Today’s blog comes courtesy of Shari Storm, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Verity Federal Credit Union. Shari is the author of the new book ‘Motherhood is the New MBA”, available here.
I’ve joked for a long time about my husband and my different spending habits.
When Jim Bruene, at Net.Banker wrote about PiggyMojo , a spending tracking platform for couples, I was instantly interested.
So I signed up. The way the program works is when one person is faced with the opportunity to spend money and resists, they text it to PiggyMojo and it tracks all those small decisions and adds them up for you. For example, if a co-worker is on their way to Starbucks and asks me if I want my usual, and I say no, I text “4 coffee” (meaning I just saved $4 on coffee) to PiggyMojo.
You tell the program what you are saving for and it tracks your actions against your goal. I said we were saving for a better TV (our current TV actually has to “warm up” circa 1978 before the snow goes away and the picture comes in). I said I wanted the TV by my husband’s birthday in October. PiggyMojo calculated that we’d have to save $65 per week to make that happen.
And so once a week I got a reminder email that I needed to save $65. To be honest, my interest in the program started to wane after getting three weeks worth of emails reminding me that I needed to save $65 per week in order to get a new TV by October.
Then one day, my husband set me an email that said, “I just fixed the weedwacker myself. Send me positive reinforcement for saving us $50!” (If you knew how opposite-of-handy my husband is, you’d be very impressed with this email).
I texted PiggyMojo “50 weedwacker”. I suddenly realized how absolutely right Jim was in his post. If my text had actually made a transfer from my checking account to a hard to touch savings account, this would be brilliant. My husband and I would have the instant gratification of knowing that we were $50 closer to a modern TV.
The thing with savings, the founder, Jayson Halladay, told me when I met him in New York a few months ago, is there is no instant gratification. That is what PiggyMojo is trying to instill – that sense of immediate satisfaction when a buck is saved.
Jason and PiggyMojo are looking for a financial institution to partner with – ideally a credit union – to create a mobile app that actually transfers real money when a savings success happens.
I think this would be a great project for an i3 group or some other innovative CUSO or credit union. I’d buy it from you.