There are a million reasons not to save money, and even the best-intentioned saver can succumb to temptation in the face of a shiny new gadget or sun-drenched vacation.
Who doesn’t love the feeling of instant gratification?
That’s why the average American carries more than $8,000 in credit card debt and has nothing but cobwebs in his savings account.
But what if you were given temptations to save instead of spend?
That’s the idea behind SaveUp, a San Francisco based startup that offers savers opportunities to earn prizes for saving money. When you enroll in SaveUp, you can earn credits for doing any number of financially responsible actions—from saving money to paying down debt to using the financial education content on the site. The credits offer you opportunities to play for various prizes, including gift cards, vacations, home and wardrobe makeovers, electronics, and cash jackpots.
SaveUp has partnered with more than 18,000 financial institutions so that their members can register savings and debt-bearing accounts with SaveUp. Registration is quick, free and secure. When I signed up, I was easily able to register my bank, my online savings accounts, and my mortgage lender. Within the first day, I had earned more than enough credits to play for prizes. And what prizes! I had my eye on the iPad 2, the Toyota Prius and the $2 million super jackpot. SaveUp partners with merchants like Virgin American and other popular retailers to offer things you really want to win.
Though the number of credits you can earn is nearly unlimited, you can only play three times each day, and each play costs 10 credits. This felt a little disappointing on my first day of playing, since there were so many great prizes I wanted to win. But the reasoning is ingenious: by limiting the plays to three per day, those who have well padded savings accounts don’t get an unfair advantage over those savers who are taking their first steps toward financial responsibility. SaveUp has leveled the playing field and given savers a great reason to come back to the site every day to play again—and save even more money.
Banks are also excited about SaveUp’s program as it gives them a platform for financial literacy outreach and education while also encouraging banking customers to put more money away.
SaveUp’s program has done something that might have seemed impossible. It has made paying your student loan and putting money away in your 401k a lot of fun.
As a special promotion, SaveUp is offering 100 free credits here, so there’s no excuse not to start saving today.