DETROIT, April 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Ally Financial today announced the beta release of a new app, "Splurge Alert," designed to help consumers better identify and manage their spending habits, ultimately giving them more control over their personal finances. Splurge Alert asks users to identify stores and areas where they tend to overspend and then select friends and or family who can help them avoid overspending pitfalls. The app uses geolocation technology to determine when users approach a "splurge zone," and then sends an alert message to a designated buddy in hopes that they will lure the user away from the problem area.
Through Splurge Alert, Ally aims to help consumers navigate a world where the temptation to spend money is prevalent, making it hard to save for financial goals. According to a recent survey commissioned by Ally and conducted online by Harris Poll, the vast majority of Americans (85 percent) admit to splurging, which most Americans (71 percent) define as buying an item that is not needed, regardless of price. The survey also revealed that the food and beverage category and the clothing, shoes and accessories category tied among the top items on which Americans who admit to splurging typically overspend (44 percent each).
"Many people believe that large one-time expenses can throw their budgets off track," said Andrea Riley, chief marketing officer of Ally. "But it's actually the everyday purchases – coffee drinks, smoothies, clothing items – that tend to be a problem area. The intent of this fun and insightful tool is to raise awareness for consumers about spending habits that may be keeping them from attaining their savings goals."
Ally has enlisted the help of several influencers, including HGTV's Property Brothers co-host, Drew Scott, and country music duo, Big & Rich to test Splurge Alert and share how they spend their money. Through a series of unique videos and social media posts, consumers will learn that even these celebrities are guilty of splurging. Overspending on everything from smoothies to antique swords, the influencers' actions and commentary encourage consumers to engage in conversation around overspending and identify their own spending habits. Visit www.ally.com/splurgealert to view the celebrity content and learn more about Splurge Alert.
Splurge Alert Encourages Social Support
The Splurge Alert app is the first app of its kind to combine geotracking and social interactions to help consumers change their spending habits. This could be extremely helpful in changing behavior, since Ally's survey found that only 30 percent of consumers who admit to splurging actively avoid potential splurge locations and even fewer tend to ask friends and family for support (just 5 percent). The Splurge Alert app not only alerts the user that they are getting close to temptation, but also engages a support network of up to five family members or friends to help users break bad habits.
Commitment to Financial Literacy
While more than half of consumers who splurge (54 percent) acknowledge splurging when they encounter deals, sales and promotions that seem too good to pass up, less than one third (30 percent) of them include flexibility in their monthly budget for this additional spending, according to Ally's survey. Splurge Alert helps consumers recognize their habits, and the potential need to make changes or realign budgets to accommodate for spending patterns.
Ally's Wallet Wise program is dedicated to financial education and offers free online and in-person courses on topics like budgeting, credit and banking. The Wallet Wise website offers free tools, such as budget and financial goal worksheets for consumers looking to better manage their finances.
For more information, tips or tools visit AllyWalletWise.com.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Ally Financial from April 4-6, 2016 among 2,143 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please reach out to the listed media contact below.
About Ally Financial
Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) is a leading U.S. financial services company. Ally's automotive services business offers a full spectrum of financial products and services, including new and used vehicle inventory and consumer financing, leasing, vehicle service contracts, commercial loans and vehicle remarketing services, as well as a variety of insurance offerings, including inventory insurance, insurance consultative services for dealers and other ancillary products. Ally Bank, the company's direct banking subsidiary and member FDIC, offers an array of deposit products, including certificates of deposit, savings accounts, money market accounts, IRA deposit products and interest checking. Ally's Corporate Finance unit provides financing to middle-market companies across a broad range of industries.
With approximately $158.6 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2015, Ally operates as a financial holding company. For more information, visit the Ally media site at http://media.ally.com or follow Ally on Twitter: @Ally.
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SOURCE Ally Financial