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Wendy Reuer, Published October 02 2012

Local budgeting app goes national

FARGO – A new tool is now available for parents to explain the concept of “saving up” to their children.

BreadVault, a website and mobile app launched nationally on Tuesday during an event at the Plains Art Museum, is a money management tool for families, with an emphasis on children. The app allows children to track and manage money for future purchases, stocks or charitable donations.

The company, founded in 2011 with headquarters in West Fargo, has been developing its website and mobile application for iPhones, iPods and iPads for more than a year. Metro-area residents and some out-of-state families helped beta test the product before the national launch.

Besides being able to track savings, BreadVault is plugged into the latest stock options and local charities so users can learn how much they need to save to buy stocks in a company.

Another app feature allows users to find the cheapest price for thousands of items so a child saving up for that new toy can track how far they have to go.

As part of BreadVault’s CAREousel Program, users can learn more about nonprofit organizations they want to help.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to teach our kids about a local charity,” said BreadVault CEO and co-founder Ross Almlie.

Susan Smith, program director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fargo, said her nonprofit has already signed on to the CAREousel program and is a featured local charity on the app.

No money exchanges hands through BreadVault. Instead, it is a virtual concept. Almlie hopes to one day partner with a banking institution to install a real-time secure way of paying or investing directly from BreadVault.

He said the company wants to eventually work with local school districts so BreadVault can become an educational tool.

“They can learn without even knowing they’re learning,” Almlie said.

Almlie’s goal is to have 1,500 household users of the app by July 2013 on the way to 1 million users one day.

West Fargo Mayor Rich Mattern said he is excited about the company.

“We’re all about startups and hoping you grow into the future,” Mattern said.

The app is free to download and can be found at www.BreadVault.com

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530

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