ING Direct Mobile App Encourages Savings Through Small Sacrifices

An add-on to ING Direct’s mobile app allows consumers to redirect small amounts they spend every day towards bigger savings goals.

ING Direct Canada has rolled out a new addition to its existing mobile banking app called Small Sacrifices. The tool helps customers visualize how cutting out everyday indulgences can lead to big savings over the long term.

The Small Sacrifices tool is pretty simple. First, users choose what small sacrifice they can make, like passing on a daily coffee purchase. Then users decide which goal to redirect the money to, like their retirement fund or savings account. Once the user specifies how much money they spend on their average purchase (the max is $100 per purchase), Small Sacrifices creates a chart illustrating how much could be amassed in 5- and 25 years by saving that amount weekly. The next time a user is tempted to spend on their non-essential purchase, they can choose to instead redirect that money from their THRiVE Chequing Account to a savings or retirement account with one simple click.

Users can also specify Favorites. A Favorite is a sacrifice that you’re going to make often — say, for example, you decide to start bringing your lunch twice a week. Once you’ve set up your Favorite, every time you pack your own lunch, you can open the app,  select Small Sacrifices, click on your Favorite and a savings transfer is made automatically.

Apple and Android smart phone users can download or update the ING Direct mobile banking app for free by visiting the Apple App Store or Android Market.


Users select the “Small Sacrifices” button from the main menu (left). Following a quick overview with instructions (center), users can define their sacrifice and choose a representative icon (right).


Users specify the amount their small purchase usually costs (left), and the item is added to the list of “Small Sacrifices” (center). Users can view a graph to see how their sacrifice plays out 5- and 25 years down the road (right).


What non-essential purchases are Canadians making most?

In a new poll commissioned by ING Direct, 52% of Canadians surveyed said that if they could better visualize how sacrificing non-essential purchases would save them over the short and long term, they would change their spending habits.

  • 37% of Canadians say their biggest spending vice is buying lunch or dinner, and they spend an average of $35 a week dining out
  • Lottery tickets are an admitted vice for 15% of Canadians who say they spend an average of $18 a week
  • Canadians who buy coffee regularly (13%) spend roughly $15 a week on their java purchases
  • Other common spending vices among Canadians include clothing and shoes (18%), alcohol (18%) and cigarettes (17%)

ING Direct’s survey also found that 35% of Canadians admitted that the amount of money they are able to save is lower now than it was two years ago, while 39% say their savings has remained about the same. Many respondents admit to spending as much as $35 a week on non-essential purchases, or “spending vices” like lunch out, coffee and lottery tickets, suggesting that, despite challenging economic times, there is some wiggle room in the average Canadians’ budget to put a few extra bucks aside.

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