I’ll be honest, I’m not the best with money. I’m an impulse buyer, terrible saver and have expensive taste. It’s not something I’m proud of and I’m so grateful I married a man who is the opposite (except for expensive taste, we share that attribute). When he first told me about the two money saving apps we now use I was skeptical. Letting an app have access to our financial information sketched me out, but he seemed to trust them so I agreed to try them.
Having two apps for saving may seem redundant but they work in different ways.
Acorns is an app that connects to as many accounts or cards you’d like, rounds up each purchase you make with those accounts to the next dollar and invests the difference in the stock market. For example, if you buy a magazine for $4.50 the app will round up to $5 and take the $.50 difference and invest it. We’ve wanted to start investing for some time but didn’t have a big chunk of money lying around to do so. Using this method, called micro investing, allows us to start investing without too much pressure and compounds our leftover change into real savings.
You can also set up automatic investments from your bank account, say $10 a week for example, to add to your investments. The more money you invest, the more returns or profit you’ll get. The app allows you to see exactly where your money is invested and manage how risky you want to be with your investments. In investing, young people can typically have a higher risk profile than say an investor who is closer to retirement. While no one wants to lose money, the thinking is that if the market plummets and a young person loses some money you still have the time to earn it back before you rely on it for income like retirees.
We’ve used this method of saving for a few things in the past, and are currently using it to save for a down payment on a home. You can also use it as a “rainy day fund” as you can easily withdraw your profits at any time. It just takes a couple of days to get to your bank account once you initiate the withdrawal. There is a small fee of $1 a month to use the app. A worthwhile expenditure in our opinion.
The second app we use is Digit, which also makes our saving mindless and effortless. It analyzes your income and spending patterns and dips into your account every day and transfers a few dollars to a savings account. The algorithm it uses only takes what you can afford and has a no-overdraft guarantee. I have no idea how it’s so smart, but it’s never caused an issue for us.
You can also transfer money from this account at any time right back into your checking account. A perfect way to save for an upcoming adventure, a big purchase or just hide some money from yourself for any unexpected emergencies. We used Digit to save for our recent trip to England! If you’re like me, the more it’s hidden the safer it is. It’s pathetic I know. I’m just glad there’s technology that saves me from myself now.