You may be frustrated that you never seem to have money in the bank, or you can’t come up with a thousand bucks to start an investment account, so to those of you who say you can’t save a penny, here’s a no-excuses way to save a penny, a nickel, a dime, literally all your virtual pocket change to get started on a foolproof savings strategy.
The good news is that to get started you don’t need a financial plan, a fancy equity strategy or slavishly monitor the red arrow-green arrow war every day on CNBC. Actually, you don’t have to know anything about investing.
All you need is your virtual spare change, a debit card and a smartphone.
Acorns. A “no-brainer.”
Acorns has become an indispensable app for younger and newer investors that want a no-brainer way to save and invest. It’s automatic; a “set it and forget it” tool that’s so easy you will forget you are doing it.
How to start
Go to the Acorns site. Download the app. Pick a pin number. Connect a bank debit account. Voila. Done! All from your smartphone, before you can even finish a cup of coffee.
How it works
After you make a debit card purchase, Acorns rounds it up to the next dollar amount.
For instance, a $17.45 transaction would round up to $18.00. $17.45 pays for your purchase, and 55 cents goes into your Acorns account to be invested into your choice of investing vehicles.
Click on banner to manage your Passive Pocket Change…
You can do this manually for specific purchases of your choosing, or automatically round up all of your purchases. You probably won’t miss these bread crumbs, and that’s the underlying genius of Acorns: you set aside the coins and time and the markets do the rest.
When it was introduced in 2014, CNBC wrote that it was “the new millennial investing strategy,” but gray-haired savers, who grew up rolling coins for trips to the bank, have joined in the fun, as well, and have found an effortless way to have some extra fun money or for making gifts to the grandkids.
Saving just $50 a month through Acorns adds up to $600 a year. A tidy sum for someone who can’t seem to save in more conventional ways. Even better, if you maintain the habit, your spare change will be invested through long market cycles, grabbing shares at both high and low prices. WHile the amount saved each month will be different, this is a form of dollar cost averaging, and is simply the smartest way to invest over the long term. Dollar cost averaging is the antithesis of market timing, and it works to your advantage if you are willing to invest fixed amounts at fixed intervals in all market conditions, and avoid any form of market timing.
Acorns portfolios range from conservative to aggressive, a broad enough spectrum for every saver and investor. But the point isn’t to beat the market. The point is to accumulate money and start a healthy savings habit in a way that you will never miss the money.
What does it cost?
The monthly fee is $1 plus 0.5% of the total assets for account less than $5000. This is cheap for a service that allows you to invest pocket change, which is almost never saved since it is generally overlooked as an opportunity to better your life.
Who benefits the most
If you use debit plastic for all your transactions, this is for you, especially if you have lots of small transactions throughout the month.
This couch cash can really add up. It’s the acorn to the mighty oak.
*WealthKeep may earn an affiliate referral fee from its promotion of Acorns.