Saving and growing money happens on multiple levels. Depending on where you are in your financial journey, you may be prioritizing putting money aside, and relying on small, daily choices to add up to significant numbers. Or, you may already have that on lockdown, and be ready to invest. Either one is fine. And so is everything in between. The help of a financial advisor can be beneficial for many individuals, regardless of age or income level. However, you still need to be doing your part to give that financial advisor something to work with and a lot of that starts with small steps.
Luckily, we have the power of technology to help us get organized and strategize. There are many apps today that let you gain a better understanding of your spending habits, as well as find natural ways to help you grow your money, without making many changes to your quality of life. Then there are apps for the novice investor who doesn’t have the large amount required to open a savings account or begin working with a wealth management company, but you still deserve to put your money to work for you. No matter where you are in your journey, you may find an app on this list that will help you save and grow your money.
Truebill addresses one major problem almost everyone deals with, but feels powerless about: what happens when your Internet or cable goes out for a long period of time? You just…wait. The company reports there is an outage in the area, and that’s it. But, shouldn’t you be compensated when that happens? You’re paying for a service that you aren’t getting. Truebill looks for outages on your systems and alerts you to them, so you can ask for the appropriate refunds. It also monitors your subscriptions, helping you decide which ones to eliminate or downgrade, based on your usage.
If you’re looking to the future and have a good chunk of money to invest, Betterment can help. You’ll take a quiz that assesses how much risk you’re willing to take, and from there, everything is automated. Betterment will search for appropriate opportunities for you and invest your specified amounts for you. Its free plan has no minimum requirements to get started and offers access to a financial planner for help with basic financial questions. It just takes 0.25% of your balance as a service fee. It also offers traditional account types like Roth IRAs.
Joy isn’t just a money tool; it’s also a mental wellness app. Created by psychologists, data scientists, neuroscientists, and financial professionals, the idea behind Joy is to help you recognize which purchases increase your happiness, and which don’t. In fact, the app rates your purchases with emojis based on how they’ll contribute to your feelings of joy. It also notifies you when you’re in a place to safely move money into a savings account. It’s meant to help you re-think the way you spend money, and find more joy in saving and spending wisely.
If you and a partner are looking to combine the powers of your joint savings to reach financial goals, Twine is a great tool. You can link your bank accounts to it, set savings goals, and the app will notify you when you’re reaching them. Meanwhile, your money is earning interest, and you don’t pay any fees. You have the option to move your money from your Twine account into an investment account, should you want higher interest earnings.
If you’re saving for a car, this app can help get you there quicker. It does so in two ways. First, you can set auto-save rules that take a designated amount from your bank account, and transfers it into your Qapital app, each time you do a good money-saving behavior. For example, you can set a rule stating that each time you take the bus, your app can transfer a set amount into your funds, because you just saved money. You can also set limits for spending in certain categories, and when you’re under those limits, the app will transfer the difference from your bank account, into your funds, so you can save it for a car.
Clarity Money is a good app for those looking for automated savings and insight into their spending. Just tell the app how much money to tuck away for you each month, and it will do so. It also lets you set spending budgets in every category and shows you when you’re going over, as well as analyzes some of your recurring expenses like subscriptions, making recommendations on where you can cut back.
Cleo does a little bit of educating and a little bit of rewarding. Its free, basic plan gives you access to a chatbot 24/7 that you can ask questions like, “Do I pay too much for auto insurance?” or “Am I paying maintenance fees on my credit card account?” The Cleo Plus platform ($5.99) a month notifies you of discounted items, based on what it learns about your spending habits, and tells you about cashback deals. It also runs occasional “Challenges” that pay you for participation and offers no-interest 28-day loans of up to $100 for overdraft fees.
With the Rize app, you can either earn interest on cash savings within the app, or earn more interest by allowing the app to invest your money in exchange-traded funds. Simply set a goal amount, notifying Rize how often it may pull money from your bank account, and how much. Then choose to have it earn interest within the app, or through investment, and Rize will take it from there. It also offers a few features to help you save faster. For example, you can use the “Power Up” feature to automatically increase your contribution each month by a set percent.
Setting savings goals can be difficult if your financial situation is fluctuating. Putting aside $50 one week may be fine, but a bit tight another. The Digit app has an algorithm that analyzes your spending habits and selects amounts to save for you several times a week based on your real-time financial situation. It calculates goals such that you won’t miss any bills and automatically transfers your money into a savings account that earns one percent interest and is FDIC-insured for up to $250,000.
If you have an overspending problem, this app can help you get back on track. It tracks your monthly spending in various categories, compares it to your budgets, and shows you where you’re overdoing it. It also tracks recurring bills like phone and Internet and notifies you when you may be paying too much. The app also tracks your earnings, and your deposits into savings accounts.
Acorns is a good app for those new to investing, and it automates the process for you. You link up your debit and credit cards, as well as bank accounts, to the app. Then, for each purchase you make, the app takes the real price, rounds up by a dollar, and invests whatever that difference may be. So, if you spend $4.50 on a coffee, Acorn rounds up to $5 and invests 50 cents for you. It’s sort of a forced savings account that helps you put away money in a way that feels manageable. Acorns lets you set your terms regarding how aggressive you want to be about investing. It charges a fee of 0.25% of your balance, but that won’t kick in until you have $5,000 in your account.
You might already be transferring X amount of money to an account each month, just to set aside. And while that’s good, Simple helps you get more specific about what each sum is for. You can set a specific goal like, “I’d like to save $1,000 in 10 months for new furniture.” The app will automatically take $100 from your bank account, every month, for 10 months until you reach that goal. Then it will set that aside and pin it specifically for furniture, so you don’t accidentally spend it on something else. It’s a good way to make sure the money is there for certain purchases and to remind you what it’s for.
Tip yourself was designed to help you save money for a vacation, but you can use the savings for anything you like. Here’s how it works: link it up to your bank account, and each time you accomplish a task like doing an online yoga class or cooking at home, you can tip yourself by moving a set amount of money to your “tip jar.” The app is designed to financially motivate you to stay on top of your personal goals. If praise from others motivates you, you can use the app’s social feed to let friends know when you completed a task.
If you’re looking for a fun and reliable way to put money aside for your child’s future, the Kidfund app can help. It creates a savings account dedicated to your child, and you can set up automated transactions, such as transferring $40 into that account, each month. You can also let friends and family put funds in the app. All the while, it will be earning interest, helping your kid towards those future goals like paying for a car or college.
Wealthsimple is a good alternative to using a traditional mutual funds manager. When you sign up, you’ll be asked a series of questions to determine your risk tolerance and investment goals. From there, the app will automatically pull and invest money from your account at designated intervals. Its round-up feature – which you can turn on or off at any time – rounds your purchases up to the next dollar amount and invests the cents difference for you (like what Acorns does). The app also offers free financial advice and allows you to set up a socially responsible portfolio, so your money goes into things you believe in.