Employment in America is changing. Where workers used to spend eight hours each weekday at the same desk and make the same amount of money each paycheck, many now experience both more flexible working conditions and less reliable income.
Freelancers, entrepreneurs, tip-based employees, and contractors all deal with potentially fluctuating cash flow. But while paychecks aren’t as regular as they used to be, expenses are holding steady.
So what do you do if you’ve experienced a few bad weeks during a time when all your bills are due? Planning for these expenses is much more difficult for entrepreneurs and other workers who may experience ups and downs in their earnings.
That’s where Even comes in. Even is an Oakland, California based startup that provides a money management mobile app for people with fluctuating income.
Even works by using past activity to predict your weekly income. Once it has a rough idea of what you should be bringing in each week, the app uses that as a benchmark for future income. On weeks where you make more than the designated amount, Even takes the extra and deposits it into a separate savings account. That money will act as insurance for future weeks when the income doesn’t measure up to that designated weekly standard.
The service is still in the testing stages, with plans to launch later this year.
As a revenue model, the startup plans to charge users a flat weekly fee of $5 for the service. That might seem steep, but having a set rate would certainly make the cost more predictable, which is in keeping with Even’s overall mission.
Quinton Farmer, co-founder of Even told American Banker:
“Work is changing and financial services need to catch up with the change.”
In fact, according to a 2013 study by the Federal Reserve Board, nearly a third of American workers experience income fluctuations. And more than half of them work full-time.
With so many workers facing a future in which a steady paycheck cannot be relied upon, Even seems to have a clear market for its product.
And supplying insurance to cover those fluctuations and help freelancers, independent contractors and others better manage their cash flow seems an obvious niche. The question will be whether people are willing to pay for it.