ONLINE GUY: Three-pile money system can point children toward a lifetime of saving



On tap next, folks, our next guest thinks his idea will revolutionize the piggybank forever. Will he be able to squeak out a pass in the judging? Find out next on "So You Think You're an Entrepreneur?"

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DIAMOND: "So You Think You're an Entrepreneur?" So good-bye to the good, old-fashioned piggybank. That's so old school, so yesterday. Our next guest on "So You Think You're an Entrepreneur?" thinks he has a better idea to teach kids how to save, spend and share. Anton Simi -- Simo...

(LAUGHTER)

ANTON SIMUNOVIC, THREEJARS.COM FOUNDER: Close. Simunovic.

DIAMOND: Simunovic. Thank you very much!

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: For once, it wasn't me doing that!

(LAUGHTER)

DIAMOND: But mine was on purpose.

WILLARD: Yes, right! At any rate...

DIAMOND: Well, at any rate, tell us about Threejars.com.

SIMUNOVIC: Let me tell you about Threejars.com. We absolutely are revolutionary. We make it super-easy for kids to save, spend and share their own money. This site is done -- it's through allowance. Allowance is on line, administered by the parent. And the key thing is, is that when you think about Threejars, think about instilling your kids with financial responsibility. That's really what we're all about.

BOLLING: Well, so explain to us how the parent gets the money to the kid.

SIMUNOVIC: How the parent gets the money to the kid. This is the best thing about it. This is why we're revolutionizing the piggybank. The money doesn't get to the kid. The money gets reflected in these three on- line jars.

WILLARD: You deposit the quarters in the back of your computer?

SIMUNOVIC: No. And what you don't want to do -- if you really want to teach your kid to save, you don't put the money, the cash, in the piggybank. It'd be like you, let's say you're worth $100,000, Eric, and you have $90,000 of cash sitting on dresser. What sort of signal does that send?

WILLARD: Eric would spend it in 28 seconds (INAUDIBLE)

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Let's talk about it for a second. My son's watching right now. He's going to go, Wait a minute, so you're just going to put money in an account? If I can't feel it and touch it, how do I know I have it?

SIMUNOVIC: You absolutely can feel it and touch it. But here's the thing. Child earns allowance. It gets allocated into these save, spend and share jars. The child then will actively engage in a fun way, in an on-line way, with those accounts. When your son now wants to withdraw 20 bucks to go to the movies on a Friday night, he will send you request that you can respond to on the fly, either your cell phone, through e-mail or actually on the site. If you agree with that spend request, then what you would do is hand him 20 bucks, and we automatically reconcile it on line.

So the key thing here is that kids -- we need to instill a savings habit in our children. That doesn't happen when all that money is sitting on their dresser. It doesn't happen when it sits in a bank account. Money that sits in a bank account is out of mind and out of sight. There's no learning.

What happens on Threejars is kids earn interest.

WILLARD: Anton...

SIMUNOVIC: And when you earn interest, you have a savings incentive, and that savings incentive can be then vested into the spend and share site.

WILLARD: but that's just it. When I was growing up, I started off when I was maybe 6 years old, working for my dad for a dollar an hour. And I had to save it. I had to take half of every paycheck and physically walk down to the bank and deposit it in, like, a savings account.

SIMUNOVIC: Yes.

WILLARD: What is -- what's your differentiator? How do you make money doing this? What's different from your bank versus what I get at Ruidoso state bank?

DIAMOND: It's an on-line bank.

SIMUNOVIC: The Interest that you presently learn -- you would earn -- excuse me -- in a bank right now, I think you would agree, is kind of criminal. And it takes forever for any kind of interest to accumulate.

WILLARD: Are you going to -- are you going to be using this money to invest in CDOs (INAUDIBLE)

SIMUNOVIC: Absolutely not. So what happens is -- what happens is, the money stays with the parent. The money stays with the parent. That's a key thing. But from a kid's perspective, it operates like on-line bank.

WILLARD: And how're you making money?

SIMUNOVIC: It's a subscription-based model. It's 30 bucks per year per family.

DIAMOND: So what's the interest rate on my kid's savings?

SIMUNOVIC: It's nominal to parents, it's a lot to the kids. So for example, the kids actually could make investments. They could invest in, quote, unquote, "certificates of deposit." Invest $5, you can earn a dollar if you keep your investment commitment for a two-week period, say. If you withdraw it early, you would lose -- you'd forfeit that interest. So it's nominal amounts to the parents...

WILLARD: So who puts that dollar in, you?[...]

SIMUNOVIC: Mom. Mom is the bank.

WILLARD: So Mom's giving them a $5 allowance and maybe $6?

SIMUNOVIC: That's correct. What are you trying to do here? What you're really trying to do is you're trying to incent kids to save. And that can happen through the ether.

DIAMOND: All right, I'm giving you a pass because anything that encourages anybody, I don't care how old they are, to save, I'm all for it. Save, save, save, save! You don't need all that crap. That's going to be my trademark.

(LAUGHTER)

BOLLING: I'm going to give you a pass. It's 30 bucks a year to teach my kid, Eric, you better listen to this stuff. And (INAUDIBLE) there's no transfer of money, correct? I'm not missing this, am I?

SIMUNOVIC: That's correct. You're not missing a thing.

BOLLING: So it's a -- it's a tool, a learning tool.

DIAMOND: Yes.

BOLLING: (INAUDIBLE) cheap.

WILLARD: Are there animals on the (INAUDIBLE)

DIAMOND: That's enough! I circled the pass. It's a pass.

BOLLING: Those are dollar signs.

WILLARD: Dollar signs?

(CROSSTALK)

WILLARD: All right, I'm going to be the -- one of these is not like the other ones, I guess, over here. And I've got to fail you. I will write your name across the top and encourage everybody to go to Threejars.com. But I simply -- I don't know. Making some money -- I don't know how you really get that critical mass that you're going to need to (INAUDIBLE)

SIMUNOVIC: We're doubling every month right now, Cody. We're doubling by month.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLARD: ... prove me wrong. More power to you, man.

SIMUNOVIC: Thank you.

DIAMOND: Threejars.com.

BOLLING: Good luck. Good luck.

SIMUNOVIC: Eric, appreciate it.

DIAMOND: And also the share because you encourage them to give to charity.

SIMUNOVIC: We absolutely do. We partner with some awesome charities, and we make sharing tangible for kids.

BOLLING: How can you go against charities, Cody Willard?

WILLARD: Oh!

BOLLING: Are you un-American?

WILLARD: Watch this! Support your local Big Brother, Big Sister, Little Brother, Little Sister, all that stuff program (ph). Thank you so much for joining us...

(CROSSTALK)

SIMUNOVIC: Thank you.

WILLARD: Threejars.com. Check it out. Prove me wrong.