Commonwealth News

Who are Experts on Financial Vulnerability?

The financial challenges faced by financially vulnerable Americans continue to change as the economic, political, and social landscapes evolve at an increasingly rapid pace. We gather new key insights every time we talk with financially vulnerable pe…

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Prize Savings Wins Best Prepaid Incentive Award

Prize Savings, a Prize-Linked Savings feature on the Walmart Prepaid MoneyCard, has won the Best Prepaid Incentive Program Award at the 2017 Pay Awards. The results are the combination of votes from the expert judging panels and the aggregated result…

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The Impact of Prizes

Commonwealth’s work to use prizes to motivate saving has led to $185 million being saved, mostly by financially vulnerable people, in the last 8 years. The chance to win a prize has proven time and time again to be an effective motivator for pe…

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Commonwealth and America Saves Announce SaveYourRefund $25,000 Grand Prize Winner

Commonwealth and America Saves are thrilled to announce Ivonne Sonato-Vega of Santa Rosa, Calif. as the 2017 winner of SaveYourRefund’s $25,000 Grand Prize Photo Contest. The SaveYourRefund campaign encourages savings at tax time by offering c…

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The Gamification Effect: Using Fun to Build Financial Security

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 Co…

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Blog Post: Half of All Americans Don’t Have $400 to Spare

Following the Aspen Institute Summit on Inequality & Opportunity, Commonwealth’s Executive Director Tim Flacke shared thoughts on how our work is expanding opportunity and addressing inequality. Aspen Institute has posted Tim’s piece …

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Senators reintroduce SAVINGS Act of 2017

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) today reintroduced the Save Access to a Valuable Investment Needed to Generate Savings (SAVINGS) Act of 2017, legislation that would preserve the Tax Time Savings Bond program. Since 2010, …

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Preparing for Minimum Wage Hikes

At Commonwealth, we're exploring whether the upcoming minimum wage increase that will impact 13 million employees can be used as an opportunity to encourage employees to start saving and build financial security. There is a gr…

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Using Rules of Thumb to Promote Better Financial Decisions

You’ve probably heard that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but why are there are so few simple, effective messages about your finances? Credit unions can build a better relationship with their members by offering these sort…

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Ford Foundation Features Work of Commonwealth

The Ford Foundation published a guest post on their blog, written by Commonwealth Executive Director Timothy Flacke, about the launch of Prize Savings, the first nationwide Prize-Linked Savings (PLS) product on a prepaid card designed by Commonwealth…

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Building Commonwealth in 2017

At the start of a new administration, we are surrounded by change and uncertainty, with more to come. Much of this change is threatening - to our mission, to the people we aim to support, and to our values. Some things, however, have not change…

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Prize Savings Brings Prize-Linked Savings Nationwide

Walmart and Green Dot in partnership with Commonwealth today announced the introduction of “Prize Savings,” a Prize-Linked Savings (PLS) incentive program available to the millions of Walmart MoneyCard-holders. “According to The Fe…

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Commonwealth Launches New Financial Entertainment Site

Commonwealth has launched a new website for Financial Entertainment, a suite of online and mobile financial education video games that teach users concepts including retirement, budgeting, debt repayment, savings, and more. While the site’s fr…

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Prize-Linked Savings Available Nationwide

Prize Savings, a Prize-Linked Savings (PLS) feature of Walmart’s MoneyCard prepaid card, is now available across the country. This means millions of people nationwide now have access to a fun, engaging and rewarding way to build emergency savin…

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Innovations in Student Loan Repayment

Commonwealth is partnering with ASA (American Student Assistance) to test Rules of Thumb for student loan repayment behaviors with recent college graduates. As of 2015, more than 41 million Americans collectively owed a total of more than $1.2 trill…

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Americans Can Win Big for Saving Money at Tax Time Again in 2017 with SaveYourRefund

In the 2017 tax season, SaveYourRefund will once again offer tax filers the chance to win cash prizes for saving a portion of their tax refunds. Now in its fifth year, SaveYourRefund is a partnership between Commonwealth and …

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America: The Owner’s Manual

Senator Bob Graham and Chris Hand have co-authored a new book, America, the Owner’s Manual: You Can Fight City Hall – and Win, which features a chapter written by Commonwealth. Chapter 2 of the book, “Just the Facts, Ma’am,&r…

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Massachusetts Passes Prize-Linked Savings Legislation

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill on October 14, 2016 permitting Prize-Linked Savings (PLS) in the state. The bill, which will go into effect in January 2017, permits banks and credit unions to offer savings promotions raffles. PLS a…

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Explore New Ideas With Us

Here at Commonwealth, we aspire to build innovative solutions that make people financially secure. In order to do that effectively, we need to explore new ideas about existing and new issues faced by financially vulnerable Americans. The new Exp…

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Rules of Thumb Show Success as Cost-Effective Tool

Last month, Urban Institute released new research, co-authored by Commonwealth staff, that consumers who received two different Rules of Thumb such as Don't Swipe the Small Stuff "had, on average, $104 and $58 less in revolving credit card d…

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