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 could come in handy.
The inevitable tax season is approaching. Have you gotten your deductions in order? There have been changes since the start of the pandemic, and you may miss something you’re not aware of. Tap or click here to check out eight tax deductions that can help you save when you file your taxes.
Saving money was easier when you could just toss some coins into a piggy bank, but adulthood changes things. But it doesn’t always have to be complicated. There are simple ways to stash away money for a trip, renovation, dream purse or whatever the heck you want. Here are some apps to help you get it done.
Rounding up the difference
You’ve probably seen the option to round up your purchases and donate the change to a charity. Many savings apps work on the same idea, except that the change is put away for your benefit. It’s a passive system that takes some guesswork from saving and investing.
For example, if you spend $6.25 on a coffee and bagel, you’ll be charged $7.00, and 75 cents will be put into a savings account. Here are some apps to get started.
Purchases you make with your linked Acorns account are rounded up to the nearest dollar, and the difference is put into an investment account. You can connect as many credit and debit cards as you want.
There are multiple accounts to choose from, and your access to them depends on which tier you pay for. Here are your account options:
- Invest puts your spare change into exchange-traded funds (ETFs). These are chosen for you based on your goals, which you submit by answering some questions. Your portfolio is automatically managed and rebalanced for you, and you can make changes if you feel the need to. 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 is also comprised of 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 overdraw fees. You get direct deposit, mobile check deposit, check sending and more.
- Early is UTMA/UGMA account, which lets you invest in funds for your children, which you can transfer when they’re grown. You can add multiple kids 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 per month, you get all that plus access to Early accounts. Learn more at acorns.com.
Chime is a financial technology company that offers a 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’s what’s on offer:
- Chime’s Checking Account gets you a Visa debit card and access to more than 60,000+ fee-free ATMs. Whenever you use your card, you are charged an amount up to the nearest dollar, with the balance going into your Savings Account.
- Chime’s Savings Account has a 0.50% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) with no maximums on interest earned. There are no balance fees and your account is FDIC insured. Where Round Ups saves the change you make on your purchases, Save When I Get Paid automatically transfers a percentage of every paycheck to your savings account.
- With Credit Builder, you get a credit card designed to help you build credit. There are no annual fees and no APR. The money you can spend is determined by how much you move from your checking account to your credit account. At the end of the month, that 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. Go to chime.com for 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 methods of savings:
- When I Get Paid lets you choose to set aside a percentage or dollar amount of your paycheck to go towards your savings or debts. This works whether or not you have a steady paycheck. According to Qoins, the average customer saves $188 per month using When I Get Paid.
- Smart Savings makes daily contributions to your debt or savings goal depending on a level you set, which 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 in range based on the level of aggression you choose.
- Roundups will round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and put the balance toward your debt or savings goals. Qoins says its customers are saving an average of $58 per month with Roundups.
- Weekly Recurring Withdrawals lets you choose a set amount to contribute toward your goal each week. Pick a day and dollar amount, and the app does the rest.
Pricing for Qoins starts at $2.99 per month, letting you choose one goal toward debt or savings. You get unlimited automated savings, unlimited withdrawals and deposits and overdraft prevention.
For $4.99 per 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 pay off up to five lenders at once.
Qoins sends your saved money to your lender or puts it toward your savings goal once per month. Get more details at qoins.com.