Feature request: Beeminder as a "friendly bet" service

So a friend wants to an added motivation in his fitness goals and suggested a friendly bet. I told him that if you wanted a financial motive, he should (of course) check out Beeminder, but he wants the human element involved.
I was wondering if there could be a setting that in addition to the regular pledge, there was an added amount (on top of a base amount towards Beeminder) that would be sent to a Paypal address in case of a derail? I guess it kind of sounds tricky in terms of the legalities, but I’m sure it could be figured out.

cc @dreev, @bee


An easier way in terms of legality would be to take your money and credit your friend’s beeminder account.


I have occasionally wanted a feature like this.

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In the UK it’s common for your bank to let you schedule a payment for some future date, so a variation on @larsivi’s outside-of-Beeminder (:scream:) suggestion would be to make the private commitment, schedule a payment to your friend’s account, cancelling (or rescheduling) it after you’ve succeeded in maintaining the habit.


I love the way y’all think and very much agree with @philip that when setting up things like this it’s critical that you put the payment on autopilot. It should take explicit action for the payment to not happen. Otherwise the whole scheme will, in my experience, peter out.

As for Beeminder supporting this, I think it’s too much a can of worms for now but if we see more people doing ad hoc versions then we’ll reconsider! What about using our Supporters feature to notify the friend when you derail and then have a handshake agreement for what side payments happen?


[quote=“dreev, post:5, topic:2260”]have a handshake agreement for what side payments happen[/quote]Yes, this is what we went with in the end, in the form of sending each other the amount of the bet via Paypal. So there is a record of the bet in a way. The loser will refund the amount he has received.

Still, there’s a lot of stuff one could do with the concept. For example someone could set up a goal with the derailing amount going to a charity.