Commonwealth News

Commonwealth Launches Tax Advisory Group

On October 20th, we held the first meeting of our Tax Advisory Group – a collection of industry experts focused on thinking expansively and with new perspectives about saving and financial security at tax time. The goal of this work is to identify promising strategies for dramaticall…

Commonwealth and America Saves Team up for the Sixth Year of SaveYourRefund

In the 2018 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 sixth year, the SaveYourRefund campaign provides fun and exciting incentives for Americans to build financial security at tax time. This year, …

Boston Saves Receives $35,000 National League of Cities Financial Inclusion Grant

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that the National League of Cities has awarded a $35,000 grant to support the growth of Boston Saves - the City of Boston's children's savings account program - as it enters the second year of its three-year pilot. The grant will fund Bost…

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 people directly – experts on their own lives. …

Health Insurance and Financial Security

While financially vulnerable Americans face great risks in the current health insurance debate in Washington, regardless of the outcome, we know millions of working people will continue to struggle with the financial challenges posed by employer-sponsored High-Deductible Health Plans (HDHP).  A…

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 results of online voting. This year, more than 33,000 vo…

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 people to save, allowing them to begin to build fina…

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 chances at cash prizes for filers who save at least…

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 Commonwealth, we believe that tools that use fun to …

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 on their blog, addressing the problem that many Am…

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, the Tax Time Savings Bond program has provided tax…

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 great deal of research that shows that emp…

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 sorts of simple, actionable messages to guide and simp…

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 in partnership with Walmart and Green Dot Bank. …

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 changed: tens of millions of financially vulnerable peop…

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 Federal Reserve Board of Governors, nearly half of a…

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 front end provides a better user experience and desi…

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 savings. “We saw a growing crisis in the US arou…

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 trillion in student loan debt. Nearly 25% of those…

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 America Saves. The SaveYourRefund campa…