San Francisco is paying people $10 a month to save money

With nearly half of Americans lacking enough cash savings to cover even a $400 emergency, the City of San Francisco is trying a new way to get people to save money — paying them to do it.

The city is recruiting 1,000 people to participate in a campaign called Saverlife that gives participants $60 if they save $20 a month for six months. Participants link their bank accounts electronically to Saverlife so their savings activity can be monitored. They earn $10 a month in rewards and claim their $60 at the end of six months of continuous saving.

The program is open to anyone 18 or older in the Bay Area, but it’s aimed at getting the poorest households to create a modest financial cushion, said Leigh Phillips, CEO of EARN, a nonprofit “micro savings” provider that partnered with the city to create Saverlife.

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