Time after time I’ve tried to open a savings account and attempted to do the infamous 52-week money challenge. I succeeded once and was damn proud of myself for consistently putting money away for those 52 weeks. However, that’s all I saved and soon after I found myself in a bind and had to withdraw all of the money, essentially closing my savings account.
I still have good intentions of opening a savings account again and depositing money that I put away in an envelope but with my busy schedule, I just don’t have the time to go to the bank to accomplish this. I mean, it took me long enough to actually get to the bank to open a business checking account.
Saving money is hard, especially when you’re a single mom and only have one income stream to support your family. Even putting away $5 a week is extremely painful for most of us and we end up not doing it. This is exactly why I chose the methods I chose to save money for myself.
Last year my sister told me about Stash which is an app that lets you invest in smaller ETFs (exchange-traded funds) with just a $5 investment and I used that for a while after reading up about it. A few months into using Stash I also found out about Acorns, which is a similar app that allows you to invest and save money. Both of the apps allow you to set an amount to be automatically transferred every month so you don’t even have to think about putting money into a savings account. You actually don’t even remember that the money is being transferred over, it’s completely automated. I started to transfer over $20 a month from both Stash and Acorns which is a smaller amount but it still adds up in the long run. I’m currently still transferring over $20 a month each but I think I’m going to raise that up to $30 or $40 very soon.
I’ll go over the details of each of these apps just in case you’re interested in either of these for yourself.
- Stash is an app that lets you learn to invest with just a $5 investment.
- Stash has a feature called “auto stash” which means you can transfer a set amount each month to save or to invest and grow your stash a little more every day.
- Stash allows you to invest in smaller ETFs and in fact, they have over 40 ETFs that you can choose from.
The ETFs that you can choose from are simply named and worded so you understand what you’re investing in. If you click the title to get more information it will show you which companies you’re actually investing in and will also let you know your risk level for each.
You don’t earn a large gain on these ETFs but you do get a small return on your investment depending on how much you invest in the first place. Honestly, I earn a few cents per day but that eventually adds up.
If you’re interested in trying Stash, they will deposit $5 in your account automatically that you can start with if you sign up through this link.
- Acorns key selling point is their “round ups” which invests your spare change by keeping an eye on what you spend through your checking account/debit card.
- For example: If you spend $4.50 on a Starbucks coffee, Acorns will round up the purchase price to $5.00 and will invest $0.50 for you automatically. I find this a great way to save some money without even knowing it.
- On top of “roundups,” you can have the app set to automatically transfer a set amount every month from your checking account, which is similar to Stash.
- Once your account gets to $5, Acorns automatically invests it in the portfolio that you chose when you signed up. This is slightly different from Stash, as you can only choose one, but you can change it at any time in your account settings. Acorns recommends one when you sign up based on the demographics that you enter while creating your account.
If you’re interested in trying Acorns they will automatically deposit $5 in your account to start with when you use this link!
I know these options to invest are pretty small but I honestly didn’t want to have to invest a ton of money and know absolutely nothing about the stock market. To me, the stock market sounds like a foreign language that I can’t figure out. Mostly, I wanted to save money without having to worry about depositing into a savings account that doesn’t earn any interest, but the few cents a month that I earn on top of my initial investment adds up and doesn’t hurt either!
In case you were wondering, it is very simple to withdraw your money from each of the apps and usually takes a few days for that money to be transferred to your checking account if you need the cash. I think these options are great if you want to learn to invest and can’t figure out the stock market or if you just want to stash away some extra money each month.
If you have any questions about each I would be happy to answer them for you! I’ve been using these apps for a year already, I’ve saved quite a bit and I absolutely love that I made the decision to go with the both of these.