Every time I get my paycheck, it’s like free-for-all to spend and splurge. Realistically, this is far from the best way for any of us to use our money. Saving up money is difficult because we put large chunks of it away all at once and feel deprived, but it definitely doesn’t need to be that way. Time to build better habits.
A slew of apps have come out recently that promise to help solve this problem. Not only do the apps automate your savings, but you don’t even have to think about saving up while it’s happening. They work by saving small increments at a time based on your current spending habits. Little by little, it adds up over time and each app has a method to its unique madness. Take a look at the top three to build up your financial stability for the future.
Note: These app work in the United States only.
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Qapital is the newest money-saving entry and it’s already arguably the best. It’s free to download, easy to use and has the most features for saving up.
Qapital can be divided into two main parts: goals and rules. Goals are essentially dedicated collections for your saved up money. One goal might be for an Apple Watch, another might be for a vacation. You get to decide what the target amount of money for that goal is and watch as it slowly adds up.
It accumulates through the rules you set for each of your goals. The wide variety of possible rules is how Qapital outshines its competition. The most common one is the round-up rule, which rounds up every purchase you make to the dollar amount of your choosing; the default is $2. That extra money gets tucked away in your Qapital account toward the goal you want.
Other rules include a simple set & forget in which you just set a fixed amount daily, weekly or monthly, an Apple Health rule that triggers a transfer to savings when you reach a health goal and even the hundreds of possible actions on IFTTT can automatically pour a small amount into your Qapital account.
When you’re ready to retrieve your money, the savings can be transferred back to your bank account at any time.
I’m a user of Qapital and love it so far. I’m especially excited to see my savings grow little by little over time. The app is free for iOS and Android.
Digit works a bit differently from Qapital, but it will probably please skeptics far more. All that’s required of you in Digit is just the login for your bank account, rather than all your credit and rewards cards too.
Rather than track your spending and round anything up, Digit will quietly transfer very small amounts of money ($2-$17) to your Digit savings account from your checking. It also intelligently monitors your spending, so if it sees you’re spending a lot lately, it won’t transfer as much money or any at all until you can afford it. It also won’t overdraft.
What’s great about Digit is that you sign up just once and then completely forget about it. Qapital, though more feature-rich, is a little more complicated and requires a tad more maintenance for your goals and rules.
Still, you can check up on Digit at any time by going into the app and chatting with the Digit bot. Send various commands to get updates on your savings, withdraw and more. You also get text messages from time to time about your transfers and balance.
Tip Yourself doesn’t exactly automate your savings like the other apps on this list do, but it’s still an honorable mention because it’s so easy to use, you’d think it’s automated. Unlike Digit and Qapital, you get to manually decide when you want to transfer small amounts of money into savings. Think of it as a rewards systems.
The suggested tips are $2, $5 or $10. Just open the app, tap Tip on the top right and press the amount you want to tip. It’ll transfer over from your checking to your Tip Jar until you’re ready to withdraw all the savings. Had an awesome workout today? Tip yourself. Got through a long business meeting? Tip yourself. It takes two seconds out of your day to give yourself that small reward.
Plus, Tip Yourself comes with a built-in social network, so you can see friends and public users as they tip themselves and move toward their own goals. Comment and show your support too. Once again, a little goes a long way.