Savings account desolate with a tumbleweed passing through it? You’re not alone.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve been learning about financial health because as much as we use money on a daily basis, it’s something that’s still very taboo (especially for women) to talk about. One of the biggest takeaways I’ve learned so far is that you need to be investing, not just saving, especially if you’re a broke millennial. Only one in four millennials have enough savings or liquid investments to be able to cover an out of the blue repair, accident, or doctor’s visit.
Tucking away money in a savings account or under your mattress, you automatically lose out on potential gains with inflation alone. Start small with dollar cost averaging (meaning you contribute small amounts over time, instead of trying to base investments on short-term gains or the highs and lows of the stock market).
If you’re ready to have your money start working for you, here are 5 of my favorite savings & investment apps you should check out:
Qapital is a savings app that allows you (and others) to save towards various financial goals through creating “rules” for each fund. These “rules” can be simple like rounding up your purchases or setting a small amount to be deposited each week. Alternatively, you can get more elaborate such as if you go to the gym, hit your steps, or even spend money on a guilty pleasure.
This app is my favorite due to the connectivity between other apps and because it really becomes a shift in mindset. Qapital trains you to save for your future self, the exciting life goals like trips, special events or other investments, as opposed to the scarcity mindset of traditional budgets.
Bonus: Want $5 when you complete your first goal? Use my referral code here.
Similar to Qapital, Acorns rounds up your everyday purchases. However, unlike Qapital where it goes to savings, Acorns invests into a small portfolio. This is great for people who want to diversify assets or want to get into stocks, but aren’t sure how/when/where to begin. Acorns will ask you a few questions to determine how moderate or risky you are and come up with a portfolio option you can contribute to.
Bonus: An Oak Tree will be planted when you sign up with this referral code. Also, you’ll get $5 to invest!
This app stashes away a set amount as little as $5 into ETFs (groupings of stocks). It’s great for those that want to invest in the stock market but are either A.) new to the stock market, B.) too busy to do extensive research and/or C.) want to mitigate risk by investing in multiple stocks within a given industry. Pick what you’re passionate about (say women-run businesses, tech, or the environment) and set up auto-stash to invest a set amount every week, month, etc.
Stash even has a “Stash Coach” that teaches you about ETFs, investments, the stock market, etc.
Online shop much? Earny gets you cash back on your online purchases when prices drop. This app connects with your email account so it can read and track your receipts, and then keeps an eye out for when those purchased items go on sale, weeks and even months after you’ve made your purchase. When this happens, Earny will fight to get you the savings difference back. You literally don’t have to do a single thing.
Note: Earny will take a small fee from whatever it saves you, but will not charge you for this service. Consider their cut a built-in commission on hunting down getting your money back for you.
This app is for those that are ready to jump with both feet into investing in stocks and already have a handle on what they’re after. Search for an IPO and buy shares directly on the app. No fees, but the only real downside is that you can’t buy percentages of shares, you have to be ready to buy whole shares of whatever stock you’re interested in.
Bonus: Get a free stock just for signing up here.