Once your debt is controlled and you are following a budget, the next step in financial freedom is building wealth by saving and investing. Here are our top recommended apps:
While Digit isn’t a budgeting app per se, it does allow you to save your spare change and get into the habit of saving. Saving is vital to any budget and any app that makes the process easier for you is worth considering. All you need to do is connect Digit with your bank account. Digit will analyze your spending habits and transfer money automatically.
You can also invest with Digit and set up an IRA. Like other robo advisors, Digit will put your funds into a portfolio of exchange-traded funds based on a risk questionnaire.
Key features of Digit include:
- Automatic savings. You don’t need to think about saving with Digit. It automatically does it for you. You can save for specific things like a vacation or new car, or for a general emergency fund.
- Overdraft protection. Make sure you aren’t hit with an overdraft fee. Digit will instantly transfer savings to your bank account when you need it, saving you hefty fees.
- Automated — You don’t need to think about saving.
- Simple — Digit is very easy to use and is available on both Android and iPhone devices.
- Cost — Digit costs $5 a month.
- Limited customer service — You can only get help through email.
Like the spare change options for debt, Acorns does the same for savings, growing your spare change like acorns grow into trees over time. The money rounded up through Acorns gets put into a portfolio of stocks and bonds so that your pennies can grow into a true investment account. It’s just $1, $3, or $5 per month to use this platform, depending on which features you sign up for.
The Personal platform, at $3 a month, includes an online bank account and access to 55,000+ fee-free ATMs. This account comes with a checking account and a retirement account to really help you save. Their Smart Deposit feature allows you to automatically set aside a portion of your paycheck into your checking, investing and retirement accounts. It’s probably one of the best ways to invest without even needing to think about it. Plus right now you can get $75 when you sign up for direct deposit with Acorns and get two deposits.
Empower* provides interest on your checking account — which is practically unheard of — along with automatic savings. And there are no minimum balances and no overdraft fees. You can also get a cash advance of up to $250¹, as well as earn 10%² cashback when you use your Empower card at qualifying merchants.
Empower provides an accessible look at your spending by categories so you can keep track of your finances. If you set a savings target, Empower will automatically save for you. The app is free for the first 14 days for first-time customers and then $8 per month.