in Budget Notify

Budget Notify – Part 2

Well, I expected I was going to end up with a series of blog posts on Budget Notify when I originally wrote the Part 1 post. I planning on building out a whole frontend and backend system. At the end of the day though, I found an even better solution to my specific problem, so I went with that.

In short, I scrapped the whole server concept and make the entire process run from my iPhone via Shortcuts. My iPhone automatically runs a set of commands daily that load our budget, see if notifications need to be sent, and if so, send them out via Twilio exactly like the server was doing. I could technically remove Twilio and have my iPhone send the notifications from my own phone number via Messages, but I want to keep Twilio for now.

Debugging the shortcut was the most painful part. Now that I have it setup, it’s trouble free and works great, but I spent several days trying to figure out why certain things weren’t working. The main issue I hit is if you make multiple web requests in the same shortcut, the second web request may never finish. I don’t know if that’s a bug in the Shortcut app or if that is as-designed. The first request works fine, but the second looks like it’s firing, but best I can tell, it never actually makes the request at all and just sits there until it times out.

Given that this solution is working fine, I don’t expect I’ll write the blog post series I originally planned. I may post about how I setup the shortcut in case someone else wants to replicate it (and/or I might share the actual shortcut if I refactor it a bit), but that’s likely as far as this series will go at this point.