Friday July 10, 2020

Making It Work: My Money Jar app aims to save millennials from squander trap

My Money Jar hopes to help younger generation cope with financial stress

17th May, 2020
Jonathan Staunton, chief commercial officer of My Money Jar. “Financial stress is really disproportionately impacting the millennial generation”. Picture: Fergal Phillips

My Money Jar, a Dublin-based fintech start-up, is developing an app to help millennial workers manage their finances.

Two new appointments follow a €700,000 funding round closed last December by the company.

John Harkin, the former chief executive at Boyne Valley Foods, has been appointed executive chairman at My Money Jar, while Jason Kennedy, the ex-group chief executive at Grafton Recruitment Group and founder of Valyrian Private Equity, has also joined the board of directors.

The company was established in 2018 by Kevin Treacy, its chief executive, and Jonathan Staunton, its chief commercial officer.

Currently in beta development, Staunton said the app was being piloted by several companies ahead of plans to market it as an “employee engagement tool” for big employers with young workers.

“Financial stress is really disproportionately impacting the millennial generation and we see the My Money Jar in the employee engagement context as being part of personal development, which among millennials is very much app-driven,” he said.

“Before you can aspire to well-being, we’re saying that you need financial resilience – the ability to save over the longer term and have a few quid set aside for a rainy day.”

My Money Jar has been designed with a series of virtual “jars”, which can be used to manage weekly and monthly budgets, or for long and short-term savings.

Jars can be shared with other app users for joint budgeting, or “locked” by a nominated friend or family member to prevent easy access.

“We’re not a bank, but we’ve built My Money Jar on a banking platform with an IBAN. We realised early on that if you want to help people with their money, you actually have to be in their wallet,” said Staunton.

“It’s really the notion of impulsive spending that we’ve identified as the problem here. We want to be the card in your wallet that makes it harder, not easier, to fall into the trap of squandering your money on impulse buys.”

To date, My Money Jar has raised a total of €1.3 million in pre-seed funding. Investors include Tony Garry, the former chief executive at Davy, and David Smith, former head of institutional equities at the stockbroking firm.

The company is a high-potential start-up (HPSU) client of Enterprise Ireland, the state agency.

“We were at a HPSU event hosted by Enterprise Ireland in Croke Park just eight weeks ago and Croke Park is now a drive-through swab testing centre for Covid-19,” Staunton said.

“It’s incredible how quickly the pandemic has changed so much. We’ll probably do some bridge funding in the summer to get us through Covid-19.

“We’re aiming towards a big seed round early next year. Once things do get back on track, we will look to scale quickly in Britain and the US.”

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