Making Saving Easy and Fun for Low-Income Families

Posted January 5, 2017, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Blog makingsavingeasyforlowincomefamilies 2016

Com­mon­wealth, a long-time Casey grantee, has launched an incen­tive pro­gram to help finan­cial­ly vul­ner­a­ble Amer­i­cans build sav­ings through Prize Sav­ings.

In a part­ner­ship with Wal­mart, the pro­gram allows Wal­mart Mon­ey­Card cus­tomers to enter a month­ly sweep­stakes that awards hun­dreds of cash prizes when they elect to save. It is the first nation­al and first retail offered prize-linked sav­ings pro­gram, a proven strat­e­gy for help­ing fam­i­lies build sav­ings and assets.

Win­ning is an incred­i­ble moti­vat­ing fac­tor — Amer­i­cans spend upwards of $70 bil­lion each year on the lot­tery in hopes of win­ning a prize. Com­mon­wealth uses that same prin­ci­ple to moti­vate pos­i­tive finan­cial behav­iors among low-income fam­i­lies, and it is work­ing. Since launch­ing Prize Sav­ings in August, use of the Mon­ey­Card Vault has gone up by more than 130%.

The Foun­da­tion works to help fam­i­lies keep what they earn through sav­ings and strong mon­ey man­age­ment. Casey encour­ages states to allow prize-linked prod­ucts as a way to encour­age sav­ings. Though it is per­mit­ted nation­wide by fed­er­al leg­is­la­tion, only 22 states cur­rent­ly autho­rize it.

Read more about the Prize Sav­ings program

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