Saving money has a lot in common with flossing: you know it’s important, professionals wag their fingers at you when they find out you’ve been neglecting it, and it seems like a major pain to get in the habit of doing.
Luckily for reluctant savers, technology has come to the rescue in the form of automatic savings apps. (Unfortunately, automated flossing technology is still years away.)
Even the most budget-averse user can automatically grow their wealth using one of these apps.
Each of the following savings apps has a different approach to automating your finances and helping you achieve your savings goals.
Read on to see which one will work best for your wealth-building needs.
If you want to save money without ever having to think about it, Digit is for you.
This completely free program syncs with your bank accounts and analyzes your cash flow. Every two to three days, it will determine an amount of money (between $5 and $50) that is safe to transfer into an FDIC-insured Digit deposit account. More info…show
- Pros: Saving is not only automatic, but also painless. Your money is easily accessible if you need it and you don’t pay a penny for this program.
- Cons: The lack of interest earnings on your savings makes it tough to really grow wealth with Digit.
- Fees: None
- Best for: Beginner savers or those who hate dealing with money.
- Be sure to check out PT’s review of Digit.
- To learn more and get started with Digit, visit www.digit.co.
In addition to its basic money saving tools, Clarity Money also allows you to set up automatic savings through their Clarity Savings Account. You simply select the amount and frequency of your preferred withdrawal, as well as the goal that you are saving for, and activate the automatic savings. Since everything is done within the app, creating and funding your savings account—not to mention pausing recurring withdrawals and closing the savings account—can all be accomplished with a couple of finger taps.
The money in your Clarity Savings account is FDIC insured up to $250,000, but the program currently does not offer interest on the money in this savings account. More info…show
- Pros: Clarity Money takes care of everything within the app, which makes it easy to act on their recommendations. The app offers a fairly global look at your money, helping you lower your bills, cancel unnecessary recurring expenses, save more money, and understand your money habits better.
- Cons: Clarity is only available for iOS. The Clarity savings account does not offer any interest.
- Fees: If you use Clarity’s Bill Negotiation & Lowering service, the program will take 33% of what you save as their commission.
- Best For: Newbie budgeters or anyone who wants their money management to be easy and all in one place.
- To learn more and get started with Clarity, visit www.ClarityMoney.com.
This app introduces users to the world of investing—effortlessly.
Acorns links to all of your spending accounts, including credit cards, checking accounts/debit cards, Paypal, and the like, and rounds up each transaction to the nearest dollar. More info…show
- Pros: Using the roundup aspect of Acorns’ savings platform can make saving (and then investing) money painless. The investment portion takes the confusion and intimidation out of investing, in addition to lowering the cost threshold. Additionally, the customer service is reported to be excellent.
- Cons: The fees can be quite steep for those just beginning. You do still need to keep track of your finances to make sure the roundup feature or recurring transfers do not overdraw your accounts or overload your credit card.
- Fees: $1 per month for accounts below $5,000, 0.25% of your holdings for accounts above $5,000.
- Best for: Those new to investing who have a good handle on their budgeting.
- Be sure to check out our review of Acorns.
- To learn more and get started with Acorns, visit www.acorns.com.
Rize is a brand new entry in the world of automatic savings and it is set up to help struggling budgeters do what all personal finance experts advise: pay themselves first.
After you receive each paycheck, Rize automatically moves money from your checking account to your Rize account. Each time you save money, Rize sends you a notification via text or email with an update on your progress. More info…show
- Pros: Rize makes it easy to pay yourself first, and it offers a modest amount of interest (which is higher than the national average for savings accounts). The progress updates sent via text or email help keep your goals front and center.
- Cons: Rize currently does not have an app, although one is in the works. The pay-what-you-think-is-fair fee system could be a benefit or a detraction, depending on how you look at it.
- Fees: Rize asks for a voluntary monthly contribution of your savings, at an amount set by you.
- Best For: Beginning savers and/or budgeters.
- To learn more and get started with Rize, visit www.rizeup.io.
Bank of America’s Keep the Change
Bank of America’s savings program is the granddaddy of modern automatic savings apps. Keep the Change was launched in 2005 for Bank of America customers, and it is still going strong. In order to qualify, you must have a Bank of America checking account, debit card, and savings account. More info…show
- Pros: Automatic transfer allows for painless savings, and checkbook balancing becomes easier because every purchase is a whole number. Bank of America cancels Keep the Change transfers that would overdraw your account.
- Cons: Keep the Change is only available for Bank of America customers. The interest rate is very low, and you might need to transfer money occasionally to higher interest bearing accounts.
- Fees: None
- Best for: Bank of America customers. If you already bank with B of A, it makes sense to try the in-house automatic savings app.
- To learn more and get started with Bank of America, visit www.bankofamerica.com.