Saving money has never been easier, and some would say modern technology has made it even more difficult. Where previously consumers had to go out of their way to buy clothes, housewares, or even some fun, technology has made it possible for you to shop on your phone and have anything you want delivered to your doorstep. And then you have subscription services that allow you to pay a monthly fee in exchange for a box of “stuff” that you may not even need.
But technology can also be used forever, and that is especially true of our finances. For example, money-saving apps can help you set up your finances to save small sums of money that are set aside and even invested on your behalf.
Don’t confuse money-saving apps with budgeting apps. While budgeting apps like You Need a Budget (YNAB.com) and Qube Money can help you manage your finances and create a spending plan, money-saving apps can save you more money every month, albeit often in different ways.
We featured the best money-saving apps to find the best options for a wide variety of customers. Acorns came out on top in our ranking for their ease of use and the fact that saving and investing money is seamless. However, the additional apps that created our ranking are worth considering if you want to increase your savings goals this year.
The most important factors for money-saving apps
- Costs: You should never pay an arm and a leg for an app designed to help you save money. For this ranking, we looked for money-saving apps that incur small, manageable monthly fees.
- Growth potential: If you are saving money every month, you want that money to grow. Consider money-saving apps that will allow you to invest your savings or increase them over time with a generous, promised return on investment.
- Flexibility: Consumers should look for apps that can be tailored to their needs, or at least apps that allow them to adjust their settings. Mobile apps designed to help you save should make it easy to set specific savings goals or even to separate savings buckets.
- Safety: Before you sign up for a money-saving app, check that security features such as encryption and multi-factor authentication are in place.
The best apps for saving money
The best money-saving apps offer something for everyone without incurring excessive fees. We compared 10+ mobile apps made to help consumers save money to create our favorites list. If this year you’re looking to increase your savings and think technology could help, this is the perfect place to start your search:
- Best for high yield savings
Before deciding which mobile app to use to increase your savings, it is important to understand how it works and what the long-term costs are. With the help of our app ratings, you can decide which money-saving app makes the most sense for your goals and budget.
Acorns: Best for Investing
What we love about acorns: Acorns took first place in our ranking for several reasons. First, this app lets you invest with your loose change, making it easy to save small sums of money that you may not even notice. Second, all three plans you can sign up for – Lite, Personal, and Family – come with an investment component that makes it easy for you to add to the money you put aside and even save it for retirement.
The “personal” version of Acorns is the most robust version for individuals. This plan includes all-in-one investment assistance, retirement assistance, a verification component, a metal debit card, and much more. You can also save money with no account fees and refunded ATM fees and earn more with bonus investments of up to 10%.
In addition, this app gives you the ability to automatically invest with built-in retirement options, and you can customize your plan to suit your age and investment goals. In general, an Acorns portfolio is typically made up of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) that range from conservative to aggressive.
What is holding it back: The stock market does not guarantee positive returns – especially in the short term. In other words, you could lose money if you only invest for a short time.
Reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars on Google Play
Costs: $ 1 per month for a lite plan, $ 3 per month for a personal plan, and $ 5 per month for a family plan
Simple: Best for savings with a high return
What we love about Simple: Simple is a mobile app that offers savings tools that work in conjunction with a free checking account and special debit card. With this app you can set up notifications that inform you about every transaction. You can use it to set financial goals, manage your expenses, and set aside safe to spend funds for whatever you want.
Simple also lets you round your debit transactions up to the nearest dollar and then transfer the difference to a high-yielding sub-account for Protected Destinations with an APY of 1.00%.
One of the main advantages of Simple is the fact that it is usually free to use. Fees you might have to pay include $ 5 for checks, fees for ATMs outside of the network, and fees for international transactions when using your debit card abroad.
What is holding it back: Simple doesn’t offer the same robust investment options as Acorns and some of the other apps that built our ranking.
Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars on Google Play
Costs: Using the app to manage your money is free
Qapital: Best for setting goals
What we love about Qapital: Qapital is another money-saving app that will help you achieve your savings goals and invest in the future. With this app you can automate your savings and round up your purchases to the nearest dollar. You will be given a debit card that you can use for purchases and transfers free of charge. However, you have to pay a fee to use an ATM. The app lets you create separate money boxes for different goals and even set your own spending rules.
Qapital also has its own ready-made portfolios that can make investing easier. All you have to do is choose an investment schedule (e.g. how many years you have to retire) and the app will automatically select a portfolio that is diverse and tailored to the time you need to Keep your money invested.
What is holding it back: Qapital is significantly more expensive than many other apps that can save you money. The savings account component also includes a nondescript APY.
Reviews: 4.1 out of 5 stars on Google Play
Costs: A basic plan is $ 3 per month, a full plan is $ 6 per month, and a master plan is $ 12 per month
Number: Best savings
What we love about Digit: Digit is another app that can automatically save you money. According to the app creators, Digit “analyzes your expenses and automatically saves the perfect amount every day so you don’t have to think about it.” The money you save is then transferred to a Digit savings account. You can also set up separate spare bins that can target specific goals that you have, such as: B. a vacation fund, debt settlement fund, college savings, or something else.
We also like the fact that Digit offers a 0.5% annual savings bonus that is paid out every three months. This bonus will help users save even more over time. Don’t forget that Digit offers a 30-day free trial that you can simply try before making a commitment.
What is holding it back: Digit isn’t really aimed at consumers looking to invest long term. This is a real money saving app designed to help you save money instead.
Reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars on Google Play
Costs: Digit is free for 30 days, then $ 5 per month
Stash: Best for automation
What we love about Stash: Stash is an investment app that also includes a savings component. This makes it a great option for people who want to start putting aside small sums of money that they invest in order to meet their long-term financial goals.
Stash allows you to invest your savings in thousands of stocks and funds of your choice. You can also invest with fractions of shares, which allows you to start with a relatively low balance in your account.
The savings component of the app called Auto-Stash makes it easy to automate your savings as well. You can set up automatic transfers from your bank account to your stash account, round up purchases to the nearest dollar, and deposit that money automatically.
What is holding it back: At $ 9 a month, stash can be expensive when you pay for the most generous plan.
Reviews: 4.0 out of 5 stars on Google Play
Costs: Stash costs just $ 1 per month for a beginner plan, $ 3 per month for a growth plan, and $ 9 per month for a Stash + plan
How we found the best money saving apps
The best money saving apps will help you save more money than usual, usually through automation. In order to find the apps for our ranking, we took the following criteria into account:
- Monthly charges: We looked for money apps that offer low monthly fees ($ 5 or less per month), with the exception of full plans that have a key investment component. Ongoing costs are important because apps that save you money shouldn’t cost you an arm or leg in the long run.
- Automation functions: Auto-saving is the best way to create long-term wealth. That’s why we looked for apps that had an automation component by either allowing automatic transfers to your account, a feature that rounds up all of your purchases, or both.
- Safety devices: We looked for money-saving apps that offer 256-bit encryption or better. We also looked for secondary security features like multi-factor authentication and notifications.
- Reviews: Finally, we compared all of the apps on this list for their user ratings. Every app that has created our ranking has a minimum ranking of 4 out of 5 stars on Google Play.
How to make the most of your money saving app
Downloading a money-saving app is a great first step in building a better financial future. However, there is more you need to do to increase your savings rate while staying safe. Before deciding on any of the apps we featured in our ranking, consider these tips that will help you get the most out of the experience.
- Use special security functions. All apps that created our ranking offer industry-standard encryption protection. However, if your app offers additional security features like multi-factor authentication, then you should take the time to set them up. For example, Stash gives you the option to add biometric recognition using a fingerprint to access your account.
- Make full use of automation. Make sure to get the most out of the automation features, whether you can round up all of your purchases or set up automatic transfers to your account. Remember that automating your savings is the best way to have your money grow automatically and that you should make an effort to set and forget about it as much as possible.
- Get your spouse or partner involved. Saving money on its own can be fruitful, but you have the option to double the impact by bringing your spouse or partner on board. Some money-saving apps like Acorns offer a family plan that makes it easy for you and a partner to get on the same page about your goals.
- Invest your money for the long term. Some of the apps we profiled mainly focus on building a savings account, others like Acorns and Stash will help you invest for the long term. If your goal is to save for retirement or other long-term financial goals, focus on options that allow you to invest your money in stocks, ETFs, or portfolios that are tailored to your investment schedule and risk tolerance.
- Leave your savings alone: While there’s nothing wrong with setting up money boxes for a vacation, kitchen remodel, or other short-term goal, money-saving apps can also help you save for retirement and other long-term financial needs. You really should make a commitment to leaving some of the money you save to grow over time. That way, your savings are there when you need them.
Summary: Best Money Saving Apps