Eating better. Working out more. Calling your mother regularly. Amidst all the cliché New Year’s resolutions lies an equally common, yet completely valid one: saving money. Yes, every year, many make the decision to be better with their money and make their savings accounts more robust. However, so often, unforeseen costs and plain old temptation get the better of you and, by end of year, you’re exactly where you started on January 1. This year, however, can be a different story, if you do your due diligence and enlist the help of a top money-saving app or two.
According to a 2017 survey by Statista, 53 percent of respondents said their resolution for 2018 was to save money. This percentage exceeded all other resolutions, including traveling more, reading more, getting in shape, and having more sex. And, despite this study being about a year old, it’s safe to assume the numbers for 2019 would not be too different. Money — more importantly, saving it — is a constant quest for, well, everyone.
And while spreadsheets, savings accounts, automatic deposits, and even financial advisors are all great resources, sometimes it helps to have a resource that’s accessible at all times, keeps us accountable, and more importantly, is right at our fingertips. And what’s more accessible than an app, right?
Before your skepticism kicks in, hear this: These days, there are literally dozens upon dozens of perfectly legit (and free) apps that help you save money without even feeling a blow on your earnings. Some apps like Acorns and Qapital take your spare change and invest it for you. Others like Tip Yourself, use a reward system to “tip” you every time you complete a particular goal like working out, journaling, or chipping away at a passion project.
Seriously, saving money has never been easier or more convenient, so why not give the app method a whirl? To help you find the right one, ahead, you’ll find five popular apps that aim to help you budget and save easily and seamlessly in 2019. Your savings account will thank you.
This micro-investing account invests your spare change (linked from the bank account of your choosing) into a diversified portfolio. Set up is easy and takes under five minutes. Investment programs start at a $1/per month and portfolios are constructed by a Nobel Prize-winning economist. The app allows for full transparency in that you can check on your portfolio anytime and watch your activity progress as it happens.
This one you’re probably familiar with. Mint at its core is a money management app that allows you to better understand where your money goes day to day. However, it’s also a great tool for creating budgets, tracking investments, and learning new ways to save.
The Mint team analyzes thousands of checking, savings, credit card, brokerage, CD, and IRA rollover offers, and uses this intel to make recommendations to you based on your lifestyle and goals.
Qapital is a customizable banking app that allows you to pick the savings methods and plan for you. For instance, the app can round up every purchase to the nearest dollar and move the amount into a goal account insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp or it can invest a lump sum on a regular basis. It’s your call. The app offers customers access to three types of memberships (Basic, Complete, and Master, priced at $3, $6 and $12 per month, respectively).
Correction: A previous version of this story mischaracterized Qapital's membership fees. It has been updated to accurately reflect its charges for use.
This money-saving app determines what you actually can save based on your income and expenses and puts that money aside for you in an FDIC-insured Digit account. Every few months, based on what you’ve saved, Digit grants you a one percent annual savings bonus. Also, if you want to give it a whirl, sans commitment, Digit offers a 30-day trial and charges $2.99 per month after that.
Now, unlike the other apps on this list, this app doesn’t automatically invest a certain or agreed-upon amount. Nope, you call the shots on this one. Whether it’s $1, $5, or $20, every time you hit a victory or goal of some kind, you reward yourself by adding funds to a Tip Jar, and all Tip Jar funds are held with the app's FDIC Insured Banking Partner.
This app could be a great tool for keeping other resolutions in check. If you get up early and actually get to that spin class, got a meditation session in, or you happen to save some money that week, you can reward yourself with the tap of a finger.