New online games help players with money by making personal finance fun. 'Financial Football' teaches basic money concepts. 'SaveUp' helps members with money by rewarding them for saving.
What if digging out of debt were as easy as playing an online game?
That's the goal of a new crop of personal finance applications, including Financial Football and SaveUp. The gamemakers hope that by playing the games, people will learn good personal finance habits that will translate to the real world.
Financial Football is an online video game wherein success on the football field depends on the player's knowledge of basic money concepts – think the "Madden" video game series combined with a personal finance quiz. A joint project of Visa and the National Football League, it has different age levels: 11 to 14, 14 to 18, and 18-plus.
SaveUp takes a more comprehensive approach. The San Francisco-based start-up asks consumers to sign up (free of charge) on its website, then lets them link their financial accounts and obligations – from checking to college and car loans. The software helps them track their financial activity.
The motivational key to the program is the prizes that members can earn. For the money they save, they earn points that they can either redeem for rewards or use to enter raffles for prizes that run the gamut from Starbucks gift cards to a $2 million jackpot. (No actual money is in play.)