news.cuna.org/articles/110428-app-improves-budgeting-skills
App Improves Budgeting Skills

App improves budgeting skills

Tool tracks users' income and outstanding bills.

July 6, 2016

Small paychecks or irregular pay schedules can wreak havoc on workers’ budgets.

But an innovative app helps consumers maintain a balanced cash flow and avoid check cashers or short-term, high-interest loans.

The nonprofit Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners—which is associated with Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union, a $10 million asset community development credit union in New York—is piloting the PayGoal app, a virtual financial planner that allows users to take a proactive approach to their finances.

The app tracks users’ income and outstanding bills, making sure they set aside some money for upcoming expenses and don’t overspend.

“We’re seeing a lot of people we believe could get by with the right money moved around at the right time,” says Eric Cantor, PayGoal vice president of product development.

The app, featuring an avatar named Paula, alerts PayGoal users when bills are due, suggests how much they should pay toward each bill, and completes the payments.

The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) selected PayGoal in 2015 as one of nine Financial Solutions Lab winners that aim to tackle consumers’ cash-flow challenges.

Each winner received $250,000 in capital, as well as support, strategic guidance, and other resources.