I’m not going to lie. I enjoy saving money the old-fashioned way. I enjoy actively budgeting and manually transferring money to my savings accounts each month to meet my financial goals. Life gets busy, though, and it’s easy to forget to transfer the money to my savings account. The best automatic savings apps easily solve that problem.
Many people think saving money is difficult. Recent studies bear this out, revealing that over half of Americans can’t handle a $400 emergency. Actively saving money on a regular basis is the difference between avoiding debt and moving towards financial stability. Apps that automate savings mitigate this problem and allows you to save money even while you sleep.
Not only does automating your savings help save more money, it also helps you accomplish other goals including:
- Avoiding debt
- Saving more money for retirement
- Saving money for a large expense
In short, using automatic savings apps helps you effortlessly grow your wealth now and for the long-term. If you find saving money on a regular basis a challenge, here are five of the best microsavings apps that will help you put more money in the bank.
Qapital is a free automatic savings app that helps you save by setting rules for your money using the If This Then That (IFTTT) formula. Want to save for a nice vacation, a new car, a rainy day, or a costly experience? This app can help.
You use Qapital by creating a set of unique rules that lead you to save automatically in one of their FDIC-insured accounts. To use this app, simply download it, sign up, connect your checking account, and create the terms for the rule and then set it and forget it.
Round up Rule – Qapital’s round-up rule allows you to round up purchases you make on your debit card and save the difference. For example, if you bought a coffee that cost $3.30, Qapital would take $0.70 and save it for you. That may not sound like much, but consider how many transactions you make per day. If you saved a little bit each time you swiped your card, the amount could add up fast! You can also choose to round up your nearest change to $2 or $3 to save at a faster rate.
Set and Forget Rule – This rule allows you to decide how much you want to save and set a specific day to make the automatic transfer so you stay on track.
Spend Less Rule – This rule is great for budgeters. Do you always spend $70 per week at the grocery store? Spend less than that and Qapital will automatically save the difference.
Guilty Pleasure Rule – We all have our guilty pleasures. Instead of cutting out your morning latte, set up a rule to save a specific amount every time you order it.
52-Week Rule – This savings rule helps you set up automatic payments based on the 52-week challenge so you can save around $1,378 in a year.
Freelancer Rule -This rule really piqued my interest. It’s a solution that helps freelancers and independent workers stay on top of their taxes and avoid trouble with the IRS. This rule automatically transfers a percentage of every deposit over $100 into your Qapital account.
It’s no secret that you don’t need a lot of money to start investing. If you want to build your investment portfolio, Stash is the perfect robo-investing app to help you get started easily and without much money.
You just need $0.01 to get started investing with Stash and you can set up weekly transfers to fund your account.
What makes Stash different is that they pride themselves on socially responsible investing. This means you can choose to invest in causes you care about like green energy, U.S. tech, and global industries that are making a difference.
Over the past year, Stash has changed and expanded their services. You can now set up a Roth or Traditional IRA to start saving for retirement or a traditional savings account and earn interest on your money.
The Smart-Save Stash account connects to your checking account and calculates when you have spare cash then saves a small percentage of it. You can adjust your savings and withdrawal rate at any time.
To further automate your investing, consider using the Stash Smart Portfolio. It’s only offered with the Growth and Stash+ plans, but it allows Stash to invest and rebalance for you.
Acorns is another automatic savings app that helps you save and invest. There is no minimum deposit requirement so you can start investing with little money and you can set up weekly transfers to fund your account.
Like Qapital, Acorns has a round-up feature but the money goes towards investing rather than savings. There are several investing options to choose from, based on your desired risk level, and Acorns manages your portfolio like a robo-advisor.
Investing with Acorns probably won’t fund your retirement but it’s fee structure makes it worth considering.
- College students – free for four years with a valid .edu email address
- Other investors – $1 per month on account balances under $5,000, .25% per year for balances over $5,000
Another $0 requirement investing app is Stockpile. Stockpile gives you $5 in free stock when you open a new account. It is important to point out that Stockpile, unlike Acorns, only allows individual accounts; joint or retirement accounts are not offered.
4. Tip Yourself
Tip Yourself takes the concept of the spare change jar to the next level. This free automatic budgeting app connects to your bank account so you can transfer a tip into your jar any time you want to celebrate a win. Tips can be $1, $5, $10 or any amount you choose. There are also no fees or hidden charges.
You can customize your tip jar with the name of your savings goal and tip yourself for anything whether it’s making it to the gym three days in a row, brown bagging your lunch, or completing a tedious task.
The best feature of this savings app is that it’s social so you can connect with other tippers and share your goals.
Dobot is a financial management app that makes it easy for you to save for the things you care about. Once you sign up and download the app, you can set and name your goal, then choose the dollar amount you need saved and when you need it by.
After you connect your checking account, Dobot helps you determine a safe and realistic amount to save and it automatically transfers that money weekly.
Another cool feature about this app is that they send helpful advice and encouragement via text and email to help keep your goals on track.
Saving money can be a little tough but it’s all about motivation, habit, and consistency. When you automate your savings, it helps you boost your savings each day consistently with little effort. Plus, you finally earn the peace of mind that comes with having a comfortable savings cushion.
Do you ever find it difficult to save money? What are some of automatic savings apps you’ve tried? What’s one thing you’re saving for this year? What are you doing to reach that goal?