We are constantly told how important it is to save money. We know it, we get it, but we don’t always do it. It can seem like a daunting task or we just simply forget because of everything else going on in our lives. But, what if you could automate your savings? Would you do it?
As an adult, money becomes a very real daily part of our lives. Having a financial cushion becomes increasingly important over the years, especially when the economy can be so unpredictable. One of the key tricks to really building funds is consistency, but that can also be one the more difficult aspects of saving. Instead of relying on manually putting money aside each month (and the risk of forgetting or feeling like you can’t), automate your savings with these helpful five-star rated apps:
Qapital is a free savings app that is compatible with any bank and is FDIC-insured, which protects your funds for up to $250,000 if their partner bank were to fail. With no hidden fees and no minimum monthly balance required to start, Qapital works toward making savings fun for you. You can even get friends involved and make goals together on the app, which would be especially useful if you are saving for a trip together.
How it works: To get started, you download the app (now compatible for Android users as well), create a profile and connect your bank account followed by creating a goal (or goals) and then start saving. With their slogan, “Save small, live large,” they emphasis their lack of any additional fees.
This is a good fit if: This is the perfect option for you if you like being in full control of your accounts and you need to build healthy spending habits. You decide how often and how much you are setting aside. You can even choose to save traditionally or use their round-up program where they round up the amount you spend on certain items to place into your savings on the app. The app also permits you to “charge yourself for guilty pleasures.” You make the rules on how much is put in for certain splurges, and the app follows through.
Acorns is an online investment tool that works toward investing your money through your every day purchases. The “spare change” from each purchase will be rounded to the nearest dollar and then put aside into what is known as your investable funds once you reach $5. That money will then be transferred from your bank account into your Acorns app to be invested. However, you can transfer money over before waiting for the $5 threshold, whether you decide to do so weekly, monthly, or so on; you create the money transfer schedule from your bank account if you so choose.
How it works: The app will use the leftover change or the extra cash from your every day purchases and round them to the nearest dollar to place into your account. You attach a debit or credit card or bank account to connect to the app. The amount comes from your attached account on file and is automatically transferred over. So, if you give $3 for a $2.75 item, the app will take the remaining $0.25 to place into the threshold. Your Acorns investment account is then managed by expert financial advisers, who work at creating you a diversified portfolio. Thus, most of the work is done for you. And, you get all this for just $1 a month for accounts $5,000 or less. Once you reach $5,000 and beyond, you pay 0.25% of the account value.
This is a good fit if: Those who are beginner investors may want to look into Acorns. Also, students or those 24 years of age and younger looking to dive into investing do not have to pay any fees, making this an even better choice for you.
Money Clouds takes a visual approach to saving money. The creators behind it believe that simply defining your goals is not enough; you need to take it one step further. For each of your defined financial goals, you create a “Money Cloud,” which is made up of images, colors and descriptions that make your ambitions tangible. This creates a strong focus on why you are setting the money aside and makes it more of a priority for you.
How it works: When you sign up with Money Clouds, you immediately begin creating boards for your financial needs and desires. By using images and descriptions (think Pinterest), you can actually then share these with friends and family, which helps to keep you accountable or create goals together. Your boards can be made private if you wish, and the app is actually free. Your bank account information is also protected, and you set up your savings to go in through the app automatically using their savings calculator.
This is a good fit if: If you are a visual person as well as a social butterfly, Money Clouds is worth a try for you. You may want to double check that it is compatible with your mobile device though.
What are your favorite savings apps to use?