The pandemic has affected us in many ways—some obvious, and not so much. One of the most incredible turnarounds has been the comeback of good, old fashioned saving. Just look at this chart showing the U.S. personal savings rate for the last 10 years.
In April of 2020, the savings rate hit an all-time high of 33.8%, and while it’s dropped, it remains consistently higher than it’s been in recent years.
That’s a lot of people saving more money than ever.
Of course, much of that spike in saving is attributed to people staying home more than ever, but we can’t help but wonder where all that extra money is going? If this sounds like you, do you have specific goals for that extra money, or is it just sitting in your account?
Luckily, there are multiple savings apps out there to help you figure out how to make the most of your extra savings.
A quick note: The best savings app for you is the one that works for you. We have listed several options below that touch on different reasons people have for not being able to save. If you see one with features that jump out at you, give it a shot and see if it’s a good fit. If not, try another. Luckily, some of the apps we’ve listed at least have a free trial, and some are even free forever!
Let’s look at some of the best savings apps available that can help you put all that extra money to work for you.
One of the “secrets” of successful savers is setting goals. Lasso is a brand new (and totally free) financial planning app that has enough unique features to set it apart from an arguably crowded space.
While most savings apps help you build a saving structure to find out how much you can save and where you could put it, the vast majority are focused primarily on saving alone—not what you’re saving toward.
With Lasso you begin with the end in mind by picking one of five saving goals: Retirement, House, Education, Emergency Fund or Create Your Own.
After selecting a goal, you answer five basic questions:
- How much do you want to save?
- When do you want to save it by?
- How much do you have now?
- How much can you save every year?
- How much risk are you comfortable taking?
With those five questions, Lasso builds out your plan and shows you whether you’re on track to hit your goal or not.
Here’s where another of Lasso’s unique features comes into play: If you’re not on track to hit your goals, you can play around with your inputs to see how they would impact your plan.
After you’ve built your plan, Lasso has one more feature that sets it apart from every other savings app out there: You can share your plan with professional financial advisors to see what they think and what they would do to improve it.
Share your plan with as many advisors as you want and then if you like any of their ideas, you can start working with them to really supercharge your savings with the power of investing.
Lasso will be released on the App Store in early 2022.
Lasso is completely free forever with no hidden fees at any point. If you choose to work with an advisor, they will likely have their own fees, but Lasso will never charge you for anything and it does not require any payment info.
Chime offers a free banking experience with an automatic savings feature.
One of the easiest ways to start saving is to put it on autopilot. Chime is a mobile-only bank that offers an “automatic saving” option so you can automatically set aside money every time you get paid.
Once you know how much you want to set aside, Chime will automatically place that amount into your savings account every time you get paid.
As of August 1, 2021, the APY on a savings account with Chime was 0.5%, which is pretty standard.
One feature missing from Chime is the ability to invest your money or get advice from a professional on how to invest, but if you combine Chime with another app like Lasso, you can build a plan so you can then put your savings to work.
Chime is totally free with no fees and even fee-free overdraft up to a certain amount.
For people who struggle to save and don’t want to set aside anything, Acorns has a creative solution—invest your spare change!
Acorns is built around the philosophy that everyone would save if they could do it without thinking about it. That’s why they created Round-ups™.
By connecting your bank account to Acorns, you can set it up so that every time you buy anything, Acorns will round it up to the nearest dollar and invest the difference in an account of your choosing.
Acorns offers multiple investment account options that allow you to get more out of your money than the average savings account.
Acorns costs $3 per month for a personal account, or $5 for a family account.
Much like Acorns and Chime, Digit seeks to simplify the process of saving money by making it as easy as possible.
Digit allows you to set goals and then auto-save toward those goals by setting it aside in specific accounts.
Once you have goal accounts set up, you can take long-term accounts like retirement and invest them in portfolios that match your risk level.
One thing missing from Digit is the ability to play with different factors of your finances to see how they would impact your savings plan. That being said, they allow you to set unlimited goals for any purpose.
The Digit app costs $5 per month.
Qapital is another savings app that allows you to set up goals while including an added feature.
With Qapital, you can set up as many goals as you want and turn the long-term ones into investment accounts, just like with Digit.
One of the added features with Qapital is triggers that allow you to set up auto-deposits in certain accounts whenever particular actions are taken. For instance, when a paycheck is deposited, you can set up a temporary trigger to automatically set aside different amounts in different accounts.
In addition, Qapital incorporates several of the other features from savings apps such as round-up saving and special settings to help freelancers prepare for tax day.
Qapital’s plans cost anywhere from $3 to $12 per month depending on which features you use.
Start Saving for Your Future Now!
Your future success depends on the actions you take now. Whichever app you decide to use, it is important that you get on track to start working today toward the goals you want to accomplish tomorrow, next year and 30 years from now.