App Spotlight: Acorns

Let’s be honest: saving money is hard. I think everyone my age struggles with saving money. It’s just one of those stereotypical “millennial” things – we’re all always broke. Luckily for us, technology is helping change that. Which is why I’m sharing one of my favorite financial apps, Acorns.

A screenshot of the Acorns website.

What Is Acorns?

Acorns is an app (for both iPhone and Android!) that helps you squirrel away money via “micro investing”. It’s super simple, takes absolutely no effort on your part, and actually works really well.

Wait… what is Micro Investing?

Investing money is a great way to put your money to work. But it’s scary and usually involves a lot of planning, thinking, and some leaps of faith. Also, large amounts of money. 😶

On the other hand, micro investing means you invest teeny, tiny amounts of money at a time. Amounts anywhere from $.05 to $1 at a time. You’re investing in such small increments you don’t really even notice.

But it really adds up. 💰

What do you mean it adds up?

Personally, my biggest money-saving pitfall is actually putting my money to work for me. You see, I’m a money hoarder. Separate savings accounts never work for me because I have to consciously move money into those accounts, which is 1) too much work and 2) for some reason too stressful(?).  So I keep it all in checking and end up “hoarding saving money” but not gaining any interest.

I started using Acorns this past February. Since then, I’ve invested (saved!) over $400. And I didn’t have to do a damn thing.

Dancing Cher GIF

How does Acorns work?

Do you have a smartphone, a bank account, and a credit or debit card? Congratulatons. That’s literally all you need to get the app set up and micro investing.

You simply connect your bank account and card to the app. Then you just start spending like normal. The app monitors your purchases and rounds them up to the nearest dollar, investing the difference.

So if you spend $4.54 on a coffee, Acorns would round the purchase up to $5.00 and invests the extra $.46 for you. You don’t have to do anything. No worrying about how or where to invest your money – it does it all for you.

That’s not to say you don’t have control over your investments. You can play it safe or invest more aggressively by select one of their Portfolios. You can also start making recurring investments to make sure that even on a light-spending month you’re still putting money away for your future.

And what if I want/need my money back?

You can withdraw your savings at any time. For real.

I’ve actually done it a few times already – such as when I was at Boston Comic Con and suddenly remembered we had an internet bill to pay. I pulled $80 out of Acorns to cover the bill and kept wasting my money on useless nerd things!

It takes about a week for the money to clear, so it’s not an instant transfer, but it’s nice that there are no limitations on how you can use or spend your money.

Does it cost anything?

Yes.

If you have less than $5,000 put away, it costs $1 per month. Which it automatically deducts from your existing investments. So as long as you have over $1 saved, you don’t even have to think about it.

For accounts over $5,000, I guess you pay 0.25% annually. Since I’m nowhere near that goal, I’ll just have to take their word for it.

Where do I sign up?

You can sign up quickly and easily just by clicking here. Or just download the app from the App Store/Google Play to get started.

Happy investing!

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