The best money saving apps can help you save money no matter where you start. These easy-to-use money apps only require a checking account and a smartphone. Each app has its own style and strategies to help you save. But at their core, they’re designed to trick you into getting into the savings groove without thinking too much about it.
Remember that you’ll have to share your bank details with these money-saving apps (unless, of course, it’s also your bank), so check out the terms and conditions. Also, make sure your checking account has a buffer balance of more than a few dollars. You don’t want to risk an accidental overdraft.
Best Money Saving Apps
- Digit: best for optimizing savings decisions
- Qapital: Best for those who are visually driven
- Long Game: Ideal for a gaming experience
- Chime: Best for Effortless Savings
- Current: Best for young adults looking for a banking alternative
- Acorns: ideal for novice investors
- Currency: ideal for newcomers to the financial field
- Qoins: Best for those in debt
Digit is an automated savings app that analyzes what comes in and goes out of your checking account. Then it periodically moves funds from checking to savings in amounts that its algorithms deem safe to save.
Digit is a good option for those who identify as spenders, not savers, and like outsourcing decisions.
After a 30-day free trial, Digit charges subscribers $5 per month. For those fees, you’ll get the automatic savings feature as well as the ability to use the app to pay off credit card debt and set savings goals. You can earn a 0.1% annual savings bonus that Digit pays out every three months, a benefit that can help offset some of the subscription fees.
If Digit determines that you cannot save money, it will not withdraw anything and will back it up with a “no overdraft guarantee”. Digit will reimburse up to two separate instances of the overdraft in your account it caused. You can also opt for overdraft prevention.
To transfer money to your current account, it will take one to three business days. If you need the funds immediately, you can pay 99 cents to have the money returned to your checking account within 30 minutes.
Your money is held in FDIC-insured banks, so you’re protected up to $250,000.
- Best for: Outsourcing savings decisions.
- Cost: Free for 30 days, then $5 per month.
Qapital also aims to help you save small amounts of money effortlessly, but with a twist: it allows users to set savings rules. For example, you can set a guilty pleasure rule so that the app hides money in your savings whenever you buy takeout. Like some investment apps, Qapital can also round up your change on purchases and apply that money to your savings. If you use a debit card to buy a $4.50 latte, for example, the app takes 50 cents from your check and transfers it to your savings. You can also define a ruler to enlarge the roundings.
The app is often applauded for its visual goal-based approach. You can attach photos to your goals so that the portal acts as a digital vision board for your money.
To use the app, you have several options: you can link an existing checking account or you can sign up for a Qapital debit card. You can also use Qapital to invest in an ETF portfolio for your longer term goals. The products you get depend on the plan you pay for.
- Best for: those who are motivated by visualizing their goals.
- Cost: The basic plan starts at $3 per month with additional tiered plans. You can get a 30 day free trial.
3. Long game
Long Game tries to redirect some of the money people spend on lottery tickets to savings. On the app, users who put money into savings have a chance to earn extra money. This is called prize-related savings, and the more you save, the more likely you are to play games and win more money. The account is FDIC insured and you are not playing with your principal or the money you have deposited in Long Game. The app also pays 0.1% interest on your balance.
You can also set up a rule on the app to save money on payday.
If you love the thrill of a lottery and want the savings to be fun, you might want to give this app a try.
- Best for: A gaming experience.
- Cost: To free.
The all-digital Chime brand has won millions of customers since its launch in 2014. It offers bank accounts that include several automatic savings features.
If you send your direct deposit to your Chime account, you can also set up a rule for Chime to move a percentage of your paycheck to your savings. A rounding option is also available to increase savings.
Like other competing banks, Chime doesn’t hold your bank deposits – it’s technically not a bank. Its partner, The Bancorp Bank, holds your deposits. You will also earn interest on your savings.
- Best for: Those who want their banking app to save their loose change.
- Cost: Free banking app.
Current is another newer digital brand that offers a variety of financial health tools through a mobile banking app. If you’re a customer, you can set savings goals (or “pods” as Current calls them) to automatically sweep money aside for your chosen goal, such as a rainy day fund or holidays. You can also transfer money directly into your savings module.
- Best for: Young adults looking for a banking alternative.
- Cost: Free basic current account.
If you already have some emergency savings and want to take some risk, you might want to invest. Acorns is one of the most popular apps that puts your spare change into an investment account.
Once you’ve linked a debit or credit card to the fintech app, Acorns will round up your purchases to the next dollar and invest that spare currency in a diversified investment portfolio based on your goals. You can also set up a recurring transfer to Acorns.
- Best for: Novice investors.
- Cost: Starts at $1 per month for Acorns Invest.
Mint organizes and monitors your accounts, all in one place. You can connect all your different bank and credit card accounts, in addition to any loans and investments you may have.
With Mint’s program, you can see a complete financial picture, giving you an overview of your finances so you know how best to manage them. You can also set up special notifications so you never miss a bill and regularly monitor any subscriptions you may have. You can even receive a notification if the cost of one of your regular subscriptions increases.
With the ability to create custom budgets, you can track and improve overall spending and debt. It is also free and earns its money from partners instead.
- Best for: Financial newcomers.
- Cost: To free.
Qoins says it has helped clients repay their loans two to seven years earlier, saving an average of $3,200 in interest. With Qoins, you set a financial goal when you sign up so you know exactly how much to put aside each month. After that, Qoins helps you make small transfers throughout the month that contribute to your total debt. Because the transfers are smaller, it leaves less of a footprint on your day-to-day banking, since you’re not transferring large sums of money every time you make a deposit.
Even if you have no debt, Qoins is ideal for helping you build up your savings. It can help you pay off your loans faster and improve your credit score with minimal effort.
- Best for: Those who have debts.
- Cost: $2.99 to $4.99 per month.
Are money saving apps safe?
Fintech companies take several security measures to protect your data. Application security varies by company. So, review the terms and conditions to see if you’re comfortable with how the company handles your financials.
Why should you use an app to save money
If you tend to spend before you save, these apps can help you adjust your behaviors. They’re also a great option if you’re just starting to build up your savings. Rather than asking for a large lump sum like some traditional savings accounts do, these apps regularly transfer small amounts of money into your savings, so the task requires less effort.
Once you’ve accumulated some savings, you might want to consider transferring your money to a high-yield savings account. While yields have fallen in the current economic environment, you can still earn a higher rate if you put your savings in certain banks. You won’t get rich, but online banks tend to offer savers a higher return. If you don’t need access to your savings for a while, you can also consider putting your money in a certificate of deposit.