TULSA - People who have a hard time setting aside some money for savings can now count on some help from a virtual friend.
They can go to AmericaSaves.org, where they'll find what KRMG Consumer Warrior Clark Howard calls an "electronic nag."
"At AmericaSaves, you can click the 'pledge' button and set up a pledge with how much you want to save and for how long," Howard blogs on his website.
"Then you have the ability to set up text messages that will pummel you to remind you to follow through."
Several hundred thousand people have signed up for the free service already.
"The behavioral economics behind this are simple," Howard says.
"Just as with exercise, we tend to do it better when you have a buddy along for the ride. But when it comes to money, we tend not to want to let others into that circle because we don't want them to know our business. So AmericaSaves lets you use the text messages as a friend to prod you into savings."
AmericaSaves.org is coordinated by the non-profit Consumer Federation of America.