How BreadVault Works

Have you seen our video about How BreadVault Works? This helpful tool is just one way to learn more about BreadVault and how to use the website and mobile app to learn how to save money as a family and teach kids about money.

We will post more videos on our blog for you to learn more about BreadVault and its cool features, but always feel free to visit our YouTube channel by clicking here. Enjoy!

Start using BreadVault today by clicking the buttons below. It’s free to sign up online and free to download from iTunes.

To sign up online, click the top button and to download the mobile app for iPhone, iPad and iPod, click the bottom button:


Sensible Holiday Spending

Today, one of our dedicated users asked the question, “Can I use BreadVault for my Christmas shopping list?” Indeed, you can!

Before you visit your local Target or Wal-Mart this weekend to pick out your kids’ Halloween costumes in the aisle adjacent to the Christmas section, do yourself a favor and set up all of your family members on BreadVault. Then, set one more tab titled “Christmas List” and set the allocation slider all the way to 100% for Save.  With a dedicated BreadVault channel in place, you now have a mobile way to store your holiday gift-buying goals and a place to track your progress towards saving for them all on one screen.

This is also a great opportunity to test out the BreadVault bookmarklet on the website. The bookmarklet is a slick way to add savings goals for desired gifts that you discover on any retailer’s website. It’s super quick to install: just drag and drop into your toolbar and you are on your way toward sensible holiday shopping.  For those familiar with Pinterest…if you know how to “Pin It”, you’ll easily catch on to our own “Add a Goal” tab.

If you have downloaded the BreadVault app on your iPhone or iPad (mini version coming, we hear), be sure to search through our “save” carousel if you are short on ideas. Finally, if you choose to hit the mall, bring your iPhone and use the barcode reader on our app to scan and save ideas you see at the store. Don’t make impulse buys!  (We’d encourage you to adopt this barcode scan strategy year-round.  We call it the “Parent Pain Relief” button.  It will save you and your kids a ton of money on ill-advised purchases.)

Hopefully, using the BreadVault “save” channel will help you avoid the stress of holiday expenses. Just plan ahead by earmarking some of your income out of your next three or four paychecks to pay for the items and price shop for the best deals for the desired gifts. You will be much happier in the New Year if you do.

Happy Sensible Shopping!

Ross Almlie, CEO of BreadVault


Social Networking & Family Money Management

In a just about an hour, Ross, Ryan and Whitney of the Fargo-based team will be in full-on, organic social networking mode. They won’t be prowling through the online hemisphere looking for the best new pictures, statuses, micro blogs or viral videos to share with you, instead the team will be handing out business cards, shaking hands and meeting potential customers face-to-face. Tonight the team, who will host a booth at the FMWF Chamber of Commerce October Business After Hours event, will be marketing BreadVault using the oldest tool in the book: word of mouth.

The team is excited to be in front of a business-minded audience. That audience will likely consist of a mom wanting to save money, or a dad trying to teach his kids financial responsibility.  Chances are great that some of the folks they visit with tonight are someone or know someone who could benefit from learning family money management skills. Maybe some of those people don’t even have families, but individuals can benefit from boosting their personal level of financial responsibility. The Business After Hours event is a diverse audience, and the value of direct contact made tonight is extensive.

Social networking – online or in person – is all about, well being social. Seemingly obvious, but sometimes forgotten by some online tech companies. Whether you’re looking at BreadVault’s blog, Facebook page or visiting with a team member, trust that BreadVault will always care about that social connection with you.

 


BreadVault Launches National Family Money Management Tool

Last week was an excitingly busy time for the BreadVault crew. On Tuesday, we hosted a press conference and ribbon cutting for the official launch of our product. Later that evening, we also hosted a Grand Launch Celebration and invited BreadVault beta users, charity partners, and friends and family to celebrate with us. Check out our Facebook page to see photos from the evening! You can also click here to watch a short How it Works video about BreadVault.

The following is the news release that was shared with several media outlets to spread the message about BreadVault. We hope you learn something powerful while using our website and mobile app (iPhone, iPod, iPad). As always, customer feedback is the most positive way for us to continue developing a product for our users.

BreadVault, a North Dakota-based company, has nationally launched a product that reshapes the way families approach money management. The release of the BreadVault website and mobile application integrates traditional approaches to family money management with the latest features in technology.

BreadVault’s virtual money-flow system is centered on the idea of saving and spending wisely, investing for the long-term and giving back to the community. The product provides a platform for every member of a family to make decisions that will develop strong financial habits.

To Ross Almlie, BreadVault CEO and co-founder, the website and mobile app feature technology that will inspire a change in perception, allowing families to take control of their finances. “It’s time for a new outlook on money management. It’s time to involve the entire family and start setting goals to make purchases, go on trips, invest money for a positive return, and give back to the community.”

Ross Almlie, BreadVault CEO and Co-Founder

At the core of BreadVault’s mission is helping families succeed financially by using the concept of delayed gratification to teach the importance of spending available money instead of leaning on credit. The website and mobile app feature individual progress goals to help family members track and monitor available funds before making a purchase or donation.

“Whether a parent wants to save for golf clubs and one share of Apple, or if a child wants to save for the latest music download and a donation to a local animal shelter, BreadVault equally appeals to kids and parents,” Almlie said. “All it takes is a new generation of BreadVault families to begin a ripple effect of financial responsibility in America.”

“BreadVault is a company with an awareness of giving back at its core,” said Susan Smith, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fargo Program Director.

Smith spoke at the product launch about the BreadVault CAREousel Program, which has partnered with organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fargo and other local charities to include on the mobile app Give channel. “The [CAREousel] program has the ability to equip a young generation and their families with the tools to manage their spending goals and at the same time, making a difference in local communities.”

The company is locally founded in West Fargo, North Dakota and has been in development since early 2011. West Fargo Mayor, Richard Mattern, spoke at the product launch and explained why tech start-ups, like BreadVault, are emerging more frequently in North Dakota. “There’s a spirit of entrepreneurship in North Dakota, and in the region we’re seeing prosperity in our area.”

BreadVault credits its national launch to North Dakota values evident within the company’s framework. “BreadVault is a money management tool developed in a state that has provided its people with a solid set of financial principles,” said Almlie.

“The city of West Fargo has always tried to be helpful with any businesses that come to our area,” said Mayor Mattern. “We’re looking down the road 10, 20, 30 years with the idea that most businesses start out small and then expand when they mature.”

Almlie says he has been asked why he didn’t begin developing BreadVault in Silicon Valley, where many successful tech start-ups have origins. “We are conservative almost to a fault in North Dakota, but it has served us well in difficult economic times. I can’t think of a better state in the union to help reshape how households manage their savings,” said Almlie.

For Almlie, the national release of BreadVault’s product means a shift in attitude from a burdensome approach to one that works. “BreadVault’s design encourages simplicity and relevance. At the end of every team discussion about new product development, we ask, ‘are the features simple enough for parents and kids alike?’ If the answer is no, we keep developing.”

“The purpose of BreadVault is to help families come together to achieve more. It’s that simple,” Almlie said.

About BreadVault LLC

BreadVault is an online money management tool designed for families, with an emphasis on kids, that teaches financial responsibility. The website and mobile application, available on iPhone and iPad, provide tools all members of a family can use to save and spend wisely, invest for the long-term and give back to the community. For more information about BreadVault, please visit http://breadvault.com.

BreadVault celebrated its national product launch October 2, 2012 at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota. Following the release of the website and mobile app, Almlie discussed the vision of BreadVault. Attendees were also able to demo the mobile app, meet the locally partnered charities and enjoy entertainment provided by Elevate Rock School kid bands, Krush and Chocolate Thunder.


Get ready for 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!


Thank you for your great work, RACC of FM. It is everyone’s business.

One of the perks of the job at BreadVault is the opportunity to be present at the events put on by our great non-profit partners on our CAREousel program.  Today, I had the chance to attend the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center of Fargo-Moorhead’s business and community summit, which dissected the DNA of domestic and sexual violence and offered solutions to help eradicate it.

The question was posed to everyone in the room, “How many people have known someone who has been affected by domestic or sexual violence?”  Every hand went up.  That’s a lot of hands – over 200 of them. In one city…in one room… It was alarming and disturbing.

The women attending the summit outnumbered the men by about 8 to 1.  Yet, it’s not an issue that only affects women.  Rather, it’s a behavioral issue that affects all of us either directly or indirectly, no matter your gender.  It’s highly likely that you know someone who has been affected by domestic or sexual violence or both. It is everyone’s business.

If you would like to volunteer with the RACC-FM or get involved in other ways, call the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center, visit http://www.raccfm.com or call them at (701) 293-7273.


Change is Constant in a Startup

It took me some getting used to, but about three months into this BreadVault build, I realized that I had to accept that not every spaghetti strand sticks to the wall.  There are always more pieces of spaghetti that end up falling to the floor than first imagined.  This week, we’ve had to watch a very sticky strand finally drop to the ground.  Once it fell, we didn’t dwell on it.  Rather, we rejoiced in its fall and only wondered why it took so long.  It was a huge burden lifted for the whole BreadVault team, and it was also a great litmus test for our level of pride.  We passed the test.  Nobody griped.  Nobody sang the shoulda, woulda, coulda song.  We just laughed about it, shook our heads, and we sprang back into action.

One thing changed.  We now end every strategy discussion with the question – “Is it simple enough?”, instead of “What features are missing?”  Why?  We’ve learned not to over-estimate the devotion an end user will give to our product.  Take Facebook, as the most classic of examples.  I love Facebook, but the novelty of it wore off awhile ago.  Now, I use it for much different reasons than I did a year ago, and I have cut my Facebook time by 75%.  Other tech tools like LinkedIn and Words with Friends are equally brilliant in their own ways, but they haven’t yet captured any of my time in between tee-ball games, music lessons, social outings, date nights with my wife, my day job, and my love for music and sports.

That’s the rub.  There is so much competition for our free time that new, great ideas have to fight harder for that finite time.  That’s the slippery slope of technology.  How long can you retain the end user’s interest knowing there are only 24 hours in a day?

Twitter has it figured out.  They crammed our need for instant news and current events into 140 characters.  I can fit that into my routine.  I can’t make Khan Academy do the same, even though it is at the top of my technology bucket list.  It takes time that I just don’t have.

So, BreadVault has to find a way to carve out that slot for parents and for kids.  It’s not easy, but it is achievable if we remember to do four things.  (1) Keep it simple.  (2) Solve a need.  (3) Stay “routine relevant”.  (4) Always solicit user feedback.  This week was a step in the right direction for us.

Looking forward to the fourth quarter…

– Ross Almlie