You and your partner dream of travelling someplace tropical in the new year, except you lack a specific plan to get there and every month wonder "where did all of our money go?" Enter PiggyMojo.com, a tool designed to curb impulse spending and encourage a little friendly competition.
Here's how it works: You and your partner sign up for a free account. You pick a goal and a savings timeline, and the site breaks it down into weekly actions. Then, select an image that relates to your goal. The image pops up in black and white, and every time you inch closer to your goal, it starts to appear in colour. After setting up your profile, whenever you avoid an impulse buy – by skipping your daily latte or keeping your blinders on past a shoe sale – you inform PiggyMojo using an online update feature or through a DM on Twitter. The site keeps track of your savings and progress. It also automatically sends your partner a note that you've just opted out of an impulse buy and states how much you put into the shared pot. It then asks how they're doing with their goals as a little nudge, nudge.
"Whether it's out of pure love for reaching the goal, competition, pride, guilt, whatever, it gets couples motivated to save when they see that message," says Jayson Halladay, who co-founded the site with his wife, Leah Solomon. PiggyMojo's in the process of making the transfer of impulse funds immediate from a chequing account to a designated savings account. Until then, couples can take a few minutes at the end of the week to check their profile, see their savings and then manually transfer funds. At the end of the month you're looking at a tally of what you've saved rather than what you've spent. This way you can feel good about what you're saving and be one step closer to dipping your toes into the ocean this winter.
Angela Self is one of the founders of the Smart Cookies money group.