Top Apps to Save Money: Let Your Money Grow
- Smartphone-based apps can help you grow your savings account, manage your money more efficiently, and track spending.
- These apps round up purchases to the next dollar and transfer the difference to your bank account.
- Money-saving apps may offer other benefits as well, like access to a savings account that earns above-average interest.
Finding it tricky to save money? Wish you had an automatic way to salt away extra savings? Want to grow your rainy day fund more quickly? It might be time to try using a money-saving app.
These tools, easily used on your smartphone, can help you put aside extra money in a savings or checking account. These apps can also assist you in better managing your money and tracking spending.
What do savings apps do?
Money-saving apps promote better saving and spending habits. They allow you to automatically or manually transfer money—usually in small or set amounts—into your linked bank account. That makes it easier to grow your savings. Opting for automatic transfers can help you pad an emergency fund without even having to think about it.
Users like the fact that these apps do most of the work invisibly. For example, some apps will automatically round up all of your debit card purchases to the nearest dollar. Then, the app will transfer that digital spare change to your savings account.
Some apps lets you automatically move up to 10% of your direct deposit paycheck into your savings account.
Also, some apps offer in-house savings accounts that can help you grow your money more quickly compared to brick-and-mortar banks.
Case in point: Chime might offer 2% APY (annual percentage yield) on your savings where Wells Fargo offers 0.25%. If you put $1,000 in the account for a year, the 2% account will pay you $20 but the 0.25% account would only pay you $2.50. Some savings apps pay up to 4% APY to members who qualify.
It’s worth taking the time to explore the different features and benefits offered by money-saving apps.
Top 6 apps to make saving easier
We’ve researched the field and come away impressed by these six different apps, detailed below, that can make saving easier.
Oportun (formerly Digit) is an “effortless tool to help you save, borrow, invest, and track your finances.” You link the app to your existing checking account. The app learns your spending habits and expenses. You can input as many savings goals as you prefer.
You add funds to your account using direct deposit, a manual transfer, or smart deposits from your linked checking account. Using its algorithms, Oportun will then calculate how much money to safely save. The app will begin regularly making small transfers to a savings bucket within your account.
Regular savers get an extra perk: a 0.10% annual savings bonus, paid out every quarter, if you save for three straight months.
The app is free for the first six months, and $5 per month after that.
Chime is as simple and no-strings-attached as it gets. Chime offers an app and a savings account (as well as a checking account), all under one online roof. There’s no cost for the app, and no minimum balance, monthly fees, or overdraft fees.
You can save money every time you make a purchase or, if you opt for the Chime Visa Debit Card, when you pay a bill. Chime’s Save When You Spend feature automatically rounds up transactions to the next dollar and moves that amount from your checking account into your savings account. A benefit of being paired with its online bank account is that Chime makes your cash instantly available if you want it.
Your savings account will earn 2.00% APY, much higher than the national average.
This app makes automated savings a no-brainer. Like some of the other apps described here, Qapital rounds up your purchases when you buy goods or services. It then shifts that surplus to a linked outside account.
But the perks don’t stop there. Qapital allows you to pick savings goals and then apply rules that automatically send money toward those goals. If you’d rather set up a predetermined amount that gets saved, you could do that, too. And you can invite a spouse, partner, or friend with the app to share your savings goals and transfer funds between your accounts.
Count on paying $3, $6, or $12 per month, depending on which membership tier you choose.
With Current, you establish savings “pods” to reach your chosen savings goals. This free app lets you combine savings and checking features into one free basic savings account and use a linked debit card. When you use the card, your transactions are rounded up to the nearest dollar. The difference goes to your chosen savings pod.
You can earn rewards and cashback via Current’s Points reward program. Using the app, these rewards can be redeemed from thousands of participating retailers.
A Current account can earn up to 4.00% APY (but only if you make monthly direct deposits of at least $200).
The Acorns app is a longtime favorite of investment-minded consumers. With this tool, you can invest extra savings automatically into a portfolio of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Acorns rounds up any purchase made from a linked account, debit card, or credit card. That spare change is put into your chosen ETFs.
Unlike the other apps listed here, Acorns help you grow your savings by investing the money in different stocks and bonds, which can earn more than bank accounts over time. The principle remains the same: handy tech helps you put aside extra cash for the future.
Acorns costs $3 per month.
Instead of serving as a penny-rounding app that invests your spare change, Qoins helps you pay down debt.
Every time you buy something using a linked checking or credit card account, Qoins rounds up to the next dollar and transfers the difference into your Qoins account. Then, once every month, Qoins makes payments toward your debts using funds in that account. You can pay off up to five debt accounts at once.
The benefits come at a cost: Membership is $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year.
Qoins isn’t specifically a savings-generating app. It'll help you get out of debt sooner, which can save you plenty of money otherwise spent on interest. If you carry debt, paying it down is likely to give you a greater financial benefit than stashing cash in a savings or checking account.
Are there coupon apps?
Yes, there are many free apps that serve as online coupon clippers and help you apply the biggest available discounts to applicable purchases. Many of these apps provide promo codes you can add at checkout for a discount, and some also help you accrue points and rewards for shopping with participating retailers. Among the most popular coupon apps are Dosh, Honey, Ibotta, ShopKick, and Rakuten.
Can a budget app help me save money?
Yes, budget apps can help you save money by helping you create a budget and track your spending and income. Popular budget apps include Goodbudget, Mint, PocketGuard, EveryDollar, and YNAB.
Is there an app for investing small amounts?
Yes, there are apps for investing small amounts. The Acorns app, for example, lets you invest small amounts into a portfolio of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Acorns rounds up your purchases to the next dollar if you use a linked account, debit card, or credit card and invests the digital spare change.