Personal finance can be intimidating for anyone, especially students who are usually low on funds. Most personal finance apps have unrealistic goals and require a lot of work. Pluto Money, a new personal finance app specifically created for college students, aims to make budgeting and saving more fun. “Most existing apps aren’t designed with financial novices like college students in mind, but Pluto is,” says Tim Yu, CEO and co-creator of Pluto. So far, the app has saved users over $50,000 (from spending less). Yu says he was inspired by his background in behavioral science and own lack of budgeting during college.
According to Yu, some of the greatest obstacles to budgeting for college students is that the process is abstract. Secondly, it’s not motivating. It’s also too complex, requiring people to budget everything. Finally, it’s demoralizing when the budget is not met. In terms of saving, he says, college students often don’t have specific goals in mind. Saving is also counter-intuitive to our human instinct to consume, particularly to college students experiencing peer pressure and stress.
Some unique features of Pluto:
Pluto offers features that most personal finance apps don’t. These features were created with college students in mind. “We gamify the steps you take with your finances, use automation to make it easier to take action, and motivate you to succeed. We make personal financial management approachable and doable,” says Yu.
One great feature of Pluto is it’s simple challenges tailored to your finances to save for goals that matter to you. For example, spend under your average on Uber this week and save the difference towards a music festival goal. You don’t need to budget everything; focus only on the spending habits you want to break. “Pluto focuses on the idea of trade-offs. What you don’t spend today is what you have for tomorrow. We just make that connection super clear, ” says Yu.
Pluto currently has a holiday spending challenge to help you spend less and save more this holiday season.
Pluto Money is free and currently available on iOS but plans to make the app available for Android is in the works. Pluto Money can be downloaded here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pluto-fun-budgeting-saving/id1238673626?mt=8/#collegecareerlifeblog