Saving Money Is Easier Than You Might Think

If you are trying to save money you might realize it has a lot in common with flossing: you know it’s important, professionals wag their fingers at you when they find out you’ve been neglecting it, and it seems like a major pain to get in the habit of doing.

Even the most budget-averse user can automatically begin growing their wealth using one of these apps used to round up savings.

Luckily for reluctant savers, technology has come to the rescue in the form of automatic savings apps. (Unfortunately, automated flossing technology is still years away.)

Each of the following savings apps has a different approach to automating your finances and helping you achieve your savings goals. Some will round up your savings (aka “keep the change”), some use sophisticated algorithms to understand your ability to save, and some simply let you have full control–set it and forget it.

While many will give you the push you need to beef up your savings, some savings apps offer you the opportunity to invest your savings as well. We’ve tried to make a note of which apps let you invest, save, or both. We’ve also made a note of which platform the apps are available on: iPhone and/or Android.

Read on to see which one will work best for your wealth-building needs.

Digit

This program syncs with your bank accounts and analyzes your cash flow. Every two to three days, it will determine an amount of money (between $5 and $50) that is safe to transfer into an FDIC-insured Digit deposit account.

  • Pros: Saving is not only automatic, but also painless. Your money is easily accessible if you need it and you earn 1% bonus on your savings.
  • Cons: The monthly fee makes it tough to really grow wealth with Digit.
  • Fees: Free for 30 days, then $2.99 per month
  • Platform: iPhone and Android
  • Best for: Beginner savers or those who hate dealing with money.

SaverLife

If you know you need to save and have no idea how to build the habit, SaverLife may be able to help. Their focus is on helping people create strong saving habits to help them build their “rainy day fund” or whatever they are saving for. The program is aimed at helping lower income families create a larger financial cushion in the event of an emergency, since nearly half of Americans do not have enough money set aside to pay for a $400 emergency.

  • Pros: SaverLife is a free program and you can win prizes for saving your money, pledging to save money, and sharing your story.
  • Cons: There is no guaranteed earning and the application must track your transactions.
  • Fees: Free
  • Platform: No app, web-based
  • Best for: Beginner savers or those who struggle to save on a monthly basis.

Clarity Money

In addition to its basic money-saving tools, Clarity Money also allows you to set up automatic savings through their Clarity Savings Account. You simply select the amount and frequency of your preferred `withdrawal, as well as the goal that you are saving for, and activate the automatic savings. Since everything is done within the app, creating and funding your savings account—not to mention pausing recurring withdrawals and closing the savings account—can all be accomplished with a couple of finger taps.

The money in your Clarity Savings account is FDIC insured up to $250,000, but the program currently does not offer interest on the money in this savings account.

  • Pros: Clarity Money takes care of everything within the app, which makes it easy to act on their recommendations. The app offers a fairly global look at your money, helping you lower your bills, cancel unnecessary recurring expenses, save more money, and understand your money habits better.
  • Cons: The Clarity savings account does not offer any interest.
  • Fees: If you use Clarity’s Bill Negotiation & Lowering service, the program will take 33% of what you save as their commission.
  • Platform: iPhone and Android
  • Best For: Newbie budgeters or anyone who wants their money management to be easy and all in one place.

CoinOut

you struggle with credit card spending but still want to save money effortlessly, the CoinOut can turn your receipts into savings. The app has partnered with companies like Taco Bell, Chipotle, Dollar Tree, Subway, Speedway, McDonald’s, and more. All you need to do is download the app and then scan your receipts to earn cash back on your purchases.

  • Pros: CoinOut gives you the opportunity to receive cash back offers from your favorite retailers for free.
  • Cons: You need to keep track of receipts and scan them in for each purchase. If you forget, you could miss out on offers.
  • Fees: None.
  • Platform: iPhone and Android
  • Best For: Savers who struggle to save extra cash and enjoy a good deal.

Stash

If you are looking for a way to not only save money but invest in a portfolio you are passionate about, Stash might be your solution. It is nice to have an automated deposit into a savings account but it might be more beneficial to allow that money to work for you in an investment account.

  • Pros: You can start your account with any amount of money. Stash allows you to buy partial shares so you can invest in the market for little capital. Also, Stash uses dollar cost averaging to help reduce risk and market timing.
  • Cons: Stash is automated, so there is minimal control in the investments you acquire.
  • Fees: Your first month is free and then $1 per month for under $5000 and .25% fee for over $5000.
  • Platform: iPhone and Android
  • Best For: Newbie investors or anyone who wants to dabble in the market but doesn’t want a large commitment.

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