6 Money Apps That do the Penny Pinching for You

According to a survey by the Federal Reserve, over a third of Americans are unable to cover an emergency $400 expense. Saving up to buy your first home, paying off your student loans, or even just building up a rainy day fund takes a lot longer than it used to. 

But not all the news is terrible. It's the era of autonomy, and regular people are taking control of everything from DIY home sales to their investment portfolio. A new generation of finance and savings apps make it easier than ever to automate your savings and investments, so you don't have to rely on go-betweens anymore. 


This popular app is built on a straightforward premise: Every time you make a purchase, it rounds up to the nearest dollar and puts the difference into your investment account. So if you buy a soda for $1.49, that extra 51 cents gets put right into your Acorns investment account. It happens without thinking about it, and it can add up over time. 


If you make your payments on time, you'll have bonuses applied to your balance, paying it down even faster. Tally's study of several years of user data found their average user saved well over $4,000 in interest, so it's something to think about if you're carrying credit card debt. 


Qapital is similar to Acorns, but it puts them into a savings account instead of investing your pennies. It uses the same “round up to the next dollar” principle to skim small amounts of money off each of your purchases and then transfers that money into a bank account.  


Digit analyzes your spending and your financial situation with algorithms and decides how much you can afford to save and when. Then it'll periodically put that money away into a savings account.