There is No Silver Bullet on Savings

Saving money isn’t easy. Housing costs are rising, especially in urban areas, education costs have never been higher, and real wages have been more or less stagnant for two generations.

And yet, saving has never been more important. With consumers bearing more and more of the financial risks stemming from retirement, medical expenses, and other financial shocks, having a rainy day fund is essential.

At EARN, we know that no single method to jumpstart a savings habit will work for everyone. For some, a small savings match drives them to save. For others, the match isn’t necessary; internal factors or goals may be enough.

But if the advent of smartphones and the app store has taught us anything, it is that for large swaths of Americans, games have the ability to influence behavior.

This year, EARN began testing a game of its own: Scratch & Save. Scratch & Save rewards SaverLife Savers with digital scratch cards each week they save at least $5. The more someone saves, the more they can win.

EARN is in the nascent stages of testing out Scratch & Save, but the early results are promising. To learn more, check out our most recent Big Data on Small Savings brief.

As EARN’s Director of Research, Tim is responsible for measuring the impact of SaverLife, testing new ways to encourage saving, and delivering insights that advance knowledge and tactics around financial inclusion and financial health.