CHALLENGE 3: FitFuture

Do you want to get in the best shape of your life – physically and financially? If so, FitFuture is for you!

FitFuture leverages the existing culture around physical fitness and gyms to incentivize saving. Research shows that gyms already save you money, to the tune of $2,500 a year; FitFuture takes that money to the bank. Based on the hypothesis that persons who exercise might be temporarily motivated to continue with self-improvement, FitFuture operationalize those moments by increasing ability and deploying triggers. Whenever a FitFuture participant is feeling good about the now, they are prompted to save in the future.

The program itself consists of three elements which use hope, fear and anticipation as primary motivators: a branded credit card, a linked physical and financial fitness tracker and a gym membership. Our idea builds on meters used in activity trackers and video games: people who exercise are driven to increase the number of calories burned or the distance travelled; video game users are motivated to increase the number on their in-game meter. Playing off these these concepts, FitFuture use sparks and signals to link physical fitness with financial fitness.

FitFuture is low-ability and designed to integrate into the lives of the target audience — young people who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle — without major lifestyle changes. As with calories and fitness, If people are perpetually reminded of their savings, they will be more aware of their spending and saving habits. FitFuture aims to have a constant, daily presence in people’s lives that leads to behavioural change.

1. Credit Card

The FitFuture credit card is a literal picture of financial health. The credit card uses an electrochromic material that it fades based on the user’s financial health. If a user has spent too much, the card will become lighter. This concept also incorporates social acceptance and rejection as a motivator: users don’t want to pull out their card at a cash register and have everyone see that their card is lighter.

2. Activity tracker

The FitFuture activity tracker works across devices: wearables, smartphones and laptops. On the wearable, a display shows a daily savings meter along with more  typical fitness meters for daily steps and distance. Similarly, on a smartphone app or desktop software, a person’s savings meter is displayed right on their home page. Every time they open their devices, they will be reminded of their savings meter.

3. Gym membership

The FitFuture gym membership combines consumers desire to improve themselves physically today, with low-barrier means to improve themselves financially tomorrow. Both the credit card and activity tracker could be linked to the gym membership.

One part of the membership is a $5 surcharge to a monthly membership fee, which deposits directly into a savings account or retirement fund. This is beneficial for both members and the gym. For members, while $5 is a small amount per month, the payment links the routine of saving to physical fitness. Gyms can use the program to shape their brand: becoming a company which cares about both their members’ physical and financial fitness (merging the personas of a hip, young friend and caring parent). The FitFuture brand also doubles as a pervasive spark trigger, which primes members to think about their financial health.

The membership also provides exercise classes that allow members to contribute to their retirement fund and savings while working out. One example might be the sale of electricity generated by specialized stationary bikes back to the local power utility. Profits could be directly transferred to members long-term savings. Elsewhere in the gym, facilitator triggers could give members an easy way to save right after workouts.