Archive for Adam

How my 3-year-old bought herself The Lorax

I started work on BreadVault for one simple reason: the hope that my kids’ financial responsibility would surpass mine. When Ross pitched his idea, I was immediately convinced that it was worth building.

After a simple matter of raising money, testing, hiring, coding, marketing, and stuff like that, BreadVault is ready. It is hanging out, tapping its fingers, just waiting for you to try it and help that child (and you!) with money.

Here’s the simplest and most compelling use case.

You’re in the line at the grocery store, and your kid sees a $9.99 DVD on the shelf. It’s a movie for kids that you might actually want to watch, too. You hear: “Oooh, can we buy that, Daddy?”

If you’re reading this right now, you likely can easily afford the DVD. But that’s not the issue, is it?

Here’s what I did when this situation arose the other day.

Alice sees The Lorax on the shelf and asks for it. “Yes!”, I say, “You can buy it! We’ll add a goal for it, and when you’ve saved up enough money, it’s yours!”

Her face contorts with confusion and frustration, but the scowl evolves into curiosity as I pull out my iPhone and scan the barcode with the BreadVault app. Immediately the goal is on her list, and she recognizes the goal we just created and her progress so far.

“When that orange bar goes all the way, we’ll get The Lorax!”

The electricity of learning was palatable… she was assimilating delayed gratification (your patience will be rewarded!), basic math (if you get $1/week, in 10 weeks you’ll have $10) and independence (you can do it!), and a hundred other things with almost no effort at all. Instead of asking regularly to buy more stuff, she started asking if she had enough for the movie yet (a most welcome transition).

Since she only gets $1/week towards Save goals, it was going to be a while. That’s when a new deal was born: sell us your Halloween candy for $1/piece and we’ll put it towards your Save goals. Suddenly, it was time to buy the movie! We clicked the “Buy” button and closed the deal. When it arrived in the mail, she beamed with pride. I thought: she earned it. She gets it!

BreadVault does the boring tracking work for you, and helps you establish responsible financial habits.

And this story is just about Save (“stuff”). BreadVault will help you donate to charities and invest, too!


BreadVault Provides Facebook Integration

Click and You’re In

BreadVault will soon allow you to log in using Facebook on our website, iPad, and iPhone/iPod Touch apps. This has many benefits:

  • One-click login for existing users
  • One-click registration for new users
  • Enhanced security and privacy
  • Easier to keep your information (like current email address) up to date

If you are an existing BreadVault user with a username/password and you plan to make use of Facebook login, make sure the email address you gave us matches the one you gave Facebook. If it doesn’t, ask us to fix it before you click Log In With Facebook.

Usernames are so 1994

We’re getting rid of usernames. Your “username” will simply be your email address.

Many happy returns!

We hope these exciting changes and others make it easier for you to get your BreadVault on and get back to becoming a fountain of financial wisdom!

Buying Happiness by Jeff Atwood

If you don’t think money can buy happiness, you’re probably spending it wrong! Read how to spend and be happy by helping others, avoiding comparison shopping and more in Buying Happiness by Jeff Atwood.

We’re Hiring!

We’re hiring a software engineer and a systems administrator. Looking to add some awesome to your life? Looking to add some awesome to the world? Join us!

Raising Money for Others: Rachel Beckwith’s Story

Photo of Rachel Beckwith with a black dress and flower in her hair

Rachel Beckwith heard that there are people in the world who die because they don’t have access to clean drinking water. This inspired her to ask for donations instead of presents for her ninth birthday. What an enlightened girl she was! Her heartbreaking story led on to inspire many others to raise over a million charity:water.

What inspires you to give?

Jacob Goldstein on Investing in the Stock Market

Thinking ManIt’s a bear market. The S&P 500 fell 20% in the last couple months. Many of us hear this news and get depressed. But investors savvy on delayed gratification might do little more than raise an eyebrow before turning back to their morning cup of joe. These patient investors recognize the other edge of this sword.

In the last Planet Money podcast, Jacob Goldstein lays it out for his co-host Robert Smith. He discusses with Robert how he’s automatically investing a portion of his paycheck in the stock market, saving up for his retirement little by little, and explains:

The next couple of years are irrelevant to you. You my friend, are not going to retire for a couple of decades or more… this 20-plus-year outlook for corporate profits, it has not changed in the past couple of months.

He goes on to explain that a 20% drop in the market means that investments (shares of other company’s profits) are 20% off. They’re on sale!

Read more about dollar cost averaging on Wikipedia.

The Invention of Money

Everyone understands money from a practical standpoint. We trade money for food, fun, and stuff. But money itself generally has little or no intrinsic value. Ever wondered why? Just what is money, anyway?

The folks over at Planet Money wondered too, and they dug deep! Check out This American Life #423: The Invention of Money. From Yap to Brazil to Bernanke, the story kept me on the edge of my seat!

Warren Buffet on

top half of Warren BuffetWarren Buffet firmly believes the S&P 500 will outperform managed funds. So much so that he placed a large, public wager to that effect.

Here’s the bet on

The Long Bets website is pretty interesting, as is the nonprofit that created it: The Long Now Foundation. They aim to help us all prepare for the future by thinking about the *far* future.