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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 June 6, 2019

          The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

          The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

          Are you on track for retirement?

          If not, don’t worry, I’m not sure either. I save each month and hope for the best.

          Fortunately, I’m at an age where most people don’t save so I’m ahead of the curve.

          But, what if you aren’t in your 20s? What if you’re near retirement and are looking to gauge where you stand?

          If so, keep reading. Here’s how to prepare for retirement and save wisely during the process.

          What Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

          Saving for retirement is tricky.

          Tell someone straight out of college to save $10k a year for retirement and it’ll be next to impossible.

          Make the same request to someone decades older and they’d be more likely to be able to save this amount. But, a 20-year old college student can be “financially ahead” of someone saving more than them. Why?

          Age matters in your financial journey. The younger you are, the more time you have to save and put compound interest to work. As you get older and have more saving power, you’d have less time to put compound interest to work.

          Here are the average savings Americans hold by age bracket:

          20’s – $16,000

          During this stage, most people are paying loans and moving up the corporate ladder. Your best bet during this stage is to focus on eliminating debt and increasing your income. Don’t focus only on getting a high-paying job neither.

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          Instead, focus on learning via Podcasts, reading books, and taking specialized courses. Doing this will make you more valuable and give you more career options.

          30’s – $45,000

          At this stage, you’ve hopefully escaped your entry-level salary and work at a career you enjoy. Your earning power has increased but you now have more obligations. For example, marriage, kids, and a mortgage.

          Set a plan to pay off all your debt and focus on eliminating unnecessary expenses. Leverage financial tools like Personal Capital to ensure you’re on track for retirement.

          40’s – $63,000

          This is the stage where you’re at the prime of your career. Top financial institutions recommend you have at least 2 to 4 times your salary saved up. If you’re falling behind, start maxing out your 401K and Roth IRA accounts.

          50’s – $115,000

          During your fifties, you’re close to retirement but still, have time to save. You may be helping your kids pay college tuition and other expenses. Since you’re at the peak of your earning power, max out all your retirement accounts.

          60’s – $172,000

          By this point, you should have about eight times your salary saved up. If not, you’ll depend primarily on social security benefits averaging $1400 per month. Max out all your retirement options as much as possible before retiring.

          Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

          The sad reality is that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

          Even high-earning power isn’t enough to secure one’s financial future. You need to have the discipline to save for retirement while time is in your favor. Don’t wait for you to have a high salary to save, start with having a small budget.

          First, get a clear picture of where you stand. Write down a list of “needs” and “wants.” For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime are “wants” and a “cell-phone” is a need.

          Use tools like Personal Capital to analyze your spending patterns. Personal Capital allows you to add all your financial data in one place–making it a powerful option to gauge where you stand.

          Once you know all your expenses, organize them from highest to lowest expense. When you can’t cut more expenses, call your service providers to negotiate a lower price. If you’re not good at negotiating, use services like Trimm to lower your monthly expenses.

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          How to Save Money Each Month

          By this point, you know the average amount of money you should have saved for retirement based on your age.

          But, breaking this down into monthly goals can be challenging. Here are some rule of thumbs to follow:

          Aim to contribute 10%–15% of your salary each paycheck. Review your progress each week.

          Why so often? The reality is that life gets in our way and you will have many financial setbacks. Your goal isn’t to be perfect but to get back on track instead.

          Reviewing your finances weekly lets you know where you stand with your retirement. This doesn’t have to be a long process either. All it takes is login in Personal Capital to view your net worth and check how much you have saved for retirement.

          Turn saving into a game and aim to save more each month. It will get challenging but you’ll get creative and find more ways to save.

          Top Money Saving Challenge Tips

          To prepare for your financial future and not be another statistic you need to be different.

          How?

          By adopting new habits that’ll help you become a saving machine. Here are some ways you can save more:

          Automatically Contribute Towards Retirement

          If you’re working for a company, you can automatically contribute towards your 401k. If you’re not currently contributing more than 10%, make this your goal. Contribute 1% more today and automatically increase this amount a year from now.

          Odds are that you’re not going to be negatively affected by contributing 1% more. Many times we spend our money on things we don’t need. Contributing more towards retirement is a great way to secure your financial future.

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          Use the Right Tools to Know Where You Stand

          Once you’re contributing more towards your retirement accounts, gauge your progress. Make use of finance tracking apps to help you view the big picture of your retirement.

          When I’d first signed up for the app Personal Capital, I didn’t know I had a negative net worth. Despite saving thousands of dollars, my debt brought my net worth to the negative. Knowing this motivated me to save more and spend less.

          Now, I have a positive net worth. But, it was because I was able to view the big picture using the app. Find out what your net worth is using a finance tracking app and you may surprise yourself.

          Bring in Experts to View Your Blind Spots

          If you have too little or too much money saved, you should consider hiring financial experts.

          Why?

          You may need someone to hold you accountable to help you reach your financial goals. Or, you may need help managing your money as effective as possible.

          Regardless of the reason, getting help may help improve your financial situation.

          Before you hire an expert, find out which areas you need help the most. For example, if you’re constantly overspending, find a debt counselor. If you’re struggling with choosing the best investment options, hire a financial advisor.

          Speed up Your Retirement Contribution

          After learning how to manage your money well, the next best thing is to earn a higher income.

          You’re capped at how much you can save but not much you can earn. Even if your employer isn’t giving you a promotion, you can still take charge of your financial future. How?

          By starting a side-business.

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          This will be something you’d work on after you’ve finished your day job. Once you start earning income from your side-business, you’ll be financially better off.

          The best part is the more work you put into your side-business,[1] the more potential it has to earn more money.

          So start a side-business in an area you’re familiar with. For example, if you enjoy writing, do freelance writing for small e-commerce businesses.

          Once you’re earning a higher income, you can contribute more towards your retirement. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to secure your financial future, create one.

          Reach Financial Freedom with Confidence

          What if you were able to retire tomorrow with no problem, all because you’d have enough money saved up and little to no debt left to pay off? How would you feel?

          My guess is that you’d feel happy and relieved.

          Most Americans are falling behind their retirement goals for many reasons. They’re not prepared, they carry bad money-habits and are thinking short-term.

          For you to retire successfully, you need to work backward and adopt better habits. Contribute more towards your 401K and focus on growing your income.

          If you do, you’ll save money and pay debt faster.

          Don’t beat yourself up if you’re behind your retirement goals. Take the first step today towards a brighter financial future. Isn’t retirement worth the hard work and sacrifice to be at peace?

          Featured photo credit: Huy Phan via unsplash.com

          Reference

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