The best advice my grandfather gave me was: “Pay yourself first.” The idea is to save some money every payday even if it is a little bit. However, a lot of us struggle with setting aside some money. We find it all but impossible to save. If one of your goals for the new year is to build your savings, your phone can lend a hand with an app for saving money. Here are three good choices, recommended by money experts:
Did you have a piggy bank when you were a kid? Did you find your stash of money grew by just adding a little bit every so often? That’s the idea behind SmartyPig. It’s a kind of online piggy bank. “When you sign up with SmartyPig, you link to an external funding source (a bank account), set up a savings goal and track your progress along the way,” explains creditkarma.com.. “You can set up recurring contributions or you can fund your SmartyPig account whenever you want. Using SmartyPig, you can stay accountable with your savings goals through its goal planner.” SmartyPig is a free app available in the Apple App Store or for Android users at Google Play.
Forbes.com praises Oportun (formerly named Digit) as “the best money-saving app for budgeting due to its powerful budgeting tools and AI-driven savings features. Oportun uses automation and AI to analyze your spending and income patterns. When it thinks you can afford it, the app moves money from your outside checking account to your Oportun account. You can create your own spending goals, such as student loans or concert tickets, and Oportun will do the budgeting for you.” Oportun gives you ample time to try it out. It is free for the first year and then $5 a month thereafter.
The Motley Fool gives high marks to Qapital. “[It] is a saving and budgeting app designed to help you automate your savings. Your account is funded through a linked checking account. You can also link credit cards and a PayPal account to trigger savings ‘Rules’” like automatically transferring money to savings; rounding up credit card purchases to the nearest $1, $2, $3, $4, or $5, and then transferring the extra savings to your Qapital account; and many other rules to help you set aside more money. Qapital offers a 30-day free trial. After the trial, there are three monthly fee options: $3, $6, or $12. The fee depends on the plan chosen.