5 APPS TO CREATE AN EMERGENCY FUND
Having a hard time creating a financial safety net? The following apps may help you crunch the numbers.
The free app basically invests spare change from daily purchases. It connects to a credit or debit card and checking account, and collects all virtual changes. Once it reaches $5, Acorns invests the money into a diversified portfolio, which can be personalized based on the individual’s age, income, timetable, goals, and risk appetite. The user can also set recurring investment amounts if he or she wants to invest more or add a lump sum into the account. Also available in App Store and Google Play, the app is comprised of five portfolios, each is comprised of six exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Fees apply: Fees apply: $1/month for accounts under $5,000; 0.25% per year for accounts over $5,000. Fee is waived for anyone under age 24, regardless of account size.
Digit is a free app evaluating a person’s spending habits, as well as transfers a certain amount of money from his checking account to a FDIC-insured Digit savings account. To use the SMS-based app, one needs to link a checking account so it can assess his income and spending and allocate a particular amount of money as well. Offering a no-overdraft guarantee, the company shoulders the fee if they happen to overdraft an account. A user can withdraw money from his Digit account at any time without paying a fee. Text "withdraw" to the designated Digit number.
Available on App Store and Google Play, Level Money is a mobile money meter allowing an individual to monitor his cash flow and expenses. The free app fills up with an estimated income and automatically deducts recurring bills plus a certain savings rate at the start of each month. The app then reveals the amount of money a person can spend. It also connects to credit card and banking accounts. The money meter reveals if a user is on track or overspending.
Indicate financial goals, as well as the amount of money to be transferred into an account and the frequency using this automatic savings program. Using ACH processing, PlentyFi automatically deposits the funds into the assigned account. The app itself is free, but its creator plans to release fee-based version with enhanced features in the future.
The web-based platform makes automatic transfers from a checking account to an investment account. However, the app only works with Betterment brokerage accounts. Smart Deposit employs algorithms to determine the amount to be deposited based on an individual’s account balance, salary, and expenses. Users can opt to skip making a transfer. Also, a person can set the maximum amount he wants to keep in a checking account, and the maximum amount to be placed in an investment account. Transfer money requests are facilitated within four to five business days.
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