Save an Extra Few Thousand Dollars Annually Without Even Trying. Here's How -
If you're like a lot of people, saving money "out of sight, out of mind" is the easiest way to build wealth (this is how your 401(k) works - contributions are made directly out of your paycheck). One of the best parts about saving and investing: you can automate it. But what does that even mean? How does one do it and what are some tips and tricks?
Although there are other platforms out there, Acorns is my favorite. It's great for people that want the investing done for them and don't want to pick individuals stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or ETF's.
Here's what to do:
Start by opening a "Core" account. This allows you to link your bank account and any debit/credit card. All you have to do is answer some simple questions about time horizon and risk tolerance - they pick an investment portfolio of super low cost Vanguard funds.
Next, set up recurring contributions. You can pick between daily, weekly, or monthly contributions. Think about setting up daily or weekly savings - if you add $5 per day, I'd bet you wouldn't even notice it. After a full year, you'd have a couple thousand dollars without even trying.
After that, set up your "round ups." Round ups are another way to build wealth without even noticing. Here an example: You buy a coffee for $4.75. Acorns will then "round up" the purchase to $5.00, putting the 25 cents into your round ups balance. When your round ups balance gets to $5.00, Acorns will add the $5.00 to your investment account.
Acorns Found Money (cash back program):
Another thing that's awesome about Acorns is their Found Money program. This is basically a program that offers to put a percentage or flat dollar amount of your purchases into your Acorns account. Acorns has agreements with a ton of retailers and other services that are very well known - we're talking about Nike, Walmart, Old Navy, Ray-Ban, AirBnb, Apple, etc.
One limitation of the Found Money program is that you have to login to the app and click/tap the offer. It then redirects you to the retailers website and when you make a purchase, you get the money. However, a couple extra clicks to get cash back on items you were already going to buy is worth it to me.
I received quotes from two different car insurance carriers and they each put $5 into my Acorns account. $5 doesn't make you rich, but multiple $5 dollars saved and compounded sure can help build wealth.
Disclaimer: Using the Acorns link above will provide a $5 referral bonus to me and also provide you with $5 when you sign up. I'm not writing this post to make a bunch of money in referral bonuses. I'm writing it so the readers can save extra money without even noticing. Acorns is paying me nothing to write this, I'm truly trying to provide simple ways to help people build wealth.