Welcome to my second Money Maker Monday! To check out my first MMM post, click here.
Everyone who has problems saving money, raise your hand.
I’m sure I’m not the only one…especially since I’m in nursing school, working part-time, have credit card debt, student loans, and two dogs who eat expensive food and NEED toys.
Now, everyone who has a debit card and uses it on a daily basis, raise your hand. I’ll explain in a minute how those two questions play hand-in-hand.
Before I moved out on my own, I was AWESOME at saving money. I owe that to my Aunt Jo and Uncle Steve (I love you both!) and for my mom and dad for teaching me great financial habits (even though I 100% didn’t listen to them until after I moved out). I thought I was poor then, but now is a completely different story. Today I have to worry about gas for getting to work/school, food to eat during the day, how I’m going to pay for books and scrubs, and everything else I need. Saving when constantly spending feels like an impossible task. But don’t worry – there’s an app for that!
Enter Acorns whose tagline is “from acorns mighty oaks do grow.” An ode to the very successful compound effect, friends!
When I first heard about Acorns, I was very skeptical because I was working at a financial advising firm where smart investing under a professional’s guidance was encouraged. I completely agree that I want to invest my money wisely, but I also wanted an account where I could learn in layman’s terms** how to invest for myself with the amount of money I wanted. Side note – I do have an actual investment account on top of Acorns for retirement and long-term.
**Acorns feature, “Grow,” teaches the basics about investing
Starting your Acorns account is relatively easy. When opening, you have to send in all of your information as if you were opening a bank account. It will take a few days to get approved, but once you are in, your initial investment has to be at least $5 and from there, you have so many options!
Acorns will ask a few questions about your job situation, reasons for investing, and income to determine the aggressiveness of your portfolio. I have mine set on moderately aggressive since I am in college and only working part-time. If I were out of school and working, I’d definitely opt for aggressive. It all depends on the risk you want to take! Remember – the higher the risk, the higher the reward and in terms of the stock market, the more you have at risk to lose as well!
Acorn’s main savings method is built around a concept called round-ups. For example, if I spend $3.25 with my debit card that I have linked to my Acorns account, Acorns will round that up to $4 and put $0.75 into my Acorns stash. They also just came up with a new feature called round-ups multiplier where you can set your roundup to multiply by up to ten times.
Another thing I love about Acorns is that on top of round-ups, you can set up scheduled deposits. I have $7 withdrawn every Monday from my bank account so I know I’m saving at least $1/day. Love shopping? Acorns can also help you save while doing that! With “Found Money,” Acorns partners with major brands and if you purchase anything through the link they provide you with on the app, they will invest into your account. I recently just signed up for Stitch Fix through Acorns and they invested $10 in my account. That means my first Fix is $10. Whatta deal!
Since Acorns is an investment account, you do have to supply your social number when signing up for tax reasons. Also, it is worth noting that it is an investment account, so it’s not FDIC insured like your money in a bank would be. However, it is SIPC insured. Acorns is also rolling out features to save through an IRA account called “Later,” as well as a checking account, “Spend,” to make saving automatic and even easier!
Last important note – traditional Acorns accounts are $1/month up to your first million. After that, your fee increases to 0.25%/year. “Spend” and “Later” do have additional minimal charges as well.