Mindful design for personal finance

Chloe Profant
Jun 23, 2019 · 4 min read
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Image for post

We’ve become the first personal finance app to put a meditative animation right into our product.


Alka is a financial mindfulness app. It is an app that helps you be in a mental state of awareness and consciousness around your daily finances. Our core product fulfills this by giving you a customizable Smart Balance (checking minus credit and monthly expenses), a beautiful interface to review all your transactions in one place, and notifications when money leaves any of your accounts.

So how do the animations fit in?

We believe achieving financial mindfulness is not only easier, but also more sustainable when you feel calm and centered. The animations are designed to help you slow down, take a deep breath, and allow your mind to clear before dealing with the numbers.

Over time, taking a brief pause before managing your money can help you train your brain to associate your finances with power and beauty. You don’t have to be rich to have a positive relationship with your money.


Studies show that over half of Americans feel anxious about their finances. Mindfulness is an increasingly popular practice that Americans are turning to for overcoming anxiety. Practices like deep breathing, meditation, awareness of sensation and emotion, are all proving to be effective remedies to rising stress levels.

Taking a deep breath is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress in the body. It sends a clear message to the brain to slow down and focus on the task at hand.

Our goal is to bring you a product that makes managing your finances a calm, enjoyable experience. We know that finances can be stressful. Taking a deep breath is a good place to start.

Building a positive relationship

Like it or not, you are in a long term and committed relationship to your finances. It’s important that this relationship is a healthy and positive one.

Avoidant behavior is common when it comes to relating to your finances. How many times have you reviewed your monthly statements and felt guilt, stress, or shame? When we see something that doesn’t make us feel good about ourselves, it’s only natural to avoid looking at it.

Unfortunately, ignoring your finances will not make your relationship with them a healthy or happy one.

Building awareness is a stepping stone to shifting your relationship with your finances. It might not feel great at first, but it puts you back in the driver’s seat. The truth is, spending money is not “bad” — money leaving and entering your accounts is purely information. And information is power.

Mindful tech movement

Tech has an enormous impact on our daily lives. Our phones and the apps we engage with give us immediate gratification to all kinds of information. For better or for worse, the information we have access to has an impact on our emotions.

Our approach with alka is to address the emotional impact of finance first. We might not be able to change the facts, but we can help you be in a better state of mind when you receive this information.

Mindfulness design principles

Making the decision to prioritize the emotional impact of personal finance led us to infuse mindfulness principles into everything we do. Below are a few of our design principles that are directly related to mindfulness practices. Everything we do adheres to these standards.

We are intentional in providing a non-judgmental way to experience personal financial information. We will not use language to scold you for overspending. We let the data speak for itself and serve only as a grounded fact in the vast picture of your financial life. We let you interpret this information in its appropriate context.

Instant gratification is not always what’s best for our emotional health. When it comes to tech, there aren’t many alternative options out there. We will take you on the scenic route. Information presented is digestible, not overwhelming. Information pairings will tell a story and not be presented as a disjointed bundle of facts.

We aim to build an app you come back to because you feel better when you use it over time. We can’t help you build a healthy relationship with your finances if we make your financial picture seem more rosy than it actually is. We’re in this with you for long-term.

Connect with us

The final piece of this mindfulness puzzle is connection. We would love to hear what you think!

Please feel free to reach out to us in the comments below, in the ‘Feedback’ section of the alka app, or at hello@alka.app


Alka — Financial Mindfulness

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