When local Jessica Lea Nolette was training for the Chicago Marathon a few years ago, she was running a lot. (It sort of goes with the territory when you’re training for a marathon.) In an effort to help keep her motivated, she decided to pay herself $1 for every mile she ran.
By the time she arrived at the Chicago Marathon starting line, she’d run over 680 miles and saved over $680. That money funded her trip to Chicago. It also allowed her to donate a nice chunk of change to Team Paws – an organization near and dear to her heart. (She ran the marathon as a charity runner for that organization.)
Two big goals reached – an impressive feat.
It occurred to Jessica (who you might also know as the owner of Flask Lounge in Portland and the CEO of My Mindful Motivation) that she’s not the only person who has goals – be it to run a marathon, walk every day, read more books, or cook dinner at home more often. We all have aspirations like that. And most of us would love to save money, too.
So two years ago, she got to work on an app that would help users do just that: reach goals and save money. It’s a two-for-one effort that encourages us to get after our aspirations while simultaneously incentivizing each step in the right direction with the promise of another dollar (or 50 cents or five bucks – whatever we choose).
Following months of development and beta testing, she officially launched the app last year. It’s called Mindbosa.
Mindbosa is a free goal-setting and money-saving application that “combines both personal and ﬁnancial progress by allowing users to reward themselves ﬁnancially every time a personal goal is met,” as it says on the website.
“It’s to try and get people to save money in a different way,” says Jessica. “In my research, I’ve discovered that a lot of people have zero dollars in savings – no emergency fund.”
And when people do manage to sock some money away, she says, it’s generally earmarked for things that break, like a replacement washing machine or car repairs. “They’re not saving money for things they like to do, like vacations or personal items that they really want to buy,” says Jessica.
Mindbosa, on the other hand, is meant to motivate you to reach goals and save money to do nice things for yourself. Kind of a circle of goal-attaining-goodness. “My idea is not to be confused with an IRA or investment,” says Jessica. “It’s not a long-term investment. It’s more of a short-term savings for things that you love.” Think weekend getaway or a new pair of running shoes or getting to donate to a cause you believe in.
In a nutshell: you pick a goal (maybe running three mornings a week or reading for 30 minutes before bed or riding your bike to work every Friday or not eating a Kit Kat for lunch every day), and you enter that goal into the app, along with a dollar amount associated with meeting your goal (maybe reading at night is worth $1, not eating the Kit Kat every day? Put the money you didn’t spend on the candy into savings instead). As you reach your goals and develop new habits, the money starts adding up. (No joke. $1 doesn’t seem like much at first, but as the weeks and months go by, you can save a serious chunk.)
You also get to control every aspect, from what goal you choose to the amount of money associated with reaching it. So you can sent a financial amount that works for you or even change it along the way.
“It’s kind of like a daily habit or behavioral app that is incredibly simple,” says Jessica. “We form habits around good habits and money saving to change your overall wellness.”
Already, users are letting Jessica know that they’re actually having fun saving money – that it’s painless and easy. When was the last time you thought saving money was fun? And you can get excited about using that money for something special.
“You could say, ‘I’m saving for a yoga retreat, and every time I do something active I’m going to save that dollar, and that dollar I saved from doing something good is going to something good,'” says Jessica. “You’re not going to want to use that money to pay for a stove.” (But hey, if the idea of a stove motivates you, by all means, go for that.)
The Mindbosa app is accessible to everyone, but Jessica is purposefully focusing her efforts on getting the word out locally. “A very important aspect for me has been to grow this locally and organically – focus on our local Portland community first and foremost,” she says. She thinks about every aspect of the app that way, going with local Gorham Savings Bank as her banking partner, for example.
“My dream goal is to help people save money and achieve their goals,” says Jessica. And with Mindbosa, she’s doing just that.
Jessica also profiles inspiring folks from Maine and elsewhere in her My Mindful Motivation blog. They’re stories about people who have overcome barriers to reach their goals (the perfect inspiration for Mindbosa). Read them all and get inspired at www.mymindfulmotivation.com/mindfulblog
Mindbosa is free. You’ll connect a bank account to have funds moved into your Mindbosa account (fee-free) and can retrieve those funds at any time (again, you won’t pay any fees). Pop in and explore and see what it’s all about: