It doesn’t matter who you are. You want to maximize the amount of money in your wallet. That means not spending more than necessary and not letting money sit around doing nothing in a lonely savings account.
While investing is the best place to grow money for the long term, there’s no better place to store money for a rainy day than in a high-yield savings account.
However, saving is hard. According to an article published by The New York Times, savings rates, which peaked due to COVID-19 stimulus funds, have returned to 2019 levels.
High yield savings accounts present one strategy for easy access to your money with maximum returns. Keep reading to learn more about apps that round-up change for automatic savings to help you save more and stress less.
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What is a high yield savings account
People have savings accounts in a variety of places. While many keep their savings accounts near their checking accounts, this may not be the best option. A welcome disruption in the technology space has opened the door to competition among internet-only banks, yielding higher than ever savings rates and convenience.
Many of these new internet-only banks offer higher yield savings accounts, a type of savings account that pays more than the standard rate. Combine these rates with super cool ways to make saving more accessible than ever with automatic contributions, and you have a winning strategy.
A high-yield savings account allows you to earn a higher return on your money without the risk. It should be affordable, easy to access, and have minimal restrictions.
What are the best apps that round-up change for automatic savings
When you’re shopping for a new high-yield savings account, it’s important to consider the fees, minimum balance requirements, ways to access your money, deposit options, and interest rate. You want to know how much your money will earn and how you can pull the funds if needed. Make sure there aren’t any fees you can avoid, like minimum balance requirement fees. It’s best to find an account that works with your financial situation and goals.
Ally makes saving with sinking funds more effortless than ever. Ally provides customers with a savings account and sub-buckets to organize multiple goals. The online bank makes it easy to transfer money between accounts and offers a solid 0.5% annual percentage yield (APY), aka the savings rate. In addition, the app allows customers to set up recurring transfers, round-ups, and surprise savings ideas. With lots of ways to boost savings, this app will keep you encouraged and motivated to keep saving and reach your goals.
Chime is a financial technology company that provides basic banking services. The company focuses on making banking easy, helpful, and free for customers. It’s a popular choice for automatic savings. Chime automatically rounds up transactions made with the Chime Visa Debit Card. Then, it transfers the money from your savings account to a savings account. Chime also allows customers to save money from direct deposits and paychecks automatically. Its high-yield savings account provides a 0.50% APY.
Qapital works like Ally where it allows users to save and invest. You can set rules in the account to round up change and save towards specific goals. The app lets customers visualize trade-offs and long-term goals, create emergency funds, and set aside money for particular debts. In addition, you can round up change or set aside a certain percentage of your paycheck as soon as it hits the bank.
Qapital costs members $3 to $12 a month, depending on their plan. The account even works with Siri if you like the idea of your personal assistant investing for you. The account offers a 0.1% APY, which is lower than some of the other banks, but the trade-offs may be worth it for some.
Digit doesn’t offer an extremely high APY at just 0.1%, but they offer bonuses every 90 days, depending on your average daily balance. The account also helps customers calculate their savings based on spending and income patterns. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t have a set amount to transfer, leading some customers to fall short. But it might be the kick in the pants you need to get spending under control. It costs $5 per month.
Our list wouldn’t be complete without credit to M1Finance. The online bank offers a great 1% cashback and early deposit with their M plus checking account. The account has a 1% APY with no minimum balance. However, it costs $125 annually. Users can set up rules to make automatic intelligent transfers and save money in buckets for emergencies and big purchases.
Lastly, I want to touch on Greenlight. This online banking company is centered around kids’ healthy spending and saving habits. Parents can teach their kids about money management and spending with a debit card while picking the stores where the card will be accepted.
The account comes with a monthly maintenance fee of $4.99 to $9.98. However, kids can earn savings rewards and cashback on purchases up to 2%. Plus, you’re teaching them healthy money habits.
One thing that makes this account special is the round-app change feature. Round-ups are like boosters for the savings account. It enables kids to round up change from purchases to add to their savings account. Automatically saving the difference boosts savings and teaches kids about compound interest.
Set up an allowance or instant money transfer, pay parent-paid interest over time to teach compound interest, or watch some of the many educational videos on money with your kids today. Parents control the account and can set real-time notifications for transactions.
Bonus: Micro-Investing with round-up change
You may have heard about micro-investing, investing with little money, and round-up change investing. These are more long-term options for investing, not savings. Investing is a riskier way to store your money, but the return on investment is much greater than savings. Investing will have returns that exceed that of inflation, allowing you the opportunity to build wealth over time through compound interest.
Acorns has become a household name as the original round-up app to invest your spare change. Its mobile app is easy to use to invest in a well-rounded, diversified portfolio of exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
The app offers a base plan for $3 a month where users can also gain access to an FDIC-protected checking account and debit card. However, users can set up their Acorn account from their already existing checking account too.
Acorns has moved into investing for retirement with their Acorns Later plan that costs $3 a month. It allows users to set up a Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, or SEP IRA.
The Acorns “found money” program allows users to receive a percentage of their purchase back in the form of an Acorns contribution. For example, buy something from one of your favorite stores or gas stations and see up to 5% cashback into your savings account for more investing.
This account is best for savers who do not need to touch their money for long periods. It’s more of an investing app than a savings account. Acorns has limited options for where the money will be invested, but it’s an easy way to invest a few dollars a month without noticing it. Compounding over 20 years with a 10% annual return rate, $50 a month turns into more than $36K.
What are the benefits to saving with round-up change
In one word. Automatic. That’s the biggest benefit to saving with round-up change. You don’t have to think about it.
When it’s automatic, you won’t forget to do it, and you’ll save lots of money. It’s one of the best savings strategies you can have. You’ll be able to put money aside for big purchases and emergencies without thinking about it.
Do I need a high-yield savings account
The short answer is yes. If you need money set aside for emergencies and big purchases, you should keep it stored in a high yield savings account. A high-yield savings account is insured, protected, and offers a better return than a regular savings account.
If you’re going to need to withdraw money more than four times a month, you may be better off using a checking account. And if you won’t need the money for at least five years, you’re probably better off putting the money in an investment account. While a high-yield savings account should not be your primary investment strategy, it can bring in a little extra cash while you’re saving. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons for yourself.
How to budget for automatic savings
Now we have to talk about the reality of automatic savings. If you live paycheck to paycheck, you need to plan for these automatic withdrawals. Otherwise, you can be overdrawn in your checking account, leading to a host of other problems and fees.
Automatic savings only works when you have the money to cover the withdrawals. So take a look at these tips to save money:
- Set SMART money goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-sensitive. What do you want to do? Do you have a time frame for retirement? Are you looking to buy a new house? Do you want to plan for vacations? Set smart money goals that tell you how much, how often, and how long you need to save.
- Make a budget. Take your SMART money goals and make a budget. Start by determining your income and expenses. How much money is left after the basics are covered? Do you still have at least 20% left that you could divide between savings and investing? If not consider starting a part-time job or a new side-hustle.
- Set an amount to be sent to automatic savings. Now that you have your basic budget determined. Set an amount to contribute to your high-yield savings account. This can be divided between your emergency fund and your sinking funds for big purchases.
- Build healthy financial habits. Pay off bad debt, learn to pay yourself first, and increase your financial literacy. The more you learn the more you’ll want to save, invest, and plan for the future. It’s addicting.
There you have it. Seven great apps to get started with your spare round-up change for automatic savings. These apps are guaranteed to make saving more manageable and less stressful. Just be sure to have a budget that accounts for the extra, barely noticeable savings that will automatically be withdrawn from your primary account.
These small changes have the potential to change your future. Have you tried any appts that round-up change? Comment below.
Theresa is a personal finance blogger. She writes content for busy professional women to take control of their money and investments. She enjoys reading, traveling, cooking, and writing. Her work has been featured on GoBanking Rates, Your Money Geek, Savoteur, the Corporate Quitter, Thirty Eight Investing, and more.