Hi friends! For today’s Friday Favorite, I’m sharing a new, easy-to-use investment tool that Will and I came across recently. For me, investing money has always been one of those topics that seems too complicated and time-consuming to figure out. But now, the investing tool we found is doing the thinking for me. It is too awesome not to share it with you all! It is Acorns, an app that allows you to invest spare change with ease.
Will and I learned about Acorns at a high school reunion, while we chatted with friends about the major expense of education for children. Our friends mentioned they were investing a certain amount of money into Acorns accounts to save for the cost of school for their two kids. They had calculated how much they needed to save based on the average growth of their investment and setup automatic payments into the app. Intruiged, Will and I looked at the app when we got home and decided to give it a go.
How to Invest Spare Change
Acorns provides a simplified, convenient platform that automatically invests spare change by rounding up your transaction to the next dollar. So, the change you would get from a cash transaction goes straight into your Acorns investment account. You can connect Acorns to one or more checking or credit card accounts. Similar to the couple we talked to, you can also setup recurring monthly payments into your Acorns account. The beauty is that you invest spare change that grows with the stock market.
I also love that this platform works automatically once your account is activated. For example, when I bought groceries for $32.43 last week, $0.57 was added to my Round-Up balance, and I did not have to do anything (hooray!). Once the Round-Up balance reaches $5, money is withdrawn from my bank account and added to my Acorns investment. In addition, you can customize which transactions you want to include in your Round-Up amount or make it automatically calculate all eligible transactions.
To really get your money growing quickly, Acorns users can boost the Round-Up amount by as much as 10 times. So that 57 cents from my grocery store purchase, could be increased to as much as $5.70 with Acorns boost options. The recurring deposit our friends set up can also be customized for a daily, weekly or monthly schedule.
Setting up Acorns
Will set up his own Acorns profile first, and then helped me with mine. Once you download and open the app, Acorns takes you through the steps to open a round-up account, connect your checking account, and create an investment account. You choose from a selection of five different reasons for investing:
- Long-term investment,
- Short-term investment,
- Major purchase,
- Children, or
With the future in mind, we created accounts as long-term investment vehicles. After your bank account connects to Acorns, you answer questions about your age, income, investment goals, etc. The answers are used to tailor your Acorns investment portfolio from a conservative to an aggressive investment strategy.
Once set up is complete and a bank account is connected, Acorns withdraws an initial deposit for your new investment stream. Below, you can see my Acorns account is currently set up with a monthly $5 recurring payment. I also connected two accounts to Acorns, so I get round-ups on top of my $5. As seen in the chart below, Acorns shows how your money can grow over time. It is pretty enticing to invest more money, right!?
Acorns Fees and Extra Perks
Many investment tools come with hidden costs or fees. For Acorns, there is no deposit or account minimum to get started, no commission fees and no penalties when withdrawing funds. Users pay $1 per month for your first $5,000, or 0.25% annually for accounts greater than $5,000.
If you are a college student, Acorns is completely free. There are no fees on accounts of any size for college students. You must have a valid .edu email address and employment status as a “Student” for up to four years from the date of registration.
I have used Acorns for about a month and have found the platform easy to use. There are a lot of cool features too, like the investment growth program, seen in the projected value chart above. This forecasts how much your money will grow based on your contributions. Also, Acorns has some amazing partners that you can shop with and receive bonus investment contributions, like Nordstrom, Comfort Inn and Apple, pictured below.
If you haven’t invested your money or find the process daunting. like me, I reccomend trying this platform out. If you want your money to grow, an investment option like this may be a better option for you than a standard savings account. It is awesome how much your money grows when it is properly invested.
If you want to give Acorns a try, click here to start investing and you will get $5!
Now I need to know. Do you use Acorns or a similar tool to invest spare change? Do you find investing money daunting like me? Or, are you a total whiz with money? If you have any advice or thoughts when it comes to saving and investing, please share.