate blogger who had recently created an app, so she asked him for a referral for his developer.

After speaking to the developer, she felt good about his skill set and knowledge so she submitted her software specs to him and got an estimate for her project. This particular developer was Russian and he charged her around $1500 for the project. Jackie says if she had used a developer in the United States, it could have easily cost her 2-4 times that amount.

If someone were considering creating an iPhone app, Jackie recommends the following method:

1. Write down exactly what you want to accomplish with the app.

2. Then take a step back and think, “Okay, so how would someone do this?” What would they tap on first, or what would they need to input to get this result? Create a storyboard for the app, if possible.

3. Next, describe, with as much detail as possible, what should happen on each screen as well as what should not happen, if something could be confusing.

4. Once the idea is on paper, search for someone to code it for you. eLance and ODesk are good resources. Talk with someone, make sure they have references, see examples of their work, and check their references.

5. Join Apple’s app development program for $99, and you’ll receive all of their technical resources, including app specs. When deciding on a price, it’s important to remember Apple retains 30% of the price.

6. Once finished, submit the app to the App Store for approval. If it’s rejected, Apple will provide details to explain their reasons so you can amend the app accordingly.

7. When it goes live in the App Store, for a short period of time, it will show up in the “new apps” section, so people are more likely to find it.

The $1500 that Jackie paid for her app development was for the first free version of her app. It did not include any testing or graphics, as she saved money by designing the graphics in Photoshop herself. Within the first month, Jackie had sold 400 apps, and by month 2, she was making a profit.

Here are some of the questions I ask Jackie:

  • What made you want to make part-time money
  • Why iPhone apps?
  • Did you have any previous experience in making iPhone apps?
  • How has this part-time business helped your financial situation?
  • How do you go about making an app?
  • How do you market your app to make it successful?
  • How did you price it?
  • Do you see this as a sustainable thing?
  • How can others do what you do?

Full transcript can be viewed by clicking show

Comments

  1. I love this idea. I wish I could come up with an idea for an app. What a great idea!!