Learning how to save is an important skill, and it’s never too early to begin cultivating healthy financial habits. While poverty exists as a global issue for children everywhere, this issue is extremely evident in America. Unlike other countries, this predicament in America is said to be avoidable. With this in mind, Nickelodeon’s former digital strategist Tanya Van Court seeks to change things for the better by teaching children the importance of saving with Goalsetter.
What is Goalsetter?
Goalsetter is an educational, financial savings app created by CEO and Founder Tanya Van Court. The platform is targeted towards American families, and it aims to help youths set and achieve their financial goals — as it assists in the cultivation of useful saving habits. As of right now, this financial literacy app is only available in the US, but the app can be downloaded on both iOS and Android devices. While this service would greatly benefit all kids around the world, the company’s current main focus is to ensure the financial health of families in America.
Beneficial for kids
Teaching children the importance of saving doesn’t exactly sound like the easiest task. However, Goalsetter might have just figured out the secret formula behind it all. The app allows kids to set their own goals, and it even provides them with other incentives to keep on saving. While the practice of growing your savings isn’t always an entertaining or exciting experience, the process of learning how to do it doesn’t have to be boring.
Unlike other personal finance services, Goalsetter keeps things fun by offering educational quizzes, incorporating memes and gifs. Parents have control over how their kids use the platform, and they can provide more ways for their kids to save. For example, users can earn more savings by successfully completing quizzes — testing their knowledge on finance — or track how much they earn from completing chores.
With their goal-based system, youths can completely personalize their set goals. It doesn’t matter how big or small their goals are — it could be saving for college, a holiday, or a new bike. Given that kids are able to control how they save, Goalsetter allows them to visualize their savings while simultaneously learning how even a single dollar can add up to make a big difference.
How it works
To get started with the app, a parent or anyone above 18 years of age can set up an account with Goalsetter — each account allows for 7 kids. After completing the registration process and linking it to a legitimate US bank account, parents can invite their kids to download the Goalsetter app onto their own mobile devices. From there, children can set up their own goals and begin learning about the importance of saving. With that being said, parents still have the ability to monitor their child’s progress and spending patterns through their own accounts.
After signing up for Goalsetter, parents can give their children even more financial independence and responsibility — by placing an order for their child to receive a Cashola Card. The Cashola Card functions as a normal debit card, and it’s also backed by Mastercard. This card will be tied in with a child’s Goalsetter account, allowing them to spend on the things that they’ve saved up for. However, unlike other debit cards, users must successfully complete a financial literacy quiz on the corresponding app before they’re allowed to spend. As a final safety measure — to ensure that their children make financially healthy purchases — parents are able to set monthly budgets and other limits on their child’s Cashola Card.
With that being said, Cashola Cards aren’t the only card offered by Goalsetter. The company also aims to revolutionize America’s gift-giving culture. Instead of prioritizing a child’s purchasing power through gift cards, Goalsetter has come up with their very own GoalCard. The GoalCard has the same intention as a typical gift card. However, it provides children with the option to not only spend but to save.
Success in the US
Goalsetter will most likely be remembered as the app that was featured on Shark Tank in 2020. However, since Van Court was unable to secure a deal there, the financial platform has been able to garner many supporters and funding. In fact, NBA players Kevin Durant and Chris Paul, along with Vista Equity Partners CEO Robert F. Smith, have all invested in Goalsetter’s vision. American entrepreneur Mark Cuban has also decided to support the cause, as he’s partnered with the company to provide a million American youths with their very first savings account — including $40 — as well as their own Cashola Card. However, Goalsetter’s success doesn’t stop there. The company also managed to receive a total of $4.5 million within 7 rounds of seed funding.
I'm excited to celebrate Black History Month by partnering with @goalsetterco, a Black-owned, woman-owned company on a mission to draft 1 million kids and teens to receive their first savings account and debit card. pic.twitter.com/GsvkMps8wV
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) February 5, 2021
Is Goalsetter perfect?
All in all, Goalsetter is a great option for parents to utilize as a tool to teach their kids the importance of saving. However, it’s unfortunate that that statement can only apply to US citizens. Hopefully, with their success in America, the service may be extended to other countries. Another disappointing aspect of Goalsetter includes the fact that the Cashola Card is incapable of working with ATMs. While children are able to swipe and make payments anywhere that accepts Mastercard, they won’t be able to make any withdrawals at ATMs.
In terms of fees, Goalsetter has a “pay what you think is fair” monthly fee — where the company encourages their customers to contribute to their vision of change. Apart from that, Goalsetter charges $1 and 2.9%, plus 30 cents, when a GoalCard is gifted. While their “pay what you think is fair” fee is disclosed on their website, little to no details are disclosed about their other fees. With that being said, gaining important information about their service isn’t difficult. Goalsetter’s customer service is impeccable, and they’re sure to respond within a few hours. After leaving a message on their website or reaching out to them via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), customers are able to connect with one of their helpful staff.
Everyone can save
Frankly, Goalsetter’s overall concept is educational, functional, and incredibly inspiring. If you’re an adult who’s looking to save, it’s important to note that you’re never too young or old to begin cultivating healthy financial habits. Thankfully, Goalsetter isn’t the only banking platform that encourages their users to save. There are other services out there, like Porte, which can help adults accomplish their financial goals, too — just like Goalsetter.
YouTube: What is Goalsetter?
Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Nenad Stojkovic. The photo “Sakurako gets money from a cash register” has been taken by Miki Yoshihito. The photo “woman paying at POS in retail store” has been taken by Blake Wisz. The picture “man in cart” has been prepared by Michael Heiland. The screenshots were provided by Goalsetter for press usage.
Editorial notice: Update on March-2 2021 – There has been an update to reflect the latest information identified by the author.