Save $100 Without Even Trying
No matter where you are on your financial journey, setting aside a few bucks for the future—let alone the often recommended 20 percent of your income—can feel daunting. Thankfully, these apps make the process a lot easier. They work quietly behind the scenes, letting you set a savings plan and forget it. You might be surprised how quickly you can hit $100.
‣ Qapital is an online bank that specializes in helping you save money. After you sign up for a free checking account and Visa debit card through the app, you can automate the savings process. Have Qapital round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and deposit the difference into a special account. Or integrate with Apple Health to set aside money every time you work out or reach an exercise goal.
Qapital: Set & Forget Finances
Save. Invest. Share finances.
‣ For a small monthly fee, Digit will analyze your daily spending habits and figure out a sensible amount to withdraw from your linked checking account so you can meet the goals you set. (Have no fear: Should Digit overdraft, it’ll refund your bank’s fee.) Although the app’s appeal is its ability to run on autopilot, it’s also customizable. You can decide you don’t want to make a withdrawal when your balance is less than $500, for example. You’ll get 1 percent of your savings balance back in the form of a quarterly bonus—a nice incentive to keep at it.
Oportun - Save, borrow, budget
Formerly Digit, Smart Savings
‣ This app from insurance and asset management firm John Hancock was tailor-made for couples and families (though you can use it solo). It helps manage joint goals—think weddings, vacations, and down payments for a home—and find the best investments for the money you’ve set aside. You can deposit your savings into a cash account at no cost, or invest in a diversified mix of exchange-traded funds. Twine provides recommendations for investment newbies and automatically adjusts your portfolio to help keep your goals on track. Fees are relatively low: 25 cents per month for every $500 invested, which comes to 0.6 percent annually.