If your credit-card spending got a little out of control over
the holidays, perhaps you could use an incentive to rein it back
in. Would the chance to win $6,000 be incentive enough?
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That's what the folks at
hope. The site launched a
January 3 to encourage people to break the habit of overspending
and eliminate holiday debt. To participate, you have to sign up at
SaveUp and register up to three active credit cards. Each day in
January that you don't use your cards you are entered for a chance
to win a $5,000 grand prize. SaveUp also is awarding five $1,000
prizes to people who share the challenge with others on Facebook or
Twitter. So you could win a total of $6,000.
SaveUp's No Spend Challenge is one of just many ways the site
rewards people for good financial behavior. The primary mission of
the San Francisco-based company, which was founded in 2011, is to
encourage more people to save money and pay down debt by giving
them chances to win cash and prizes.
Priya Haji, CEO and cofounder of SaveUp, says that the site's
rewards system is based on behavioral science, which has found that
people are more motivated to engage in certain behaviors by a
chance to win big. At SaveUp, good financial behavior earns you a
chance to win
big -- up to $2 million.
Here's how it works: Membership is free. When you sign up, you
register your financial accounts (as you would at any other
money-management site, such as Mint.com) so that SaveUp can award
you credits when you save money or pay down debt. Haji says that
the site uses bank-level encryption to protect data and never sells
members' personal information to third parties.
SaveUp awards members one credit for every $1 they save or pay
off in debt. The more you save or lower your debt, the more credits
you earn, and the more chances you get to win. You also can earn
more chances to win by getting others to join SaveUp and by
watching videos on the site about financial topics then taking
quizzes to see how much you learned. In addition to the $2 million
jackpot, prizes range from gift cards to a $5,000 deposit to your
savings account to $50,000 for a home down payment.
SaveUp collaborates with companies to offer the prizes, which
are listed on the site and basically serve as advertising for the
companies. And it makes money from partnerships with financial
institutions that promote their loans and banking products on the
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