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Latino Daily News

Wednesday June 15, 2011

Text Messaging Program to Help Latino Immigrants Save Money

Text Messaging Program to Help Latino Immigrants Save Money

Photo: Text Messaging Program to Help Latino Immigrants Save Money

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A new text messaging service to help monitor your monthly expenses has been released and is being marketed to Latino immigrants looking to save money.

Juntos Finanzas, is a text message based system that tracks spending practices, by having the consumer send a text like “GASOLINA 30.34” to Juntos which indicates they spent $30.34 of gas. At the end of the month, Juntos sends the consumer either an e-mail or paper chart showing where their money went.

“We’re not really doing anything that they couldn’t be doing on their own,” Juntos founder, Ben Knelman told Fast Company. “But when we give the information back, it’s coming from a third party. It looks professional. That information feels more real. It makes you think, ‘This is something I need to be thinking about.’”

Knelman said that during the six-month test, participants who earn less than $40,000 a year, were able to save about $1,400. A number of the participants were actually janitors at Stanford University, where graduate students including Knelman developed Juntos as part of a class.