Lazy ways to save money for your dream (fill-in-the-blank)
New year, new possibilities. And challenges. No matter what’s going on in the world, saving money for your future should always be a primary goal. You never know when it might come in handy.
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Saving money was easier when you could just throw a few coins into a piggy bank, but adulthood changes things. But it doesn’t always have to be complicated. There are easy ways to save money for a trip, a renovation, a dream purse, or whatever you want. Here are some apps to help you do that.
Round up the difference
You’ve probably seen the option of rounding up your purchases and donating the change to charity. Many savings apps work on the same idea, except the change is pushed aside for your benefit. It is a passive system that takes some assumptions about saving and investing.
For example, if you spend $6.25 on a coffee and a bagel, you will be charged $7.00 and 75 cents will go into a savings account. Here are some apps to get started.
Purchases you make with your linked Acorns account are rounded up and the difference is placed in an investment account. You can connect as many credit and debit cards as you want.
There are several accounts to choose from and your access to them depends on the level you pay for. Here are your account options:
- Invest invest your spare change in exchange-traded funds (ETFs). These are chosen for you based on your goals, which you submit by answering a few questions. Your portfolio is automatically managed and rebalanced for you, and you can make changes if you feel the need. You can set up daily, weekly, or monthly recurring contributions for as little as $5 at a time. ETFs themselves have management fees that reduce your returns, so keep that in mind.
- Later puts your spare change into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). This also includes ETFs recommended to you by Acorns. Your portfolio is selected based on your age and the time until you reach retirement age. Your investments are rebalanced over time as you get closer to that age. You can invest $5 or more at a time.
- Banking is a checking account that provides you with a debit card with no low balance or overdraft fees. You get direct deposit, mobile check deposit, check mailing and more.
- Early is a UTMA/UGMA account, which allows you to invest in funds for your children, which you can transfer when they grow up. You can add multiple children per family at no additional cost and invest $5 or more at a time.
Acorn’s personal membership costs $3 per month and gives you access to Invest, Later and Banking accounts. For $5 a month you get all of that plus access to Early accounts. Learn more at acorns.com.
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Chime is a fintech company that offers checking account, savings account, and credit card. There are no overdraft fees, monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements. Chime is online only and everything you do is done through the mobile app.
Chime has its version of rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar. Here is what is on offer:
- Carillon Current account offers you a Visa debit card and access to more than 60,000 ATMs free of charge. Each time you use your card, you are charged an amount rounded to the nearest dollar, with the balance paid into your savings account.
- Carillon Savings account has an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.50% with no maximum on interest earned. There are no balance fees and your account is FDIC insured. Where Round Ups saves the change you make to your purchases, Save When I Get Paid automatically transfers a percentage of each paycheck to your savings account.
- With credit creator, you get a credit card designed to help you build credit. There is no annual fee and no APR. The money you can spend is determined by the amount you transfer from your checking account to your credit account. At the end of the month, this money is used to pay your bill. No credit check is required for this account, nor is there a minimum security deposit.
Chime is free to join. Visit chime.com to learn more.
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With Qoins, you set a goal and the app helps you achieve it. Choose between Debt or Savings, or both. There are two tiers of subscriptions, and both use the same four savings methods:
- When I get paid lets you choose to set aside a percentage or dollar amount of your paycheck to fund your savings or debt. It works whether or not you have a regular salary. According to Qoins, the average customer saves $188 per month by using When I Get Paid.
- Smart Savings contributes daily to your debt or savings goal according to a level that you set and that you can change at any time. This amount can range from 50 cents to $5 per day. The exact amount is determined by an algorithm but will stay within the range depending on the aggression level you choose.
- Gatherings round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and allocate the balance to your debt or savings goals. Qoins says its customers save an average of $58 per month with Roundups.
- Weekly Recurring Withdrawals lets you choose a fixed amount to contribute to your goal each week. Pick a day and dollar amount, and the app takes care of the rest.
Pricing for Qoins starts at $2.99 per month, allowing you to choose a debt or savings goal. You get unlimited automated savings, unlimited withdrawals and deposits, and overdraft prevention.
For $4.99 a month, you get all of the above, plus the ability to choose both a debt and savings goal and a Qoins debit card. For debt, you can repay up to five lenders at once.
Qoins sends your saved money to your lender or allocates it to your savings goal once a month. Get more details at qoins.com.