I’ve found that many people are surprised by this fact, but I am horrible at saving money. I suppose being into fashion is sort of the antithesis of having a significant savings account. Luckily, I realized this years ago and have worked over the years to formulate a plan to save, regardless of my desire to spend…and there are some seriously amazing apps that help me do it. Here are my top three…
I’ve been a loyal SmartyPig user for about five years, and I honestly don’t know what I would do without it! Available on the web, as well as a mobile app, SmartyPig is a free set-it-and-forget-it platform that enables you to set savings goals and recurring withdrawals from your checking account to fund those goals. For Michael and I, I have a percentage of my paycheck withdrawn every pay period toward two goals: a general savings account/emergency fund and a dream home fund. (In the past, we’ve also used it to save for vacations.) And bonus: SmartyPig savings accounts have a .75% interest rate, which is pretty high for basic savings accounts!
For non-savers like me, SmartyPig also helps ensure you’re not making impulse withdraws by making you actually close a savings goal (and withdraw the whole thing) to take the money out. This has been super helpful for us, as we were seriously guilty of too many savings-to-checking transfers when we kept our savings account with the same bank as our checking.
The only downfall of using a savings account that’s not within the same bank as our checking account is that we previously lost our ability to round up the change on our purchases and transfer it to savings. Luckily, Qapital fills that void. Like SmartyPig, you set up savings goals within Qapital; what’s unique about Qapital, however, is that those goals are funded by rules. For us, we round up every purchase made on our checking account to the nearest $2 and deposit that into our Qapital account. But you can seriously create rules around anything, including:
- Spending less than your budget and saving the rest
- Splurging on guilty pleasures (like saving a couple bucks every time you give in to that Starbucks craving)
- Saving on a 52-week schedule (i.e. $1 on week 1, $2 on week 1, and on), which is great for New Years resolutions!
You can even use IFTTT recipes to experiment with new ways to save money, like saving every time you tag an Instagram with #wishlist or saving toward a beach vacation every time the weather calls for rain. The options are pretty endless when it comes to Qapital, which makes it a fun, modern way to save serious dollars without even thinking about it. Did I mention it’s free?
Remember how I said shopping was the antithesis of saving? Ebates is helping me combat that. Available on the web, as a mobile app and as a super-handy Chrome plugin (that truly does making saving without even thinking about it possible), Ebates enables you to earn cash back on just about everything you buy online — up to 40% in some cases! And, it features coupon codes for added savings.
With savings like 6% cash back at Nordstrom, 8% cash back at Sephora and 9% cash back at Groupon, how can you beat it? It’s basically free money, and just about every store is included in the platform. So if you’re like me, and you can’t help but shop, be sure to use Ebates to save a little bit more.
What apps and online services do you use to save money?