The Best Automatic Savings Apps (to Grow Your Wealth in 2017)

Flossing.

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.

Digit

Digit

digit

If you want to save money without ever having to think about it, Digit is for you.

This 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 earn 1% bonus on your savings.
  • Cons: The monthly fee makes it tough to really grow wealth with Digit.
  • Fees: $2.99 per month
  • 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.

Chime

Chime

chime

Now banking is even easier with Chime. With no monthly fees, minimum balances, foreign transaction fees or overdraft fees you can rest assured that you won’t be overcharged. More info…show

  • Pros: There are no fees and no minimum deposits required. You can also be rewarded for using their Visa card. You can receive cash back or points on your everyday purchases or bills.
  • Cons: If you like the idea of having a bank branch that you can walk into Chime might not be the bank for you. This application is 100% automated and that may be a little intimating to some.
  • Fees: Chime earns their fees from Visa which means the more money you spend, the more money they earn and they can put back into your pocket.
  • Best For: Anyone who is comfortable with automating all of their banking efforts.
  • To learn more and get started with Chime visit www.chimebank.com.

Clarity Money

Clarity Money

Clarity Money

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.

Acorns

Acorns

Acorns_logo

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.

Stash

Stash

stash

If you are looking for a way to not only save money but invest in a portfolio you are passionate about, Stash might be your solution. It is nice to have an automated deposit into a savings account but it might be more beneficial to allow that money to work for you in an investment account. More info…show

  • Pros: You can start your account with any amount of money. Stash allows you to buy partial shares so you can investment in the market for little capital. Also Stash uses dollar cost averaging to help reduce risk and market timing.
  • Cons: Stash is automated, so there is minimal control in the investments you acquire.
  • Fees: Your first month is free and then $1 per month for under $5000 and .25% fee for over $5000.
  • Best For: Newbie investors or anyone who wants to dabble in the market but doesn’t want a large commitment.
  • To learn more and get started with Stash visit www.stashinvest.com.

Rize

Rize

Rize Logo

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.rizemoney.com.

Bank of America's Keep the Change

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.

(Coming soon to our list…mini-reviews of Dobot and Qapital.)

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Last Edited: May 17, 2017 @ 4:19 pmThe content of ptmoney.com is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to ptmoney.com should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.
About Emily Guy Birken

Emily Guy Birken is a former English teacher and respected personal finance blogger. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her engineer husband and two high-energy little boys. She has written two books: The Five Years Before You Retire and Choose Your Retirement. Emily's thoughts on parenting and life in general are found at The SAHMnambulist.

Comments

  1. Nice list of apps and an overview of them. I like Digit the best from this list given the ease of automating savings.

    There is one gripe I have with Digit though.

    Today, Digit does not allow you to link to an external robo-advisor like WiseBanyan, Betterment, Wealthfront or the like.

    This means you have to withdraw the savings from your Digit account back to your bank and then transfer it to your brokerage or Robo-advisor of your choice to invest your savings.

    It takes two steps when it should actually take only one.

    I have been persuading Digit to allow establishing external links.

    I would greatly appreciate if the PF community puts the same pressure on Digit so that it is a win-win for everyone.

    –Michael

  2. Automating money is such a new concept to me. I’m old school with my excel sheet! Definitely will have to look into these. Great list!

  3. These are definitely becoming more popular ways to save money. I love that they automate things for you and make it easy.

  4. Philip Curtis says:

    Thank you.
    Surprised to not see Mint here.
    Also when discussing apps that link to your personal financial information, details about security and who owns and runs the apps and servers should be discussed.