Apps to Make Saving Money Simple

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Video Transcript

Ken: Okay, we know you. You’re outta shape. You’re spending too much money. You’re lazy. You’re unorganized. He’s gonna help you. Ryan’s here with Nerds on Call to get all that stuff taken care of.

Ryan: Okay, according to the Sun newspaper in the UK, the top three things that we all wanna do in the new year is get organized, save some money, and get fit. So we’re gonna address two of those right now.

Ken: Okay.

Ryan : So first, I got a calendar. I got notes, I got to-dos. I got all kinds of crazy stuff, none of it syncs together. Well, I got something that’ll fix that, keep you a little more organized. This is called 24me, it’s a personal assistant. It’ll sync your calendar, your to-do lists, also has this really cool thing where you can just speak into it, and tell it, “Hey, remind me later to call Ken.”

Ken: That’s perfect.

Ryan: Tell him that I need more money. But you can also pay bills directly from here. So when you link it all up, you can say, “Oh, you know what? I need to pay my electric bill. I need to pay my, you know, credit card bill,” or whatever. You can all do it from the app itself. It’s free to use, which is super cool. There’s a pay for it version that you can use. It lets you change fonts and get extra notifications. Just do the free version. It’s really awesome. Now let’s say you’re managing your home. You gotta do laundry. You gotta make the kids’ lunches. You gotta wash the car. You gotta vacuum, all kinds of stuff. And creating a to-do list every week’s kinda a pain for that. So this is called HomeRoutines. It’s an app for iOS and Android. And the great thing about this is you can put your recurring routines on there, and every week, it’ll refresh. So if you say, “Oh, I’ve already done the laundry this week,” it’ll just make that task go to sleep until next week. And if you’re like me, when you do laundry, you find out the last week’s laundry’s still in the dryer. So this will remind you of that too.

Okay, so Acorns, so let’s say you go… Remember the old days when you’d buy your coffee with cash, and then you’d have the change, and you’d stick it in your car or whatever. And you’d go, “Oh, my gosh, I got like 30 bucks.” This does that, but for your phone. So you go in and you buy coffee for like 2.15 or whatever, if you’re going to Starbucks, and you get the, you know, you get the Ken cash. What this will do is it will round up that transaction to 3 bucks, and take that extra 85 cents, and toss it into a savings account. And then you can take that savings account, and depending upon your desire for risk, you can make it invest it directly into the stock market or…

Ken: I love that.

Ryan: It’s super awesome.

Ken: I love that.

Ryan: And it’s free for students, otherwise it costs about a buck a month if you have under 5,000. If you go over 5,000, the rates can range, check the website. But it’s super cool to save money. Last but not least, everybody needs a budget. A lot of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, simply because we don’t pay attention to what we’re spending our money on. This will download all of your transactions from your bank account, from your credit cards account. Create a budget for you, and then you can stick with it. And if you suddenly move money from, let’s say you spend an extra five bucks going to the movies, you have move that money literally from another part of your budget in order to afford it. And that action will make you go, “Okay, no popcorn. I’m just not gonna get the popcorn.” I just can’t afford it. I’m gonna get socks. I need socks.

Ken: We’re outta time. It only took him three minutes to fix your whole life. You’re welcome. All this stuff is linked to our site at Bethany, back to you.

Bethany : Thanks, guys.

We all know we should be putting money aside for emergencies, retirement and your next vacation, but saving money when you don’t have a lot to spare is daunting. So let’s discuss new apps that make saving money painless.

First of all, we should talk about incremental “micro-savings”. Instead of having to fit a $50 or $100 transfer to savings into your budget, the idea is to make a lot of very small transfers that you won’t even notice but that add up over time, this is similar to putting your spare change in your coin bowl but this is all done automatically so you don’t have to think about it. This leads into our first suggested app:

Automatically invest your spare change

The best path to successful savings is to make it automatic and incremental. Acorns is a free app that automatically invests for you on a micro level. When you buy something, Acorns rounds up the transaction & invests the “spare change”. For example, you buy $3.15 cup of coffee (yes…expensive, right!). Acorn “rounds up” your purchase to $4 and puts the $.85 in a savings account.

acorns app logo

Users invest on average $30-$180/month in “round ups” alone. Acorns has established investment portfolios based on your risk tolerance. The fees start at $1/mo for accounts under $5K or 0.25%/year for accounts $5K+. If you’re a student then it’s free, just use your .edu address. All accounts allow unlimited deposits & withdrawals. There is no fee for $0 accounts.

Make and stick to your budget

You Need a Budget walks you through using your recent transactions to establish a realistic budget. It syncs with your bank account & credit cards and every dollar is tracked. If you go over the amount you allocated to dining, you have to move funds from another account (like “entertainment” or “clothes”) to cover it.

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It prompts you to put money aside for large expenses (like Christmas or a down payment on a new car). The intent with this app is to get you off living paycheck to paycheck by spreading your spending out over the month, you’ll be spending money earned 2 weeks ago. The service is free for 34 days, then it costs $50/year.

Reward yourself and save!

Tip Yourself is FREE for iOS. Link the app to your bank account and every time you do something “tip-worthy,” give YOURSELF a tip and transfer a little money to your savings. Went to the gym? Give yourself a $2 tip for an awesome workout. Cleaned the bathroom? How about a $4 tip for a spotless toilet. Muscled through a tedious work project? Well, I think that is worth at least $10!

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It’s secure, the transfers are encrypted and funds are transferred from your linked account via ACH. There are no transaction or service fees and you can have unlimited transactions.

Get smart about saving

Digit is also FREE for iOS. Again you link it to your checking account and Digit will look at your spending & income history. It predicts your cash flow and will check in daily for savings opportunities.

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It sets small amounts of money aside that you don’t really need for daily expenses. You won’t notice a few bucks here and there, and the result will be fantastic. The Digit savings account is FDIC insured and you can get money transferred back if you need it just by sending a text.

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