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A First Look at SaveUp.com: Get Rewarded for Being Smart With Money [Giveaway!]

A First Look at SaveUp.com: Get Rewarded for Being Smart With Money [Giveaway!]

Talking about money and the economy can sure be depressing for most, especially since we haven’t seemed to shake the “Great Recession” and many areas of the world are under financial pressure. But, as some think we are starting to “come out of” the worst of it, we all can afford to look forward and try to reach our financial goals. And, since we are doing that, it may be cool to be rewarded for it.

In a nutshell

    SaveUp is a new service that rewards you for saving money, paying down your debt, and learning about finances. By adding your bank accounts, loan providers, and credit card accounts to your profile, you collect “credits” that you can use to play against certain giveaways. These giveaways aren’t like little dinky $10 Amazon cards or anything; we’re talking Home Gaming Set Up’s worth $5,000, or Round-Trip Tickets worth $400. As of today there is even a SaveUp Super Jackpot worth $2 million.

    Talk about motivation for learning about money and saving.

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    The process

      Prizes at SaveUp are pretty crazy.

      After signing up for a SaveUp you are directed to your Home area where you can view some of the prizes as well as start to put some of your credits towards them.

      When I first signed up I started with 30 credits and 3 plays. When playing a prize it will tell you how many credits you are going to use. After you have played you are down one of your “plays” for the day.

        Watch videos about money to get credits.

        You can get new credits in all kinds of ways. You can add new checking and savings accounts, add debt or loan accounts, watch videos related to learning about money and finance, accepting and completing challenges, and the big one, by paying down your debt and saving money. At first, it’s pretty easy to rack up some tickets, but you have to remember that you can only play 3 times per day.

        Thoughts

        There is a lot that SaveUp has going for it. The idea that you can win incredible prizes for adding accounts, learning about money, and saving and paying down your debt is extremely compelling.

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        If you are worried about the security of your accounts, that isn’t a bad thing. The good news is that SaveUp uses the same type of encryption that Mint and other financial instituions use (256-bit SSL), making it just as secure. Of course, you should always be careful with your online accounts, but if you practice the same safe password practices that you do with your other accounts, you shouldn’t have any issues.

          Winning more credits.

          Another awesome touch that SaveUp offers is that even if you obtain a ton of credits, you can only use 3 plays per day, making people that pay more in debt and save more not have an unfair advantage. That means us Joe Shmoes have the same chances as Mr. Money Baggs on the hill. Not bad.

          The prizes that you can win are serious. Like I said earlier these prizes are in the thousands and even millions. That’s pretty crazy if you think about it.

          Pools are a new feature that SaveUp added that allow you to add friends and family to your profile and then use them to play different prizes. This helps increase your chances of winning as well as encourage all of your groups to save and pay down debt with you.

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          On another note, the design and interface of SaveUp is appealing and intuitive. You aren’t bogged down by too many settings or confusing options making the user experience really good.

          Conclusion

          I think that SaveUp is great. If you can get around the idea of using your saving and debt paying as a way to play games and potentially win prizes then SaveUp is probably one of the best ways that I have seen to motivate you to do what is right with your money.

          Oh, and by the way, because we at Lifehack like you so much and the people at SaveUp are so darn cool, we are partnering up with them to offer Lifehack readers (US only) a chance to win $500! You can use the $500 any way you want, but we suggest using it to pay down debt, to start a savings account or 401K, or maybe even use it to by some of those shiny productivity tools you have been eying up.

          All you need to do is signup for The Lifehack Letter, Lifehack’s new, monthly newsletter that will bring you exclusive content and special offers. After signing up and verifying your email address, you will be sent a special link that you can use to create a new SaveUp account and have access to the $500 giveaway!

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          The Fine Print

          Employees of SaveUp.com and of Stepcase (including current independent contractors of both) are not eligible for this contest. The winner of the $500 will be announced by SaveUp on 3/6/2012 via email. This prize will only be accessible to readers that use the special link that is sent in The Lifehack Letter welcome email. Any questions about rules and terms visit SaveUp’s rules and terms pages.

          Good luck!

          More by this author

          CM Smith

          A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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          Last Updated on January 2, 2019

          How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

          How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

          Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

          Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

          Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

          This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

          Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

          What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

          Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

          When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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          How It Leads to Financial Improvement

          It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

          Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

          Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

          It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

          Types of Personal Finance Software

          When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

          Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

          For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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          Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

          When to Use Personal Finance Software

          So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

          Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

          1. You Have Multiple Accounts

          There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

          If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

          Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

          2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

          Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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          There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

          With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

          3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

          Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

          Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

          Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

          4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

          Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

          You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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          How to Get Started

          From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

          Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

          It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

          When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

          Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

          Final Thoughts

          Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

          In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

          Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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