Common Cents Lab

Design Prototypes

We apply behavioral insights on financial well-being to design, build, and test technology solutions and then partner with existing players to enable distribution.


Here’s what we’re working on right now…

Happy Money

How can we avoid spending that causes regret?

Most of the times we think about budgeting, we think about cutting expenses. While sometimes this is good, other times we want to double down on spending if it makes us happier.[1] The question we should be asking is how can we spend in such a way that optimizes our happiness vs. makes us feel regret and shame.

Big question. To start tackling it, we’ve designed a survey that will help us determine how we can have more Happy Money purchases. The eventual goal is to deeply understand what makes us happy and help people do more of this and less of the other stuff.

We’re partnering with Qapital to design and launch this research tool that will ultimately be designed to increase our happy money. 

Financial coaching at scale

How do we replicate the good results that financial coaching produces at a cost that is available to all income levels?

We worked with Retiremap to build and design a digital coaching platform that helps advisors scale 1:1 financial coaching. The core design is embedded with behavioral insights that help to mimic a trusted coach interaction. With these thoughtful touch points and action planning, we aim is to drive short and long term saving and expense reduction. The app will launch in 2017 to a selected group of financial advisors.

Social proof for finances

How does social proof work to change spending habits?

Social proof messaging has been shown to impact voting, energy consumption, and eating behaviors.  However, few experiments have been done showing the impact of social proof on financial behaviors.

Common Cents is building a research app that allows users see how they are doing in comparison to people in their income and location brackets. We will test which spending categories respond positively to social proof nudges and how to display the message to have the most financial impact.