Saving is not complicated. It’s just hard. The Add it Up smart-phone application is designed to make budgeting and savings easier and a lot more exciting. In order to save, we need to first take stock of where our money is going to make informed choices and find those windows where we could substitute or save. Since Add it Up is located on a phone, the convenience of tracking spending is as close as a pocket or purse. No more scribbling expenses on the back of envelopes or forgetting crumpled receipts in the bottom of your bag. With this app, the opportunity to budget and save is always with you. Users create a budget with categories unique to them. Maybe some of us would like a “Bar Bill” category while others might need a separate category for “Treats and Treasures for my Adorable New Puppy.” You create the budget based on your lifestyle. The app links to a personal checking account and either a savings account or Treasury Direct account. At sign-up, users are prompted to set up a Treasury Direct Account to save with (inflation protected) U.S. Series-I Savings Bonds for medium and long term savings goals. Users can make impulsive decisions to save instead of purchasing consumer goods in the heat of the moment when they are looking for that spending rush. Did you forgo purchasing a fabulous pair of $50 shoes? Great! Use the app to scan the bar code to identify the price of the shoes and select to have that amount transferred from your checking account into your Treasury Direct account immediately (alternatively, you can enter the price manually). Congratulations on receiving instant gratification for saving instead of spending! Did you buy the cheese on sale instead of your normal brand? Fantastic- transfer the difference into your Treasury Direct account. It all adds up. Purchases are totaled throughout the month, and weekly and monthly summaries are available at any time on the summary tab. Account information and balances are also available and updated every time a user logs on, so that they can chart their progress and watch their money grow. Any time a purchase sends a user over their monthly allotted amount in any category, a reminder screen flashes that says, “Warning: you are x dollars over is this category. It’s not too late! Would you like to return your purchase, subtract x dollars from another category or risk blowing your budget this month?” If the user selects to adjust a category, it sends them to the budget home screen with a slider that allows them to adjust the dollar amount. “Return” prevents the additional dollar amount from entry into the expenses. Add it Up makes savings possible. It makes it easy. It makes it relevant. It makes it fun.

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