This story previously appeared in KillerStartups.
Money management is a concern for many Americans. As the global economy struggles in the wake of the pandemic and inflation remains a very real factor in daily life, many individuals are looking for ways to improve how they handle their money.
One obstacle to this is the overall dry and dull nature of financial education. Learning how to invest, grow wealth, and even tend to a personal budget can be difficult and time-consuming.
Envie is an innovative app that is helping improve money management and financial understanding through two key concepts: gamification and accessibility.
Envie Has Digitized the 100-Envelope Challenge
The Envie is an app developed by Southern Bancorp. The forward-thinking financial institution invests in bridging the gap between traditional banking services and modern consumers through the creation of unique financial development tools — including Envie.
Envie is designed to digitize the popular 100-Day Envelope Challenge. The challenge has trended across social media at various times, often with the hashtag #envelopechallenge.
The goal of the 100-Day Envelope Challenge is to number envelopes from one to 100. Each day, a person saves an amount of money equal to the number on the envelope. Using this method, they can amass $5,050 over the course of 100 days.
While the envelope challenge is effective, it has its shortcomings. One obvious issue is the hassle of wrangling up 100 physical envelopes …and then having a steady stream of over five grand in physical cash (in small bills, no less) to stuff inside them.
The other issue is the isolating and unengaging aspect of the challenge. While it’s fun to get started after seeing an inspiring Facebook post or TikTok video, once a person begins, they’re on their own.
Envie is solving these issues by taking the entire process online.
Envie Is Revolutionizing the #envelopechallenge
The company is enabling those who struggle financially to take on the envelope challenge effectively. The fintech app provides users with an easy way to connect to their bank using a simple, secure process.
Once a profile is set up, the fun begins.
A user starts by setting a goal. This could be the traditional $5,050. But if that is too aggressive, they can dial down the number to something more manageable and reflect their personal savings goals. Envie has five savings levels to choose from, starting at the $350 Challenge.
From there, they play a gamified version of the envelope challenge. Participants can unlock rewards as they move around the board and save a small amount of money each day. For instance, a 30-day saving streak opens “the Goldie.” This is a golden envelope that appears on the board. When a saver lands on a Goldie, Envie pays the savings amount for that day.
Despite these cash-infused rewards, the Envie app is completely free for users to play. This makes it a uniquely accessible, reward-driven, and gamified experience. This results in a natural draw for anyone who struggles to manage money or understand finances in the first place.
Envie Is Combatting the Growing Issue of Financial Illiteracy
While Envie is a unique, engaging money management tool, it’s more than a fun way to save for a vacation. The app is also helping those who struggle to grasp the nuances of finance — which is a sizable group at this point.
In April 2022, the market research firm Ipsos reported that more than a third (36%) of Americans are financially illiterate. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority puts the number much higher, at an alarming 66%. Even when they know how to handle money, the average American is only “moderately confident” in their ability to do so.
According to the Financial Educators Council, financial illiteracy means a person is “Lacking the skills and knowledge on financial matters to confidently take effective action that best fulfills an individual’s personal, family and global community goals.” In other words, it’s an educational shortcoming that directly impacts personal life.
Financial Literacy Crisis
Envie is an alternative that makes saving money both fun and straightforward, especially for the third of Americans who struggle with money management. It helps people save money and, by extension, improve their financial status. At the same time, it teaches discipline and the need to stick to commitments to experience financial rewards.
This is all cloaked under a game, which is uniquely pertinent to the current financial literacy crisis. According to Ipsos’ research, while a third of Americans may not understand money matters, the younger a person is, the more likely it is that they struggle.
41% of Millennials can’t manage money well, and 58% of Gen Zers fall into the financially illiterate category. These are demographics that are digital natives who grew up in a game-driven era. Gamification and digital accessibility are powerful ways to entice them to learn more about managing money — and have some fun along the way.
The Envie Effect
Financial illiteracy may be a concern, but there are solutions to the problem. Envie is one of them.
The gamified savings app is helping users from all walks of life sharpen their money management skills, improve their financial status, and even create some substantial savings in the process.