Let’s face it: saving money can be difficult, especially if you’re just receiving the first regular paychecks of your life or have gotten your first credit card. The ease of swiping or typing combined with a relatively high credit limit and fuzzy mental math can add up to some hefty financial trouble, or even persistent problems with debt. Banks are largely unhelpful, preferring to offer you various slickly-marketed credit products in order to extract more interest from you than any useful advice on saving. Enter Bobber, which hopes to provide a new way to bank for young people having their first financial experiences.
Bobber is a financial product in development that will tie a savings and checking account to an innovative, social, gamified website. It hopes to help users reach their savings goals by providing far more support and feedback than a traditional bank would. An inviting interface will allow users to keep track of where their money is, what they’ve spent, and how close they are to achieving any goals which they’ve specified. It’s far more colorful, engaging, and mentally rewarding for a user to track their goals through this system than simply watching the number attached to their checking account.
It seems designed mainly for a younger crowd, with a focus on learning the skills and joys of savings. The site includes a social feature, allowing the user to reach out to friends or family for monetary help to speed their way to the goal. There are also several safety features: for instance, the money can be withdrawn to a prepaid debit card, to ensure protection from overdrafting.
When it comes online, Bobber seems like it will be an excellent tool for a young person’s first banking experience. It will probably be largely confined to that demographic; it’s unlikely someone with a mortgage and two cars trying to save for a child’s college education will find the site helpful, while a high school student trying to save up for a new gaming console just might. It will not only help them achieve the goal, but hopefully instill a lifelong sense of the value of savings in a way that a lecture wouldn’t ever be able to.