Zindagi is a web and mobile-based financial literacy “game” for teens that uses life experiences and social networking to teach them self-sufficiency.
There's a lot in a name
Zindagi literally means life in Hindi. The financial decisions that we make at an early age can have a huge impact on the trajectory or our lives and our ability to achieve our dreams. By helping students to make better financial decisions, Zindagi will empower them to live better lives. The concept is really simple – instead of trying to make games more life-like, Zindagi makes use of the fact that real-life is already one big game. To that end we are building software that leverages an ongoing and progressively more challenging series of real-life experiences to teach teenagers how to manage their money. Zindagi will combine the best aspects of social gaming, such as competition, social networking and incentives with meaningful opportunities to interact with real money, in order to help students aged 10-15 develop solid money management skills and a sense of personal responsibility. You can learn more about our efforts by visiting OneZindagi.com.
I know that financial illiteracy is a problem, but is it really that big of a deal?
Well, we could point to our nation’s most recent flirtation with apocalypse (i.e. the housing market crash, financial crisis and the Great Recession). But just in case you’re one of those people who needs a lot convincing, here’s some additional food for thought: In the United States over 95% of high school seniors are financially illiterate. This illiteracy is like a chronic disease with severe symptoms that manifest themselves over and over again in the form of poor financial decisions throughout the victim's lifetime.
In the U.S., over one million students drop out of college every year because they don’t understand how financial aid works. Many of these students have no idea that they are reducing their lifetime earnings by half. Among the students who manage to get to senior year in college (50% don’t quite make it that far), their average credit card debt is over $4,000. This in turn sets the stage for additional poor financial decisions. Burdened by debt and poor financial habits, only one in three of these students is likely to invest for retirement before age 35.
We need your help
By now, you’ve probably already guessed that we're here to ask for your financial support, but what does $25K achieve? Apart from our undying gratitude, it will fund the development of a Zindagi budgeting module. This money would allow us to work on this full-time for the next 2 months. Ideally, we would love to raise lots more for this project so that we have more time to test it with students.
Once the software is finished, we’ll offer it to students and parents directly as well as to schools and non-profits. Students will be able to access some of the core features for free, but we will offer premium services for a monthly subscription fee. Just as we want to teach the students financial self-sufficiency, we want to make sure that Zindagi is self-sufficient as well. We also prefer that the money to support the ongoing development of this project come from subscription fees rather than advertising. While there are a lot of entities who would love to advertise to kids, trying to convince the kids to save while simultaneously trying to sell them stuff would present somewhat of a conflict of interest for us.
We are committed to making sure that those who need Zindagi the most get access. We will donate a substantial number of free licenses as well as a percentage of any revenues to schools and communities with underserved students.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Our heartfelt gratitude and the knowledge that you helped pioneer a new and creative solution to America's financial illiteracy epidemic.
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You will be listed as a Community Supporter on our website and we will send you Zindagi Seeds of Life (the word Zindagi, signifies life, and the seeds are symbolic).
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Community Supporter listing, Zindagi seeds of Life, Zindagi T-shirt and 1 month of premium service.
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Advocate listing, Zindagi seeds of Life, Zindagi T-shirt and 3 months of premium service.
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Champion listing, Zindagi seeds of Life, Zindagi T-shirt, 3 months of premium service, 3 months donated to a child that needs it and a thank you note from a student who benefited from using Zindagi.
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1 backer Limited (6 left of 7)
You will be listed as a Zealot – 1 year of service + 1 year donated to 3 students, Lunch with Zindagi team (travel expenses not included) and thank you notes from students who benefited from using Zindagi.
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