One cool money saving app I discovered last year is the Acorn app. This is classified as a “microsavings service” that rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and invests that money in a variety of different investment options, depending on your savings goals.
How it works is that you download the app to your phone, follow all the directions to get it linked to your bank account, choose your investment strategy, and then spend money like you normally do. If you buy $27.34 in gas (side note – I am freakish about my gas totals, it has to end in in .50 or .00), the app will sync with your bank account and will add $.66 to your Acorns account. Most of us spend money on the regular, so this adds up quickly and painlessly. And makes balancing your checkbook a breeze! In about 6 months time I was able to save up enough money to replace the tires on my car without really even thinking about it. I averaged saving around $75 a month, and was pleased to see how effortlessly I accumulated a nice chunk of change.
Acorns does charge a monthly fee of $1. And when you do balance your checkbook look for the withdrawals to come as a separate item because the minimum you can invest at a time is $5. I just wrote the whole rounded up number in my checkbook register and make sure that balanced with the Acorns withdrawals. I have been very pleased with the ease of use for this app, which has cool features like being able to see throughout the day what the market has done. Their website has a wealth of information and cool tools for you to play around with.
And!!! The best part is right now if you click this link to sign up you will be given $5 to start out with. $5 in free money just for trying it out. I feel like I should add that I also get $5 when you sign up, and if you spread the word you’ll get a referral link that you can share to also earn $5 when people sign up. Share the free money! Let me know if you have any questions or how it goes for you when you sign up. Happy savings!
Side note: I know a lot of people are wary about linking their bank accounts to an online service. I am not one of those people, and I have never had a bad experience. If someone hacks in to your account and steals all your money, there are legal safeguards to protect you and your assets. You are much more like to have your information stolen using your physical card or even from your trash. Proceed at your own comfort level, but know that if you are using a reputable service your information is no more at risk than using your debit card at Target. And we all know how that turned out. Side note over.