You’ve Heard Of Impulse Buying – What About “Impulse Saving?”

Last week, I spent a few days at TechStars Boston, getting to know the companies that are in the fifth week of the program. After sitting in on pitch practice, having dinner with the whole gang and then talking to them for a bit about financing strategy on Wednesday, I spent 45 with each team on Thursday and was wowed by all of them. Despite the fact that many of the founders are young enough to be my kids, I was completely inspired by their passion, focus and intelligence. It’s a terrific class of companies and I suspect that they’ll all go on to create meaningful businesses.

One company in particular really struck a nerve with me personally. The folks at ImpulseSave have created an app that lets you move money from your checking account into a separate savings account every time you contemplate another stupid impulse purchase. You know exactly what I’m talking about. The shirt that looks great hanging on the mannequin that you’ll wind up wearing 3 times and sits in your closet for four years before you give it to goodwill. The $8.47 for a Mocha and a scone that you know you’ll regret having an hour later. The 13th pair of headphones, the iPhone case for $29 when you already have one, and all the other crap we as Americans have been conditioned to buy. It’s the dopamine squirt that helps drive our economy.

As the parent of young teenagers, I’m watching my kids and their friends get bombarded by advertising and get inculcated into the cult of instant gratification through buying stuff, which is why I had such a strong reaction to what Impulse Save is doing. They’ve made it incredibly easy for you to set a goal of saving money and fund it through a few taps on your iPhone or Android. By conditioning you to choose to “Impulse Save” those few dollars each time you’re about to throw away your hard earned money on some more stuff you probably don’t need, they’re creating savings habits that our country desperately needs to learn. How I wish I had this in my college years and in my 20’s.

I urge you to check out Impulse Save and try it out. And tell your friends who have kids about it too.

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