Money Saving Phone Apps

Money saving phone apps are very popular these days. We spend a lot of money online via credit cards. Either shopping, movies, or making significantly bigger purchases. Most of us swipe shop online using our phones and our credit cards. But wouldn’t it be nice if we could save some money while we spend on our credit cards?

Money saving phone apps, credit cards

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There are several mobile apps designed to help you save money — and make saving a bit more interesting, to boot. Some of the most popular money saving apps include:

Money saving phone apps, finance apps

  • Shopkick
  • Ibotta
  • RetailMeNot
  • SnipSnap
  • Grocery iQ
  • SavingStar
  • Groupons
  • LivingSocial
  • Amazon Local
  • Viggle
  • Millitary Cost Cutters
  • GasBuddy
  • Hotel Tonight
  • Compare Bookings
  • BestParking
  • Campus Special
    Annual budget
Money saving phone apps: Is there an app that saves your spare change?
Yes.
With the difficult economy we face today, 4 in 10 adults would not be able pay if faced with a $400 emergency expense. And this is according to a 2017 Federal Reserve survey. This suggests that people are unable to  build an emergency fund. Let alone the three to six months of expenses financial experts have traditionally advised.
There are several apps today that saves the spare change from your spending and transfers them into a fund. Which will then grow into a little savings fund of your own.

Money Saving phone apps, gold and silver coins

Money saving phone apps: What is the app that saves your change.
But what if there were a way to automate the saving process. Preferably in a way that isn’t too onerous, or you don’t even notice? Consequently, the solution many fintech companies have settled on is to automate savings through “round-ups.” For example, you buy a $2.75 coffee with your debit or credit card and that purchase is rounded up to the nearest whole number, with the extra 25 cents diverted to savings.

Some of the most promising apps that take this approach to automate savings include:

Money saving phone apps, increasing gold

Acorns money saving phone apps

Widely recognized as the original round-up app, Acorns launched in 2014 with a mission to invest your spare change. The mobile app rounds up each debit or credit card purchase to the nearest dollar. Therefore investing extra pennies in a diversified portfolio of low-cost index ETFs.

For $1 a month, you get the core Acorns round-up app, along with the Found Money program and Grow magazine. Whereas at $2 a  month, you get those options plus the IRA with Acorns Later.

Alternately with $3 a month, users can also get access to a FDIC-protected checking account and debit card. Allowing for real-time round-ups, no minimum balance or overdraft fees, and unlimited free or fee-reimbursed ATM withdrawals.

phone apps, acorns

 

Chime

Mobile-first bank Chime offers a Visa debit card, spending account and optional savings account.

Chime offers two automatic savings programs: save when you spend and save when you get paid.

Save when you spend automatically rounds up transactions made on your Chime card to the nearest dollar. And then transfers the round up from your spending account into your savings account. Unfortunately, the interest rate for this savings account is a pathetically low: 0.01%.

Money saving apps, Mobile-banking-technology

The automated save when you get paid allows automatic transfers up to 10% of every paycheck directly into savings account.

Qapital

This mobile-first bank blends behavioral psychology with technology, allowing users to save and invest more with customizable triggers.

Upon signing up for Qapital, you’ll choose goals you want to save toward (e.g. a Hawaii vacation or new car). Then apply rules that will send money automatically toward your goals. These are funded by your own outside checking account, which the app connects to. Rules can range from the traditional round-up rule to saving a certain amount every time you run a mile.

Money saving phone apps, credit cards

You can also opt to receive a Qapital Visa debit card and an FDIC insured checking account that earns you 0.1% interest. Whenever you make a purchase with your Qapital card, it can round up and save the change toward one of your savings goals. There are no monthly or overdraft fees associated with your card, but you may see ATM fees.

When you’re ready to take the money out of your Qapital goals account, you can either cash it out through the app by sending the money back to your checking account, or you can spend it using the Qapital debit card.

Digit

While not a traditional “round-up” app, Digit uses automation and AI to analyze your spending and income patterns. When it thinks you can afford it, the app moves money from your outside checking account to your Digit account.

Save money, deposit account

You can create your own spending goals. For example, student loans or concert tickets. And Digit will do the budgeting for you. If you save for three consecutive months, your FDIC-insured Digit account will be rewarded with a 1% savings bonus.

There is no overdraft guarantee. And in the very unlikely event your account is overdrawn by Digit auto-saving, it will reimburse you up to two times. Costs $2.99/month which is a bit much in my personal opinion.

Robinhood

Robinhood might not be a “spare change” app, but it is a great way for the average person to start investing. If you have a couple of bucks left in your bank account, invest them in single stocks through Robinhood. Sure, some companies cost hundreds of dollars for a single stock. But there are plenty on the Robinhood list that just cost a couple of bucks.

Savings budget rule

This investment app is entirely free to use as well. Moreover, you don’t have to pay for many of the fees that you normally would have to in single stock trading like this. Consequently, there are no fees, and no commission costs.

Qoins

New Qoins aims to get its users out of debt faster through round-ups.

The app requires users to link accounts they make purchases with (i.e. checking or credit card accounts). Each time you make a purchase, Qoins will round up to the next whole dollar and put the extra amount in your Qoins account. This is funded by your linked checking account.

What is saving money, gold coins

Once a month, Qoins sends out debt payments on your behalf using the extra round up money you accumulate in your Qoins account. You can add multiple debt accounts to your Qoins profile. Although the company primarily focuses on credit card and student loan debt.

Like Digit, Qoins also charges a fee: $1.99 for each monthly payment sent out. However, you can pause the automatic withdrawals whenever you want, and during this period, you won’t be charged.

Debitize

This converts your credit card into a debit card. As soon as you make a credit card purchase, Debitize will use the linked bank account to pay that charge. This means you won’t have to pay the full amount at once as you’re chipping away with each payment.

Money saving phone apps, shopping card

Sadly, Debitize only has an iOS app with no Android app available at the moment. Android users can use the web version of the service, however.

Coinflash

This is pretty much like Acorns in terms of functionality, although it uses a slightly different method of saving your spare change. Coinflash uses a Coinbase account and invests your spare change on the cryptocurrency of your choice. You can either choose Ethereum or Bitcoin, it’s entirely up to you. The investments can be made either every week or each month. The service only reads your transactional data when you offer credit card details, which will then be kept for two months before being deleted.

phone apps, digital-currency-portfolio

Stash

This is yet another app similar to Acorns and shares some of the same features. You can choose to automatically withdraw a predetermined amount of money from your account at preset intervals. Funds will increase in value depending on the investment, and it’s pretty convenient overall.

Phone apps, smart phones

Stash’s 3 plans

STASH Beginner ($1/mo.) helps customers learn the basics of saving and investing. With a personal brokerage account and access to banking services, including Stock-Back™ rewards.

Whereas STASH Growth ($3/mo.) helps customers build the foundation of a healthy financial life. With a personal brokerage account, retirement account and access to banking services, including Stock-Back™ rewards.

And STASH+ ($9/mo.) helps customers maximize the value of every dollar they make. By using a personal brokerage account, retirement account and two custodial investment accounts for minors.  Moreover, a metal STASH Debit Card with 2x Stock-Back™ rewards, and a monthly market insight report.

What Is Saving Money?

Money saving phone apps: How do savings apps work?

Also known as “microsavings platforms.” Savings apps pull small amounts of money from one account and transfer them to a savings or investment account. Additionally some apps draw these small amounts of money by rounding up transactions to the next dollar amount. Or by analyzing your spending habits to calculate a “safe” amount of money to move into savings.

Savings account

The goal of automated savings apps is to make saving money simple, automatic, and mindless.

In reality, you should be paying yourselves first. Automated savings apps help you save money throughout the month. So you are essentially paying yourself as you go.

A common barrier to saving money is that many people think they need to make some giant monthly deposit. Which is intimidating if you’re trying to create a new habit. Rather than large deposits, automated savings apps break things down into easy to digest chunks of money. $0.75 here, $0.43 there, and so on. It’s like saving the spare change that’s in your couch.

Money saving phone apps, personal finance

Money saving phone apps: Where automated savings apps fall short

Not saving enough

I honestly think these apps have a lot of good in them. However, if you solely rely on automated savings apps for all of your savings, then you probably won’t be saving enough.

While I wouldn’t say this about Acorns (being that it’s an investment account). The other automated savings apps however are really best for working towards smaller savings goals. For instance a vacation. Although  you could use these apps to boost other ways you save money; still, saving on a much smaller scale.

Money saving apps, vintage benz

The fees might be high

When you look at automated savings apps, one of the things you’ll want to pay attention to are the fees. While many companies charge flat fees, these fees can be high for accounts with low balances. You’ll also want to look into any costs associated with transfers or withdrawals.

what is saving money, education

Photo by NEC Corporation of America with Creative Commons license

Overdraft charges are the worst

I’m happy to see that some of these automated savings apps have some overdraft protections.  Because I would think twice about any app that didn’t have something like that in place. If you choose to go with an app like Digit, keep a close eye on your linked account. Especially in times when you are spending more.

window shopping

Mindless is cool, but being proactive is how you’ll really grow your savings

At their core, money savings apps are showing you that it is possible for anyone to save money. By demonstrating that every penny counts. Eventually, though, make some conscious decisions to actually save enough for larger goals, like buying a house or retirement.

One way to use these automated savings apps is to see what your average monthly savings are over a few months. Once you’ve estimated an amount, open a high-interest rate savings account and set up an automatic deposit into that account. You could continue using the apps, then realizing that it is possible to set even more aside.

how do you succeed in life, daily plan

Be wary of the linked debit or checking account options

One of the features that many automated savings apps offer is a debit card. However, this makes it easy to spend what’s in your savings account. Try not to treat these funds like extra spending money. While this could be your short-term goal for saving, saving money is how you can actively protect yourself from debt.

i.e. having the needed money for emergencies, vacations and how you’ll be able to plan for retirement, etc.

summer vacation

How do you save money? share in the comments below 🙂

 

 

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