SaverLife Review: Starting Saving $20 a Month, Get Another $10 a Month Boost

saverlife0The importance of an emergency fund is often mentioned, but often the hardest thing is to get started. SaverLife.org is a program run by the nonprofit EARN to help working families by encouraging savings. Their idea here, essentially, is to kickstart a savings habit by paying a cash incentive for saving a least $20 each month for 6 months.

How it works. First, make sure you are age 18+ and have a US bank or credit union account. Taken from their FAQ:

  1. Join now by clicking the “Join Now” button at the top right corner of this page.
  2. Enter your name and email address.
  3. Connect your bank account to SaverLife by entering your online credentials so we can track how much you save.
  4. Save at least $20 each month for 6 months in your own bank account. We don’t touch your money, so you’ll need to move money to your linked account yourself.
  5. Earn $10 in rewards each month that you save at least $20.
  6. After 6 months, you can claim your rewards ($60 max) by completing an exit survey and entering your bank’s routing number and your account number.

You can set a goal higher than $20 a month if you’d like, they just set the bar to be encouraging to as many people as possible to start saving. You’ll receive weekly savings tips as well. SaverLife is not a bank or savings account. The money paid is not interest. If you sign up by April 13th, they promise additional “prizes”. Here’s an example of the motivation behind the nonprofit EARN:

saverlife1

Ideally, you should connect a savings account as they will basically take a snapshot every 30 days to see if your balance is $20 higher than the previous month. For example, if you join on April 10th, then they will check your balance again on May 9th. If you have a savings account, it will be easier to make sure you qualify by simply adding $20 to the account. Having a separate high-yield savings account is a better way to encourage savings anyway.

Bottom line. SaverLife is a free program designed to encourage household savings for working households. Link a bank account and earn $10 cash for every month that you save at least $20 (up to $60 total). I think this is a worthy effort, although I hope they perform some honest, long-term tracking and share if it really helps to develop a regular savings habit.

Comments

  1. I’ve never heard of SaverLife. What about privacy concerns?

  2. Scott Guirlinger says:

    So what happens if you link this to a savings account that’s already earning $20+ per month in interest? Is this just an easy extra $10 then?

  3. Given that this is a nonprofit effort, perhaps give some thought to whether you actually need the $60 to help before you sign up. I imagine different readers will be at different levels of need.

    • Joshua Katt says:

      Hard to believe they are simply giving money away out of the goodness of their hearts even being a not-for-profit. As an former auditor of PBS stations, the employees and management are well (if not over) compensated for the work they do. More than likely they’ve received some sort of government grant and have to give away the funds within a certain time period.

      • Its not hard to believe that a charity gives money away. Considering its a big part of what charity is.
        The grants come from banks. Those banks would have a self interest to fund a program that incentives using banks. Plus its a tax deduction for them.

        • If one researches it, one can find out what the parent organization EARN.org is all about and who funds them. Believe it or not, Joshua Katt, they’ve not received a government grant. And no, Jim, the grants do not only come from banks, but from various foundations and even individuals. Check out this web page: https://www.earn.org/supporters/

          Interestingly enough, you can contribute to this charity to help spread the money to encourage Americans to save more money: https://www.classy.org/campaign/keep-the-savings-spree-going/c156148

          • Joshua Katt says:

            Some pretty high class, expensive real estate for a not-for-profit, I’ve been there in SF 🙂
            (By mail—EARN, 235 Montgomery St. #1050, San Francisco, CA 94104;)

            Interesting TOS below. Likely the people this is “meant” to help save aren’t going to be interested or motivated as with most “social” programs we taxpayers fund (yes – not the case here).

            So $60 (max payout) seems to be the price to sell your information. BTW, I’m in and can resist the lure of targeted ads…

  4. So, how do you actually “save” ? I linked my accounts and how do I transfer over or they pull the funds?

  5. “we may enable you to share certain materials on our websites through social networking services, such as Facebook and Twitter. Third-party advertisers also may have a presence on some of our sites. These third parties may collect or receive certain information about your use of our Sites, including through the use of cookies, web beacons, and Internet technologies, and this information may be collected over time and
    combined with information collected across different websites and online services. ”

    if you choose to access any of these third-party sites or services, you should read the privacy notices and user disclosures on these other websites and evaluate their practices before deciding to disclose any information or use any of these services.

    Opt-out.

    We provide you the ability to opt-out of certain email and mail communications, such as our newsletters. For more information or to opt-out of receiving certain such communications, please email info@earn.org or follow the unsubscribe instructions that may be included in the email you receive.

    Do-Not-Track Signals and Similar Mechanisms.

    Some web browsers may transmit “do-not-track” signals to the websites and other online services with which a user communicates. There is no industry standard that governs what, if anything, websites should do when they receive these signals. EARN currently does not take action in response to these signals. If and when a standard is established and accepted, EARN may revisit its policy on responding to these signals.

    Questions?

    If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact EARN:

    By email—info@earn.org;

    By mail—EARN, 235 Montgomery St. #1050, San Francisco, CA 94104;

    Effective Date: February 2, 2015

    • That disclosure doesn’t concern me. Basically, if you use Facebook or Twitter, they have their own privacy policy which we can’t control (pretty public knowledge right now…). They have an e-mail newsletter, which you can opt out. So does everyone else. They don’t use web trackers to target you.

  6. Jonathan,

    you you in ?

  7. For the interested, here is EARN’s most recent Form 990 as a non-profit.

    https://www.earn.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/2016-EARN-990.pdf

    Doesn’t look that bad, either. They don’t pay their board members. The CEO and one other executive make between $100k-$200k, but for San Francisco, I don’t think that is egregious. Expenses look reasonable. They also have commissioned a randomized study at Stanford University to track the efficacy of this program. That’s exactly what I was looking for initially.

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