No matter how diligent you are about tracking or budgeting your expenses, if you don’t make saving an automated part of your life, it can be easy to forget to set anything aside for the future. These apps can help.
Saving is essential—experts recommend saving more than 15% of what you make. However, with 65% of Americans saving little or nothing, it’s safe to say that we could all use a little help figuring out how this process.
Technology can make it easier to spend recklessly, but it can also make it easier to save. Thanks to a rise in automated savings apps, you can now make and execute a plan for building a small nest egg without having to think too hard.
Here are three of the best apps for automating your savings.
Qapital is a comprehensive automatic savings app that lets you decide what triggers a deposit (e.g., a new paycheck coming in or rounding up a purchase) and set savings goals. Qapital does the work of moving money from one account (your checking account, for example) into a dedicated savings account.
Qapital also allows you to work with your friends and family to set group savings goals. This feature is great if you’re working towards a shared event, like a vacation.
One of the first automatic savings apps, Digit uses an algorithm to review your past expenses and income, and then pulls money from your account based on your spending patterns.
Because Digit combs your finances, it is optimized to save at a rate that’s comfortable to you. The savings goals won’t be too aggressive (or too conservative). Digit is also automated—you don’t have to request the app to pull your savings manually; it’ll do so by itself. Digit promises to never overdraft your account, so if you’re running low on money, the app will hold off on transfers.
Digit is not free, though. As of publication, Digit costs $2.99 per month or $35.88 per year. Digit does give an annualized 1% bonus, but you’d need to have a balance of $3,588 to break even. You should consider how much you’re putting into savings each month to see if Digit is worth the cost.
Acorns is a micro-investing platform that combines savings with investing in providing a unique financial experience. Acorns syncs with your bank account, rounds up every purchase to the nearest dollar, and then invests the difference for you.
When you sign up, you’ll answer questions about your goals, income, and risk tolerance to help Acorns determine the best investments to pursue with your change.
Acorns is an excellent introduction to investing for people who are nervous about diving into this world. Acorns charges $1 per month if your balance is less than $5,000 or a .25% annual fee if your balance is more than $5,000.
Saving money can be scary – but it doesn’t have to be. The first step to saving money is to set a commitment to do so. Using an app, like the ones listed in this article, can help you start to build a nest egg of your own.