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Here are five apps we’ve recently discovered (and use!) that help set aside money into your savings without you even having to think about it! (Image: Julie Gallagher)
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5 apps that will help you save money without having to think about it

After your expensive D.C. rent is due, your bills are paid and you’ve bought some groceries for the week ahead, it can sometimes feel like there is not much left of your paycheck for your savings account.

If you can relate, here are five apps we’ve recently discovered (and use!) that help set aside money into your savings without you even having to think about it!

Acorns

This app automatically rounds up all of your everyday purchases to the nearest dollar and invests it for you in a retirement account. When you first sign up, Acorns helps you decide which IRA portfolio will work best for your needs and then does all of the hard work for you. All you have to do is link your debit and credit cards to the app. The app will show you what your projected return will be in the years ahead if you keep investing at the same pace. You can also opt to make regular payments and one-time investments into your Acorns account. For example, I put $10 into my account every week in addition to my round-ups. You can also withdraw this money at any time.

Albert

Albert is a complete money-management app. When you link your bank accounts, credit cards, loans, etc. it puts together your financial profile. It shows you how much income you are bringing in, and breaks down how much money you’re spending on different categories such as food, bills and entertainment. It’s laid out with a helpful pie chart, as well as big picture numbers, which makes it easy to assess where you stand financially and determine where you can grow. Albert also helps you make savings goals and track them, which can be very motivating. The best part is that when you turn on the “smart savings” feature, Albert will regularly assess how much money you are financially able to set aside and will then automatically move it into your savings goals for you every couple of days. I have a savings goal set up for traveling, and it’s nice to know that I’m saving for my next girls’ weekend without having to even think twice. Albert also offers personal financial assistance with an actual human being. You can text their support number any question you have about your goals, finances and more, and they will give you advice. This is really helpful and reassuring for those of us who don’t have this “adulting” thing 100 percent down yet.

Chime

Chime is an online bank account with a really user-friendly app. Chime will mail you a debit card and you can use it just like any other debit card you have. You can link your direct deposit to it, or transfer money from another bank account into your Chime account. The reason Chime is on this list is because of its savings account feature. When you use Chime’s debit card/checking account, it will round up your purchases and put that change into a savings account. It’s really exciting to see how quickly it adds up! You can also adjust your settings to automatically save five percent of your direct deposit.

Digit

This app has a single and super helpful purpose. And of course, it’s exactly what this article is all about: it helps you move money from your checking account to your Digit Savings account each day without you having to actively think about it. Set goals, and Digit will allocate the money accordingly so you are on track to meet those goals. I currently have a “rainy day fund” goal set up as well as a “student loan payoff” goal. It also has a low balance protection feature so that you aren’t over-drafting your checking account, which gives you peace of mind.

Drop

This app is a little different than the others listed above. But because it works in the background and it’s so awesome, it deserves a spot on this list. With Drop, you earn points for every purchase you make at popular stores where you frequently shop. You select five stores when setting up an account, and Drop will automatically accumulate your points every time you shop at one of those locations. When you reach a certain amount of points, you can cash them out for gift cards. I have Starbucks, Target, Trader Joe’s, Sephora and Uber selected as my “power offers” and I usually will cash out my points for Starbucks gift cards. I don’t do anything differently in terms of spending at these places, but it’s nice to get a little reward for just doing my normal shopping. There are gift cards available for other popular spots, including Whole Foods, Dunkin’ Donuts, Nike, Amazon, Nordstrom and more.

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