SAN MATEO, CALIF. — Sept. 14, 2011 — While most people agree that saving is important, many are held back from changing their spending habits because of misinformed or entrenched behaviors. To help motivate consumers to both cut spending and bank their savings, consumer money resource Bills.com today unveiled the My Savings Machine tool. This powerful calculator helps individuals identify easy savings opportunities and demonstrates how small changes in spending patterns can lead to significant changes in a person's finances.
"My Savings Machine helps people in a fun way to change money behaviors and embrace saving over the long term," said Brad Stroh, co-founder and CEO of Bills.com. "We are using a fun and intuitive calculator to help de-bunk popular myths and motivate people to bank more savings."
The "My Savings Machine" tool is an easy-to-use guide that helps consumers calculate the value of saving even just a few dollars on a number of items over time. For example, eliminating two average priced lattes a week and putting the extra $8 into an online savings account returning just one percent interest adds up to more than $1,200 within three years. By adding savings from more items, this benefits of saving and compounding can have big impacts on wealth.
These results help de-bunk the two most basic myths of spending and saving that prevent many people from changing their spending habits.
Myth 1: There's no room for saving in my budget
Most family budgets today already feel squeezed for cash and that they don't have room for additional cutbacks in daily spending. But with a little help from My Savings Machine, almost everyone could identify one or two items that they no longer use or need. For example, regular visits to Starbucks, drinking bottled water versus tap, or unused gym memberships and magazine subscriptions are all prime opportunities to save. My Savings Machine puts many of the most common savings categories and opportunities in one place to makes it easy for people to choose and then estimate the impact of these savings over time.
Myth 2: I can't save enough money to make it worthwhile
A commitment to even a small amount of saving can really add up over time, particularly if these savings can be invested in appreciating assets or interest bearing accounts. This is the power of My Savings Machine — it shows the tangible benefits of saving small dollar amounts in aggregate and over a number of months or years.
How It Works
My Savings Machine asks users to choose from common types of expense they wish to eliminate or reduce: coffee, groceries, cigarettes, memberships, or other items. Users adjust simple sliders to set the amount they could cut back on in an expense category, the length of time they plan to continue these savings, and any interest they could earn in a savings account or similar investment vehicle. My Savings Machine calculates the total dollars earned over this period, including interest, for up to four different categories.
"It's not enough just to stop spending," continued Stroh. "Even a simple savings account earns roughly one percent interest today and can add up over time into substantial extra dollars earned. We've made it fun to see the savings add up."