people are really good at saving, while others might
just need a little help.
the past few years, a number of apps have popped up that
help people save money. Each has its own bent, but at
their core they offer the same service: collecting small
amounts of money that add up over time. They are digital
piggy banks, essentially.
are six smartphone-friendly saving apps to help you
easily set aside your spare change.
in 2014, Acorns was the first of these apps and invests
your spare change in a basic investment portfolio. It
reportedly has 3 million customers.
you make a debit card purchase for $3.35, Acorns
withdraws $0.65. It invests the money in $5 increments
in one of five portfolio options ranging from aggressive
to conservative, all with varying mixes of equity and
bond exchange-traded funds.
app charges a $1 monthly service fee for accounts with
less than $5,000. ETFs also have their own expenses
ranging from 0.05 percent to 0.20 percent, which are
deducted from dividends.
also can set up automatic deposits on a daily, weekly or
company also partners with various retailers, like
Apple, Jet and Dollar Shave Club on its Found Money
feature. When you buy something from those retailers
with the same account you have linked to your Acorns
account, the retailer adds a percentage of the total
back into your Acorns account.
Acorns account is an investment account, therefore it is
not insured by the FDIC, so market forces could chip
away at your principal.
uses algorithms to analyze what goes into and out of
your bank account, then makes small withdrawals in a way
it says you "won’t notice."
can save more than the other apps because it’s not
based on transactions but on your balance and spending
habits. So, while Acorns can’t save more than $1 per
transaction, Digit could potentially save up to $50 at a
used to be free, but in April 2017 announced it would
start charging $2.99 a month. The company said at the
time that it would rather charge its customers a fee
rather than sell their data or serve as a lead
generator. You can still try Digit for free for 100
the introduction of the fee, the company boosted how
much it pays customers for their deposits from a 0.2
percent "annualized savings bonus" to 1
percent when you save with Digit for three consecutive
months. The funds are FDIC-insured up to a balance of
Digit determines you can’t spare any money, it won’t
withdraw anything and backs it up with a "no
the app you can set goals to help you save for
day-to-day expenses, such as rent and bills, as well as
can also text Digit "withdraw" with the amount
and the set amount will be transferred back into your
checking account in one business day.
and Digit are stand-alone apps intended to help you save
outside of your checking account. Chime wants to give
you a better banking experience overall.
offers customers checking accounts, savings accounts and
a debit card. Chime works with The Bancorp Bank, so your
money is insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 per person
Chime savings account has two basic levers — it helps
you save when you spend by rounding up your purchases
and when you get paid by automatically moving 10 percent
of your check into savings.
of the advantages of apps like Acorns is that your money
is tucked away elsewhere. Chime CEO Chris Britt says
some customers have asked for ways to make it harder to
dip into savings. The company is looking into it.
Chime savings account carries a nominal interest rate,
but Britt says the point is more about getting people
— particularly millennials — into the rhythm of
saving. Once they figure that out, then they can chase
doesn’t charge a fee. It makes its money from debit
is a rules-based account that does round-ups like the
others, but also lets you do things like move money into
your savings every time your favorite football team
Money, which is primarily a budgeting tool that
identifies where you might be wasting money on things
like forgotten subscriptions, partners with Acorns and
offers its own savings app.
Game is trying to redirect some of the money people
spend on lottery tickets into savings by giving you a
chance to win money by saving. It’s called
prize-linked savings, and the more you save, the more
chances you have to win. Don’t worry — the account
is FDIC-insured, and you’re not playing with your