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SÄÄSTÖT- Small Savings for a better life

A simple reminder of the 6 most important things to save for on a monthly basis.

Photo of Patricio Toussaint
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THE STORY

First when I was invited to join the challenge I started to read the question and the phrase that impacted me was that it mentioned “…those who needs it most”. I related this phrase with an experience I had during the summer back in 2005.  I had a summer helping people who live in rural areas, specifically in the mountains of Nayarit Mexico.  I want you to imagine yourself in a community back in the mountains of Nayarit living with no electricity in most of the part of your community, imagine that your kids do not know what a street or building looks like, imagine not having clue about technology, and imagine there is almost no opportunities for education. So I tried to relate at first the challenge towards these people, whom I consider are the ones who need it most.

I started to brainstorm some Ideas and write them on post-its all over the place. My goal would be to create a simple and analogous idea that could reach the rural communities and maybe other audiences too. I took notes of all the observations I remembered, from my previous experience, in order to find the needs of this community. Finally I resumed my idea in a way to incentivize people to save money to achieve goals they had in mind.

Something that seemed very clear for me was that my idea had to be simple. It would consist in setting aside a part of their salary and place it in savings envelopes. Six envelopes that could be displayed in a way people could remind to save and set their money aside to create savings.

This is how I created SÄÄSTÖT. A friendly reminder of the 6 most important things you need to save in order to achieve your financial goals.

If anyone is wondering why the name SÄÄSTÖT well it’s because it means “Savings” in Finnish. Why Finnish? Because Finland’s education is innovative and outside of the box!

WHAT HAVE I LEARNED

Once I uploaded my contribution to the Openideo Community I started to have conversation with all the members and receiving feedback along the way.  I learned a lot from the community members. I realized my solution was NOT perfect at the beginning.

Hearing ideas from other members made me realize many other problems and perspectives. I also learned the importance of receiving constructive criticism; it is crucial in the development of an idea. I believe it is also essential to know how to handle constructive criticism; people’s intention is to improve and make a more concise idea.

 I also recognized that sometimes people who surround us would support your idea even though they might not like it or they see areas of improvement, so the feedback from them could be a little misleading. Friends and family should be use as encouragements to take make your idea a reality. But in order to shape your idea and improve it, you need constructive feedback.  The best place to receive constructive feedback is from the OpenIDEO community members!

A key to success for the idea is by making a prototype, and also experimenting it with its users. Feedback from the users is a really important part of the process. Being an entrepreneur has helped me a lot with the experience of the challenge, since the processes to start a business is similar when developing an idea.

WHAT IS THE GOAL

SÄÄSTÖT’s goal is helping the people who needs it most to reach their financial goals in an easy and simple way. SÄÄSTÖT wants to be a friendly reminder that could be checked in a monthly basis to revise savings performance towards the goal. SÄÄSTÖT wants to help those who need it most in a financial manner.

WHAT IS NEXT

SÄÄSTÖT still needs to be put in practice and needs to be used by a rural community. I’ve talked with a community member in Nayarit Mexico, and we are planning to meet in order to start a plan for the use of SÄÄSTÖT in a rural community.

 Also I need to make a research if this is the correct target market, since there could be a wide variety of audiences. The next phase for SÄÄSTÖT in rural communities will help me figure out if it is the correct audience. I would love to hear more ideas from the OpenIDEO community about the target market for SÄÄSTÖT!

Thanks OpenIDEO for this experience!!

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Photo of Eric Tyler

Really like the idea Patricio, facilitating small-savings can have a huge impact.

For your Mexico experimentation, you might be interested in this market research: http://www.cgap.org/blog/understanding-financial-needs-poor-mexicans

Photo of Zaq McCune

Really like the physicality and simplicity of this Patricio! How do you want the design to also educate? Is there a way to suggest values or percentages to add to one envelope vs. another?

Photo of Nicole Lopez-Conti

Congrats, Patricio!