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Use Acorns to Easily Save Money [Review] When You Live Paycheck to Paycheck

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This post may contain affiliate links. For more information on this, please read my disclosure.

Saving. It’s something we know we need to do more of, but it’s challenging to put money away when you live paycheck to paycheck and are drowning in debt.

That’s why I love Acorns.

If you haven’t heard of Acorns, you definitely need to continue reading, especially if you struggle with saving money and know it needs to be a priority in your life.

A year ago when I was making my New Year’s resolutions for 2017, saving more was on that list. You see it’s not that I hate saving money, it’s that it is tough when you have so many bills and obligations.

I knew I needed something different than just moving money from our checking into our savings account at our credit union. Yes, this method works, but it’s hard to build up a big savings account when the money is so readily available, and there are always costs springing up.

I hopped on Google and started researching (better) ways to save money. And that’s how I stumbled upon Acorns.

Acorns is an app that encourages users to invest their spare change from debit and credit card purchases using a system the company calls a “Round-Up.”

According to Acorns, “A Round-Up is the virtual spare change captured from rounding up a transaction to the nearest dollar. When you link a credit or debit card to your Acorns account, we track the spare change from your transactions and make it available for you to invest. Your Round-Ups will be viewable right in the app. Simply choose which ones you would like to invest, or change your settings to automatically invest Round-Ups after each purchase.”

Once your Round-Ups hit $5 and more, they’ll be invested.

Yes, this is an affiliate post. If you’d rather skip my review and try it out for yourself right now, please click on my affiliate link. It’s no extra cost to you, and you’ll get $5 and I’ll get $5, win-win!

Why Acorns is better than a traditional savings account

Aside from the fact that your money is invested for you, there are other ways within Acorns to up your savings game. You can set up recurring investments, initiate one-time investments, you earn dividends from your portfolio, you can receive Found Money (money you get when you shop with Acorns’ Found Money partners), and lastly through referrals.

Acorns has some great Found Money partners: Zappos, Blue Apron, Stitch Fix, Airbnb, Nordstrom, and more.

When you sign up, you’re asked questions to determine the type of investing for your situation. You can always change this down the road. Acorns give you projections on how your savings could grow depending on your investments.

An advantage I love about Acorns is that there’s a wait time to get your money, making it less desirable for you to just withdraw on a whim. Withdrawals take 5-7 biz days to get to your checking account due to the mandatory 2-day settlement period. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) mandates this time when buying or selling shares in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

So you have to ask yourself, “Do I really need to withdraw this money?” Chances are no.

How much does it cost?

Acorns says, “Acorns is only $1 per month for accounts up to $5,000, and just .25% per year for accounts totaling $5,000 or more. There is no fee for college students with a valid .edu address and employment status as “Student” for up to four years from the date of registration.”

So you’re probably wondering how Acorns makes any money then. They make money through member fees and outside investors. And they’re able to make bank with what they do charge due to a large number of users.

Mobile App Features

You can view and set up your account online, but it is marketed as an app. I like the app and find it very easy to use. You can log in with a fingerprint or a four-digit code. From the dashboard, you can view your balance, invest, view your Round-Ups, view the performance of your investments, view your Found Money, read articles about Acorns, invite friends, withdraw your money, and view/change your settings.

Below are screenshots from my actual Acorns account.

How I use Acorns

While Acorns’ selling point is investing your spare change through Round-Ups, I actually don’t — or more like can’t — use that feature. For some reason, my financial institution just cannot sync up with this feature. There was a short period where my bank was able to be connected and I was able to try this feature and really like it. Sadly that didn’t last. It seems the problem lies with my bank and not with Acorns. This would be the only negative I have with the Acorns experience.

Instead, I use the recurring investments feature. Every week $25 is automatically withdrawn from our checking account and invested with Acorns. I just set it and forget it.

Saving our money with Acorns has been great! In no time at all, we were able to build a decent sized account. That money helped pay for a recent business trip I took to Portland that my husband accompanied me on. Without our Acorns savings, it would not have been in our budget for my husband to tag along.

Your Turn

So if you struggle with saving money and are looking for a new method to make saving easier, I encourage you to check out Acorns by clicking on my affiliate link. Remember there’s no extra cost to you and we each get $5.

I promise you the review is 100% my own opinion having used Acorns for nearly a year now.

Start saving with Acorns, and you’ll see your acorns grow to mighty oaks.

So what are some things you do to help you save money? Let me know in the comments!