News / USA

Online Money Management Sites Cater to Young Savers

Engineering major Khang Nguyen, 22, checks his SmartyPig saving account every day and likes sharing his saving goals with his family and friends online.
Engineering major Khang Nguyen, 22, checks his SmartyPig saving account every day and likes sharing his saving goals with his family and friends online.

Multimedia

Audio
Faiza Elmasry

New youth-oriented banking websites target young people who are often better known for impulsive spending than for saving money.

The websites offer information and tools to help clients become better money managers and to share their financial experiences with other young people.

Alix Scott, 19, is working at a store this summer, saving money to pay for college next year.

“I have to save for all my college money because my parents, they can’t afford to co-sign on loans,” she says. “So, I have to rely on my own savings.”

Online piggy bank

But rather than put her money in a local bank, Scott opened an account on SmartyPig, a web-based banking service.

“When I do that, I overcome the impulses to just spend the money,” she says.

Michael Ferrari founded SmartyPig with a friend in 2007. After starting a college account for his new baby, Ferrari says he realized the power of saving for a specific goal. Helping other savers stay focused on their goals is the idea behind his online piggy bank.

“SmartyPig is really all about helping people to save for specific financial goals. It can be a wedding, a vacation, an i-Phone,” he says.

Ferrari explains how PigySmart works.

“For example, I’m saving for a vacation," he says. “I want to save $5,000. I want to meet this goal in three years. SmartyPig will actually calculate how much money you need to allocate every month. You don’t have to move it from your existing bank. We’ll actually go in and withdraw those funds on the day you specify every month and we put it into your SmartyPig account, where they’ll actually accrue interest, as well.”

And, Ferrari says, the site also allows depositors to get outside help.

“Perhaps a holiday or a birthday is coming up. Rather than getting a gift, your friends and family can actually contribute to any of your SmartyPig goals .”

Sharing savings goals online

Twenty-two-year-old civil engineering major Khang Nguyen likes being able to share his saving goals with his online community.

“I think it's actually a good thing that they are able to see it,” Nguyen says. “Like, you know a bunch of my friends after they find out about what I do, they always come ask me for financial advice.”

Online banking sites like SmartyPig are attracting a growing number of young depositors, who like the convenience and services. These personal finance websites offer a variety of money management tools which help users track their spending, set up a budget and consolidate their accounts.

And they all have a social media aspect, which appeals to young adults who are already comfortable sharing their personal information online.

“There are all kinds of individuals out there who have their own blogs who are talking about money, creating videos, making info graphics and are talking about money. You just see personal finances information in places that you wouldn’t expect,” says Janet Stauble, spokesperson for the personal finance website, bankrate.com.

She adds, “It’s not likely that you might go to a friend and say, ‘Hey, I paid off $1000 on my credit card today,’ but people write up blog posts about it and they explain how they did it, how much closer they are to their financial goal, whatever it is.”

As technology continues to evolve, she predicts more people will embrace the emerging electronic banking sites.

Online partnerships with banks

Steve Weisman, who lectures about financial issues at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, says the more innovative these sites are in providing their services, the more successful they will be in doing business alongside traditional banks or in cooperation with them.

“For instance, SmartyPig, they are not actually a bank, but they are partnered with a bank," Weisman explains. “So what you’re going to see is big banks and little banks that are legitimate financial institutions, but not necessarily the most savvy when it comes to computers or the Internet, they will partner up with other companies that may be doing some of the web material and other assistance, while the actual banking would be done through a bank with which it is connected.”

That collaboration, he says, will change the way Americans save in the future.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid