Can We Get Back To Savings, Please?!

     


      

        Every action has its equal opposite reaction

You start to save, then save some more

And now you’re gaining traction.

But in your mind, it’s moving slow

And not up to your satisfaction

So you stop, and then you splurge

And you’re back to your old actions...


Following up on last Monday’s post, we’re getting back into Savings. This post will explore ways you can give your savings a quick boost as well as different services/programs that can assist your savings with very little effort on your part. (P.S. Shout-out to anyone that got the reference to the opening above!)


Level Up! 


I understand that when your savings seems to be growing rather slowly it can be a downer. You may think to yourself that this is pointless, you're never going to be able to reach your goal, but keep in mind that saving is not a race, it's a marathon. And even if it feels the finish line is nowhere in sight, it’s there and with every deposit you make you are that much closer to crossing it. Remember the kid's story, the ‘Tortoise and the Hare’, slow and steady wins the race. However, if you are itching for a level up, below are a few ways to easily give your savings account a quick boost throughout the year with little to no effort on your part.


  1. Tax Refunds

  • Approximately 3 out of 4 Amercians who file taxes in 2020 will receive a tax refund and the average refund is around $3,000. Some people look at tax time as “free money” to splurge and to use to “ball out” on new clothes, shoes, the latest electronics, etc. (In reality if you are getting a refund without using deductions it basically means you are overpaying the government throughout the year and they are basically just giving you your money back but I’ll get into this a little more in another post.) In any case, if you are looking for a way to jump start or level up your savings using your refund is one way to do it. Last year, I did exactly this putting my entire refund in a high-interest savings account giving my savings account a nice little boost.


  1. Work Bonuses

  • Not all jobs offer bonuses, so if you are in a position in which your workplace gives bonuses either for the holidays or for performance, you can consider putting all or a least a portion of this money into your savings account.


  1. Don’t Forget Your “Free” Checks

  • When I say free checks I don’t literally mean free. What I’m referring to are those people who are on a bi-weekly pay schedule and twice a year is paid three times in a month. I call these “free” checks however, don’t get confused by all means we worked for them, but generally these funds aren’t earmarked or designated for a specific purpose (i.e. rent/mortgage, utilities, etc.) meaning you can easily boost your savings by a couple of thousands of dollars a year if you decide to put your ‘free’ checks into your savings. 


  1. Any Other Lump Sum of Money that isn’t Immediately Needed

  • For instance, in March/April many of us received a Stimulus Check from the government. Some received more than others depending on your salary and how many dependents you may have. Some of us urgently needed this money to help cover food expenses and other bills, others who fortunately did not experience economic hardships due to the pandemic did not. For those who weren’t in dire need, you could have used your stimulus check to pad your savings.

  • Are you gifted money for the holidays and/or your birthday? If so, maybe put it in your savings account, preferably high-interest, and now your gift is making money for you.


Now, I’m not telling you that you need to or even have to use all of the methods specifically for your savings. There may be other things that can warrant the use of these funds. Maybe you might want to use one of these mechanisms to pay off/or pay down a debt, maybe you’d like to throw some of these funds into the stock market, I mean have you heard of compound interest and dividends? Yeah, we’re definitely going to talk about this soon. But I digress, the point of this blog is savings and if saving is your main goal at the moment hopefully these tips can help you see major boosts in your account.


When you Need Help, There’s an App for That!


    The beauty of living in this day and age is that there is always an App for that, and if it doesn’t exist now best believe it’s on its way. Us Millennials and even Gen Z’ers’ (lol) don’t always realize how lucky we are to have a wealth of knowledge and accessibility to programs designed to make our lives a little easier and in some cases a little better at our fingertips. Case in point, in my last blog about savings one of my readers asked about services and programs designed to help you save. I’m so glad this question was asked, because as I’ve stated before this is as much a learning experience for me as it may be for you. As I stated in my response I personally don’t use these services but luckily I’m living in a time where answers to almost anything I want to know is just a keystroke and click away. So I did what I always do when I want to learn something. I Googled It!


    I read a few articles and blogs relevant to the topic and started to see some companies mentioned over and over so I’m going to highlight a few of these below. As always,make sure you do your own research before signing up for any app or service. Again, you are the only person that knows what will work for you however, if this can help by being a starting point in finding an app that will help you, great!


  1. Digit 


This App is touted as the mindless savings App and from what I’ve read it really is. According to its website, Digit analyzes your spending and automatically saves the perfect amount every day, so you don't have to think about it. Basically, the company uses algorithms to learn your spending habits, so you can save money without making any changes to your lifestyle. Just to be clear, the App does take money from your account everyday but it does allow you to place limits on the amount, if that help gives you comfort. There is a monthly charge of $5 to use the service but there is a free 30-day trial to test the waters before you commit.


  1. Qapital


If you’re competitive this just might be the App for you. According to its website, Qapital is the ‘money app that makes it easy to fund your future, while taking care of your now’. Qapital has what they call a Payday Divy, which allows you to divy up significant deposits. They have Goals & Rules, which puts money into your savings based on a rule you put in place; for instance, if you go to a certain coffee shop or eatery a lot you can make a rule for Qapital to put $1 in your savings each time you make a purchase from that place. It also has Money Missions, which the company describes as fun challenges that help you think a bit deeper about your spending. There is a free 30-day trial to use Qapital and a $3 monthly charge after that for their most basic plan.


  1. Varo


After doing some research, I really might consider seriously looking into this app myself. The draw with Varo is their high-interest checking and savings account. However, if I’m understanding correctly in order to take advantage of the 2.80% APY offered on it’s savings account you have to open a checking account with them as well. If this isn’t a draw-back for you I would definitely suggest taking a closer look. Also, additional plus the app is free to use!

   

Below are a few articles that go into more details on the Apps mentioned above as well as others. Hopefully they can be helpful to you as you explore your options.



Lastly, to explicitly answer the question asked by one of my reader’s ‘What apps out there saves your change (usually through a round-up method)’? The answers are Acorns, Stash, Varo, and Chime. You can click on the links to learn more about these services.


If you have used  any of the Apps mentioned above or similar Apps please share your experiences in the comments below. I’d love to know if these Apps really live up to the hype and  to hear any success stories.

Comments

  1. Great post! Thanks for sharing! I hadn't heard of some of these apps before. I personally use Mint. But it's more of a budgeting app than a savings app. Although, with Mint you can set a savings goal and they tell you how long it will take to reach it by how much you put in there every month. ChangEd has a similar concept with rounding up your purchases but the intent is that it gets applied towards your student loans to help pay them off faster! But Varo sounds like a great option if you're in a need of a new checking account. 2.8% is a phenomenal rate for a savings account!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment Liz! Oh wow, never heard of ChangEd but it sounds like it would be really helpful in paying out student loans faster, which is a main goal for a lot of us. I know it definitely is for me!

      Delete
  2. Wow I didn't know there was so many apps out there that can help you. Some of them are worth looking into and I will get right onto that. I like the start of this post too. The Hamilton fan in me really liked it.

    ReplyDelete

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