Financial Fitbits: The Top Money-Saving Apps
It is around 8:00 a.m. when I get the text message that I look forward to every day. It’s a savings update shared with me via Digit, a savings app that I had discovered last year. Each time, I receive one of these notifications, it rings “cha-ching” in my head.
Saving money is not my strength. In fact, it has been a continuous struggle. There always seems to be a personal emergency, a bill to be paid, or items to be bought. And then, the money is gone. I’m not the only one who struggles with saving money.
The U.S. Department of Commerce reported in 2015 that Americans were saving around 5.8 percent of their income.
Finding an effective way to do what I know I should be doing (saving money) has been a game changer.
I am not looking forward to a retired life full of ramen and fried spam patties because I hadn’t saved enough money when I was younger.
Digit makes savings easier – and spontaneous – demanding the least effort from you. I just couldn’t believe how simple it was to use. Basically, you connect your bank account, and then Digit takes out small amounts (in my case, some change every other day) and deposits that money into an FDIC-insured account.
It’s entirely up to you how much (as low as 25 cents) or how often you want Digit to do the transfers. I don’t use this as my primary savings account, but I use it for upcoming fun stuff that I would like to do, such as going on a trip. I’m able to pay cash for the trip, and there is no credit-related guilt as a result.
Now, I am a believer in the digital universe, having recently embraced it to save on groceries. I used to love couponing. I still do, but not with those bothersome paper coupons. I used to sit at the kitchen table, looking through the flyers and newspapers, cutting them out, and setting them aside so that I could take them to the store with me on my next trip. Then I would forget them every single time.
Now I use my Ibotta app and every coupon goes with me on my phone. When Ibotta first came into my life, I felt empowered:
I had a ninja with countless coupons fighting on my side! The savings became pretty substantial over time.
Ibotta is simple to use. Once you’ve downloaded the app and set up your profile, the app will share different deals that you can access before you go to the store. It will even do it while you’re there. That way, the only way you can miss out on a deal is to forget to bring your phone. Time for a quick U-turn!
Finally, I’ve also automated my retirement savings in a similar way. For small business owners and the self-employed, retirement savings is a huge, huge, issue. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to do this digitally, and almost every single brokerage house offers a way to save through an online subscription process.
I discovered Betterment, and it has made a huge difference for me. Once a month, I receive notification that money will be withdrawn from my checking account. No, I don’t mind these requests to reduce my “current” status. Actually, I love receiving those emails.
Technology has helped eliminate the many “stressors” that I used to associate with saving money. Every time I see my accounts grow, get a text about the money that I’ve saved, or receive an email about my retirement account, I feel pretty awesome. It’s my financial Fitbit.
Spend some time researching the best apps that will help you swipe, tap, or text your way to a better financial future.