Using a game-based approach, new financial-education and savings programs are putting the power to save in the palm of users’ hands and reinforcing and rewarding smart savings decisions.
Managing personal finances can be stressful, intimidating, and at times simply mystifying. What if gaining financial knowledge, building self-confidence, and taking positive financial action could be as fun and engaging as playing a video game? At Commonwealth, we believe that tools that use fun to increase people's motivation to engage with financial topics, reduce stress and anxiety surrounding financial decision making, and lead to real-world action taking can improve the financial security and opportunity of financially vulnerable New Englanders. This article describes how Commonwealth has applied video games and gamified tools to financial concepts and behaviors. It discusses what we learned and concludes with an invitation to the financial industry and community practitioners to engage in deep conversations about how these lessons can be applied more broadly.