Bills paid, savings account padded, low-to-no debt and a surplus in your monthly budget are money goals. Because when you conquer money management you empower yourself to have your money work for you! But the truth is that getting control of your financial situation can sometimes feel like a full-time endeavor. From developing a debt repayment plan and managing your monthly expenses, to deciding how much to save or invest each month, there’s more to mastering your money than direct deposit and debit cards. Before you get overwhelmed, take a deep breath. There’s no reason to let this get the best of you.

When it comes to your money,

technology is your friend.

In fact, we can now complete almost every type of transaction right on our smart phones. From paying bills to requesting a credit limit increase, or even selling off stocks… we now have the gift of convenience at our fingertips. And since you have now mastered creating your own budget, it’s time to focus on saving; and today I want to share my top 3 app picks for no-fuss saving!


TOP 3 Apps to Grow Your Savings


Qapital

I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about setting up an auto-stash account that was linked directly to my checking account. But this app totally changed how I feel about automatic saving. Don’t be like me, worried about it being unsafe, the money Qapital withdraws from your checking account is placed in a FDIC-insured savings account and you can transfer the money back to your account instantly (if needed).

The real beauty of this app is that you are able to set the ‘rules’ for your account. For example, the “round-up rule” lets you round up any credit or debit card purchase, up to the nearest $1 or $2. The app monitors your purchases, and twice a week it will withdraw the rounded-up amount. It will also ‘pause’ all withdrawals, if your account drops below a certain pre-determined amount (generally $100).

Good Question: Why does it only withdraw funds twice per week?

This is actually to your benefit… so that you don’t have 18 mini withdrawals and deposits of $0.10 – $0.20 per week. Instead they’re bundled into let’s say 2 withdrawals/deposits of $2.75 each (or whatever the total rounded amount would be). Which makes it much easier to keep track of.

You can also tweak the app for various automatic savings ‘rules’; and some of them are quite fun. For example, there’s a 52-week savings plan; or the ability to save a predetermined amount each month that you spend less than your budget and more.

Fun Fact: You can even set up Qapital to save every time you post to social media or crush your fitness goals!!!

Bonus:

Use this link to sign up for Qapital and get $5 (free) after your first successful deposit. If you don’t use this link you won’t receive the bonus… so be sure to copy the link to your mobile browser and then proceed from there.


Digit

Digit functions similarly to Qapital. It links to the checking account of your choice and although it does automatically withdraw funds from your account, the algorithm is a bit different. Once you’ve linked your account, Digit analyzes your spending patterns and withdraws money periodically. No set auto-rounding here. The withdrawn money is deposited in a FDIC-insured savings account

While this app may seem to have a little more complexity, Digit guarantees that your account won’t overdraft and you can withdraw your deposits at any time. Digit also features a form of text banking – where you can text the app and have a virtual conversation, to make money transfers or change account settings.

The catch? You don’t earn interest on your savings. Digit may not cost you anything up front (the app and its usage is free) but the company covers its expenses (and overhead) with the interest earned on the deposits it holds.

Bonus:

Use this link to sign up for Digit and get $5 (free) after your first successful deposit. If you don’t use this link you won’t receive the bonus… so be sure to copy the link to your mobile browser and then proceed from there.


Acorns

Acorns is a little different from the two apps that we’ve previously explored. Acorns is a form of micro-investing. It allows you to break into the stock market with the same small deposit withdrawals that the ‘savings account’ apps use. Acorns simple set-up process, partnered with rounding-up auto deposits (similar to Qapitals), makes this an easy entry into investing for anyone. For just $1 per month, the app simply withdraws the “spare change” from your checking account and invests it in an automatic, diversified portfolio.

Of course, using Acorns, over a savings app like Qapital or Digit, comes with a tradeoff… there’s more volatility and risk in the stock market, but there is also the increased potential for financial reward. This app is especially appealing, if you’ve been curious about the purchasing stocks and want to learn more, with less upfront investment as you would experience with traditional investing.

Bonus:

Use this link to sign up for Acorns and get $5 (free) after your first successful deposit. If you don’t use this link you won’t receive the bonus… so be sure to copy the link to your mobile browser and then proceed from there.


The Old-Fashioned Way

Auto-allocation

If you’re still on the fence about auto-saving your money using one of my top 3 apps… but, you’re ready to start stashing more cash; you can always set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account (based on your pay period or even monthly). There’s no risk involved and you will keep any interest that you earn.

The downside: Well, it’s definitely not as fun as watching random small withdrawals add up to nice nest-egg. Then there’s also the most obvious concern: You have full access to your money (at all times) and if you’re not well disciplined or things get a little tight, you may find yourself tempted to dip into your savings – Stashing your cash out of sight can be a good thing!

No matter what method you use to start saving additional money, what’s most important is that you simply get something in place to ensure that you are making regular and consistent deposits. If you’ve never used an app to manage your money before, don’t let fear get in the way. Be sure to verify that the account, the app will deposit to, is FDIC-insured and start small; until you get the hang of it and are more comfortable with the process. You’ll be on your way to building a substantial stash in no time!


My weekly posts are designed to help you: change how you feel about money, increase the ways you earn it, open your eyes to non-traditional streams of income, explore new ways to save, build wealth and improve your credit score!

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Don’t miss next week’s post as we navigate my top tips to increasing your credit score!

Have a specific financial question? Want information on a particular topic or have a tip that you would like to share… leave it in the comment section, let’s have a conversation.

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