It’s fair to say that Facebook is not the best place to go if you’re trying to avoid the temptation to spend. From the sometimes-effective-oftentimes-hilarious targeted advertising to updates on what your friends are purchasing – whether it be a vacation, dinner and drinks or Avatar tickets – the fact is that a lot of Facebook activity is predicated upon money spent, or waiting to be spent. Until now. Stop Me from Spending! is a Facebook app developed by Youth Media International (Youth Radio) and Context Optional to help young people budget. "'Stop Me from Spending!' grew out of the recognition that young people are hugely influenced by their friends, so this was a real opportunity to tap that peer orientation in a positive way," said Lissa Soep, PhD, senior producer and research director, Youth Radio.

The app’s main component is the Temptation Converter, which allows users to type in tempting items and their costs, calculating how to meet these temptations in a budget-conscious way, as well as creating a dialogue between users about reducing spending.

This is one of the powers of social networking that is still underused – the power to create P2P support among groups.

"Youth Media International's application really speaks to young people looking to become better spenders in the New Year, because it's social and educational, rather than a one-way tool that simply pushes content at young people," said Kevin Barenblat, CEO and co-founder, Context Optional.

The collaboration between Youth Media International was funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as part of its Economy Story, a collection of online tools and resources designed to help people save money.

By Mark Alvarez