While the financial industry has rolled out budgeting apps and automatic savings features that make it easier than ever to save for a rainy day, it can be hard for savers to prioritize short-term satisfaction for longer-term incentives. A new app, Long Game, is taking a new approach by gamifying the process instead.
Long Game’s founder, Lindsay Holden, describes the app as a “combination of personal finance and gaming”. The app encourages users to build their savings by paying them to play games. The app helps you build good habits by making saving exciting, thus you’re less inclined to spend. But does it work?
Setting Up the App to Start Saving
Setting up an account still takes a bit more effort than a typical game app. Upon opening Long Game for the first time, users are prompted to open up a bank account with one of Long Game’s partners.
Once your account is set up, you’ll set up an automatic funding plan and set preferences as to when (weekly/monthly/bi-monthly) and how much (minimum of $5) you want to save each cycle. Users can also make one-off deposits at any time to get started or to boost their savings. The amount that you save determines how quickly you’ll earn coins, which are used within the app to play games.
Also noteworthy: while Long Game will automatically deduct the pre-set amount from your bank account on the schedule that you select, you can opt to skip a withdrawal at any time if an unexpected expense arises.
How Does Long Game Work?
Coins work as they do in most apps: they accumulate over time, whether you’re playing Long Game or not. Users have other means of earning coins as well. You can refer friends who sign up, make deposits, or catch special promotions on the app.
Users can choose from a variety of games, from single-player, scratch-offs to a lottery-style weekly drawing for $1,000,000. In addition, you can win crypto.
The games are simple but addictive. Users can play games for as little as 5 coins. The games that I was most interested in – and that offered cash prizes – were at least 10,000 coins.
Is Long Game Legit? Can You Win Money With Long Game?
The more “expensive” games offer users the chance to win up to $100, which goes into your savings. Long Game claims that users can win up to $1 million for playing and has so far cut checks to users for up to $1,000, according to TechCrunch.
Remember: even though you’re playing lottery-style games, your money isn’t at risk. Long Game says that it makes its money by sharing in part of the profits that banks make off of your savings, which means that the app technically doesn’t cost you anything.
I found myself using the app during small downtimes, such as waiting for a train or killing time during lunch. Usually, I played until I ran out of coins and picked my phone up later when I had more.
Long Game encourages you to save, but you can transfer money out of the app at any time. Like any transfer across bank accounts, doing so takes a few days. Long Game cites a three- to five-day window for transfers.
Is Long Game Worth Your Time?
Long Game is a fun, engaging way to save your money. If you’re predisposed to gamble – or you’re just looking for a way to spend your free time – it’s worth downloading. Between the coin-based rewards system and automating savings features, this app will likely help even reluctant savers get started.
The Long Game app is definitely already fun, it’s completely free as banks pay them, not you, and the team behind the app seems to be continuously rolling out new games, as well as new features, like the ability to earn free crypto for saving and playing. With some luck and a little bit of fun, all of us will save more.