Clinton Gudmunson, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University, led the implementation and dissemination of a student-driven savings app, SaveIt! The app was developed during a weekend competition called Money Game Jam. Once selected, it went through further development by a professional programmer and is now in the testing and pilot phase.

With the generous support of the Mary O’Neill mini-grant, Dr. Gudmunson is working with graduate student, Emily Sorenson, to write an implementation guide that discusses how to obtain, use and integrate the savings app into common university financial literacy initiatives and then disseminate the implementation guide to financial literacy focused departments at universities throughout the country.

Saveit! is designed to teach college students, especially freshmen, how to manage their finances while in school. The first version of Saveit! is testable and beginning to be used.  The app allows you to set any number of goals such as saving for textbooks, a spring break trip, and/or buying a gym membership. It also allows you to set reminders to save money.

Once you have determined your goal(s), how much you want to save, and when you want to reach your goal(s), you are on the path to achieve success. You can transfer money between goals and into your personal checking or savings account easily. This app allows you to have as many goals as you want, within a $999 parameter.

SaveIt! allows students to see how far saving their money can take them. It will help the majority of students become aware that they cannot purchase all of their wants and needs each month and will help them to recognize the need to prioritize their savings for items they want to purchase. The app will help to instill awareness that instant gratification can have detrimental effects on the pocketbook. Students will be better equipped to manage their finances after they graduate college.

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