What if the burden of managing your personal finances could be turned into a game? And what if, in the course of playing that game, saving or paying down your debts gave you the chance to win a lottery-sized chunk of change?
Those what ifs have been turned into reality by SaveUp, a personal finance site that aims to encourage good money habits through a system of education and rewards.
Put another way, the site is like cheese sauce on broccoli — a way to make the things you need to do for your financial health more palatable.
SaveUP CEO Priya Haji, who has been something of a serial entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, wanted to find a way to help people engage more efficiently with their finances.
Were all aiming to succeed financially by increasing assets and decreasing debt, especially after the recession, Haji said. So how do we apply some of the newest technology in social media?
Hence, the gaming focus of the site, which makes growing your personal money tree interactive and, hopefully, a bit more fun.
Gaming the System
The inspiration for SaveUp came from the prize-linked savings accounts that are popular in countries such as the UK and Germany. Under those systems, for every, say, $25 you bank in your savings account, you get the get a chance to win the interest on everyones savings. Its like a mini-lottery: For the cost of foregoing your own incremental interest, you have a chance at a much bigger prize.
Though such platforms are illegal in the US, the reward format they use lit an idea light bulb for Haji. The SaveUp team recognized that people find the rote calculations of money-management boring and its organizational aspects overwhelming.