How to Get Paid to Save Money

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Wow! This nonprofit matches your savings! Definitely checking out their tax refund challenge, too.

Do you all remember my post from way back in June last year, when I talked about why financial health matters to me? That post won me a free trip to FinCon in Dallas last October. It was a great opportunity for me to reconnect with lots of other financial bloggers, meet new members of the financial media, and connect with an amazing nonprofit, EARN.

Here we are six months later in the new year. This time of year presents a great opportunity for us to revisit the topic of financial health and savings.

Matched Savings Accounts

EARN–the nonprofit I met at FinCon–is all about savings. For the past 15 years, EARN has been the largest national provider of matched savings.

What is matched savings, you ask?

It means that EARN pays you to save money. Believe it or not, there isn’t a catch. EARN is a nonprofit dedicated to helping working Americans build a strong financial future and financial stability.

Here is the story of just one of the many people they have helped:

SaverLife

Since I met them in October, I’ve been exploring all the different paths to savings EARN offers. My favorite is a FREE online program called SaverLife, which rewards you for setting aside money in your own savings account. Even if you’ve never saved before, or have only ever set aside a few dollars here and there, SaverLife is a great way to kick-start and grow your savings in just six months.

All you have to do is commit to saving $20 or more in your own savings account a month and SaverLife will reward you with a $10/month match for six months. Save for your children’s education, your emergency fund, your next vacation—the sky’s the limit. You choose whatever goal you want. EARN’s matched incentives help you build a savings habit as you watch your bank account grow.

To participate, you will need:

  • An email address
  • An account at a bank or credit union you use for savings
  • Access to your savings account online

There are no income limits. There are no fees to get started. Getting set up with SaverLife is 100% free, and gives you a financial incentive to get those dollars into your savings account.

Committing to Saving Your Tax Refund is Winning

With the massive identity theft that has happened in the past year, it’s incredibly important to file your 2017 tax return as quickly as possible so that no one else gets your refund or files a fraudulent return in your name.

Also important is using your tax refund dollars wisely. Rather than spending every last one of them, I’d encourage you to set at least a portion of your refund aside to put in savings.

EARN encourages you to do the same thing. Simply take the pledge and save at least $50 of your tax refund and you’ll automatically be entered to win one of fifty weekly $100 prizes via their Savers Win campaign. If you’re willing to tell your financial story, you’ll be entered to win a $5,000 grand prize, too.

It’s the new year. Let’s get it started on the right financial foot. Save some of your tax refund. And get paid for saving your own money by signing up with SaverLife.

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9 thoughts on “How to Get Paid to Save Money

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      They’re a nonprofit, and while I’m not 100% on all of their different sources of funding, I know they do rely at least partially on donations–which are tax-deductible on the giver’s end.

      No fees.

      And since they link to your bank account rather than providing a bank account themselves, they don’t pay interest. This particular program just gives you $10/month as long as you save at least $20/month in your preexisting savings account, which you can link when you sign up.

      Reply
  1. JoeHx

    I was curious how they link to a single account if you have multiple accounts with a bank, since everywhere else I link bank accounts that can check the balance, such as Mint.com, link via username and password (at least initially) and then they see all the accounts.

    SaverLife was similar, but it let me choose which account out of a list of accounts after linking. This sixty bucks will be pretty easy.

    Reply
  2. Erin | Reaching for FI

    i just finished the SaverLife program and got my $60 a few weeks ago! Although when I signed up there was something about you had to be under some percentile (perhaps 80?) of the average income in your zip code. Given I live in DC, that was a super easy requirement to meet.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Nice! You know, I didn’t run into that requirement. I’m trying to remember if I had to add my income in there or not—maybe it just figured it out for me without letting me know about the percentile requirement. Curious what the average is in my neighborhood as we have a pretty mixed bag of low-income earners, middle-class households and then multi-millionaires.

      Reply
  3. Prudence Debtfree

    I really love that concept, Femme – and I hope that some day it can be upgraded to higher numbers. Here’s my question: Is there some way to build in an anti-debt-using strategy for this program?

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      That’s a great question. I’m going to get some more info for you. My knee jerk answer is that they’re primarily focused on savings–especially as a surprising amount of people can’t handle a small emergency in the hundreds of dollars. Having this padding can keep you from turning to credit.

      BUT let me ask some people who know all the programs inside and out.

      Reply
  4. Gary @ Super Saving Tips

    Interesting program. Hopefully participants will keep up the savings after the matches end. This program reminds me of another one that rewards people for saving money and paying down debt. It’s called SaveUp but it’s not active right now….I think they’re rebuilding it.

    Reply

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