Apps focused on helping you get a better financial footing are gaining popularity.
College students like Isabella Cortes are buying in.
“I’m one that will look for an app for everything because I find it really convenient,” Cortes said.
Like many young adults, she turned to an app to help her invest money.
“I realized how much I use my card for small purchases like for a shake when I arrive and realize I forgot mine at home,” Cortes said.
Apps like Qapital and Acorns link to your checking account and each time you swipe with your debit card the app rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar.
Qapital puts money in a savings account while Acorns puts money in an investment account. The digit app calculates what you can save based on spending patterns and automatically transfers money from your checking to a “Rainy day” account. While these apps are geared toward saving and investing, the app Qoins helps people make an extra payment toward high-interest debt.
“All the money that you save would be sent out as a monthly payment on your behalf,” Qoins CEO Christian Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman says the idea for the app came from his own struggle to pay down student loan debt.
“The problem I had was not so much saving but more so making that extra payment rather than sending the payment back to myself,” Zimmerman said.
The app uses roundups to make extra payments toward debt and has added a feature they call “Money Tree” which invites friends and family to make extra payments toward your debt.
Personal Finance Expert Kelsey Sheehy with NerdWallet says these apps come with a price.
“There is a cost for many of them. For example, capital starts at $3 a month, digit is $2.99 a month, so you are going to be paying for these apps,” Sheehy said.
The monthly price for these apps ranges from $1 to $3 per month. Each app comes with different terms that impact how long it will take to get your money back if you choose to withdraw your money from an app’s account.
“These apps play in that they make savings a lot easier and one of the ways that they do that is that they keep it small,” Sheehy said.
Cortes hopes this technology will help her get a head start on paying back her student loans.
“It’s something you don’t have to actively think about while it is saving money for you,” Cortes said.
Sheehy with NerdWallet points out the apps that store your money in a savings account don’t always gain a lot in interest. She says to optimize your savings you can withdraw your money from the app’s account and place it in a high yield savings account.