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If you know me in real life you probably know that I am a huge fan of the money saving app Acorns to save your spare change electronically! I’ve been using it for a few years now as an “extra money” source and am always telling people how much I love it. If you wondering how to start saving money quickly & easily you’re going to love Acorns as much as I do.
If you’re over 40 you’ll remember years ago that your parents (and you as a teenager/young adult) always used cash to pay for everything. They would then take the coins from their change and put it somewhere else- either a huge jug, a can, a dish, whatever- to save for a “rainy day fund.” And that change added up! I can remember saving $60-$80 at a time this way before cashing it out to do something fun.
Now everyone uses debit & credit cards, so there isn’t any loose change to save. On the rare instance you use cash, the change probably ends up in one of the cup holders in your car where it lives gathering crumbs & gunk until one day you forget to lock your car doors and someone swipes it. 😉 So the opportunity to save money for a rainy day has diminished.
Enter Acorns, the app that lets you save your spare change electronically, making it one of the best easy ways to save money I’ve found yet.
One of the reasons I love Acorns is because you completely forget you even have it. I say this because about two years ago I thought I’d cancelled the account and I was going to unsubscribe from their emails during one on my email unsubscribe purges. Fortunately I had to log in to cancel, because when I did I discovered over $1000 gloriously sitting in my account!
That was me. ^^^
Then that was me. ^^^
I’m pretty sure finding $1000+ in an account in an app on my phone is the modern day equivalent to finding a suitcase full of money on the highway in the desert. It was that feeling you get when you find a $20 in your coat pocket times 100.
How Does Acorns Work to Save Money?
Are you becoming more & more intrigued? I know I would be!
So how does Acorns work, anyway?
It’s super easy:
- Install the Acorns app.
- Link your debit & credit cards to it. (I only have my debit card linked.)
- Once you are linked, Acorns takes the “change” from every purchase you make with your linked card(s) and invests it in an account.
- For example, if you spend $47.63 at the grocery store, Acorns rounds it up to $50 and takes the .37c left from the $50 and invests it in a diversified portfolio created just for you!
Acorns allows you to mindlessly save money. That is perfect for me. My brain is full.
What’s the catch?
Well, it’s the stock market, so of course you win some, you lose some. If the market tanks you’re going to tank, too. It’s all about balancing your risks, just like all investing.
There is a fee of $1/month for run of the mill investing, $2/month if you want to work in retirement savings, $3/month if you want an Acorns checking account. If you are a college student with a .edu email address you are eligible for a free account for 4 years of college.
There is no fee to withdraw your money!!
What’s needed to open account
You can open an account with $0 and an initial deposit of $5.00. After that it is all change, unless you want to set up recurring or one time investments. (I’ll get into that below.)
Who is Acorns best for?
Hands down it’s best for people who want to invest in more than just a savings account, but who are not stock market savvy.
Acorns Investment Options
Acorns has teamed up with tons of businesses to offer you additional savings in the form of investments they call “Found Money.” By “tons of businesses” I mean over 200 businesses that you actually use, like AirBNB, Lyft, Nike, Hotels.com, Expedia, meal kit delivery services, Warby Parker, Dollar Shave Club and more. Each business has a different offer and when you use their service linking through Acorns they deposit “found money” into your Acorns account. I recently had $36 deposited from an AirBNB stay. Every penny counts!
This is the standard investment using the change from purchases with your linked cards. As explained above: if you spend $47.63 at the grocery store, Acorns rounds it up to $50 and takes the .37c left from the $50 and invests it in a diversified portfolio created just for you.
You can have your round-ups set to as high as 2x, 3x or 10x the amount of your change or as low as just your change. You can change this at any time. The higher the round-ups, the greater your potential is. (Mine is set t0 3x, my husband’s is set to 1x.)
You can also set up recurring investments in any amount you’d like starting at $5.00. These recurring investments can be daily, weekly or monthly. (What if instead of spending $5 on coffee every day you made coffee at home & set up a recurring daily investment of $5? With no interest at all that’s $1300 a year.) If you set up a weekly recurring investment you can choose the day, and if you set up a monthly recurring investment you can choose from the 1st or last day of the month. Set it and forget it!
One Time Investments
You can also invest once in awhile with any amount over $5.00. Like if you find that rare $20 in your pocket. 😉
See Projected Investment Value
This is a screenshot of my account. As you can see I have recurring investments turned off and roundups turned on. My account is set to the most aggressive level of savings. Why? Because why not? It’s change- change that I’m not going to save, so I am comfortable with the idea of losing it all.
This projected value is if my spending habits stay the same, I keep my account set to 3x the roundup, and I keep it set at aggressing. If everything goes as expected, and I don’t withdraw any money, I can potentially have an extra $60k saved up from my change over the years in 40 years, when I am 82. Not a bad perk to the savings account in your golden years!
Why I Love Acorns for Savings
- It’s mindlessly easy.
- I can see my balance at any time.
- I can withdraw as much as I want at any time.
- I can see my potential at any time and I can play with the settings to see how much more or less I can save over that time period.
- I can change my settings at any time.
- If I want to set up a recurring investment, I can. If I want to turn it off, I can.
- If I have an extra $50, I can do a one-time investment.
- There are no fees for withdrawing money or changing your settings.
What do I use Acorns for?
Acorns is currently my vacation fund! In fact, we are going on a cruise to Key West & Cuba soon and I paid with it with my spare change! Once the cruise was booked my husband and I used our Acorns account balances to pay for our airfare from Chicago to Miami.
Our 6 day cruise & airfare is totally paid for with our spare change.
Me again. ^^^ Though I will NOT be coming home from Cuba with that hair…
If you’re ready to get started here is my Acorns link! If you use my link you get $5 when you start investing & I get $5, t0o. Win-win!
Want some more savings ideas? Check out these posts:
10 Surefire Ways to Save Money Like a Genius
5 Totally Awesome (and Totally FREE) Money Management Tools
Money Matters: 7 Things Millenials Can Learn From Talking to Their Grandparents
5 Ways to Stop Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck and Actually Save Some Money!
10 Sneaky Ways to Save More Money Every Month
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