Psst, I make money on some of the links in this post at no cost to you. It keeps the lights on around here.
I have to be honest, y’all: I’m skeptical of Money-related apps. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, but I generally prefer to manage my money. It’s tough for a Type-A like me to hand over control, after all.
But hey, I’m always open to new ideas, especially if they’re about building my wealth. And that’s how I stumbled upon the Acorns app.
Acorns is an app that you can use on your smartphone or computer. It allows you to invest in small, incremental amounts in ways that you hardly notice.
For example, if I buy a block of beeswax for $10.61, Acorns will round that purchase up to $11 and invest the 39-cent difference. You can also opt to invest with an automatic draft each month, too, as well as one-time investments.
Acorns lets people (like me!) invest with smaller dollar amounts. You can pick the level of risk you’re comfortable with, so you can customize your portfolio a bit.
It’s not entirely free, though. If you have less than $5,000 in your account (which is most people), they charge a .25% fee. The cool thing is that you don’t have to pay fees if you’re a college student, so it’s perfect to start investing before you hit the adult world.
I’m just gonna be honest: I really like Acorns. I’m not mathematically gifted whatsoever, and I have a lot of difficulty understanding the big, scary world of investing. My brain drifts off to another dimension the second I see numbers.
My experience with Acorns showed me that the best way to learn about investing is to get your feet wet.
The Acorns interface is easy to maneuver and understand, which is more than I can say about other money apps. The graphs are super simple and show how my Invested Funds Grow or decrease with the market. They even mark when I’ve earned dividends, so I don’t have to wonder if my money is growing or not.
I also like the different ways you can contribute to the Acorns account. I think when they first started you could only invest your spare change, but now there are a few ways you can invest.
They also offer something called Found Money. Acorns acts kinda like a cashback shopping portal with this feature. If you buy something through their partners (and there are a ton, FYI), they’ll invest a certain amount of money into your account. So it’s worth checking out this feature if you buy stuff online frequently. Their partners include AT&T, Airbnb, Fandango, Game Stop, Hulu, etc.
It’s become addictive to watch my small invested funds grow over time in my Acorns app. I have about $60 in there after a few months and I obsessively check my charts each week to monitor performance. Sure, it’s not a way to get rich fast, but I really like using Acorns to learn about investing. I probably won’t use it forever, but it’s a fun way to learn and let my money grow while I’m getting out of debt.
I’m a finicky lady, so naturally nothing will completely appease me. There are a few things I don’t like about Acorns.
It really grinds my gears that there’s a service charge on Acorns. I totally get that they need to make money, but it still rubs me the wrong way. I do wish they’d identify that $2 of my $10 monthly investment is for fees. At least then I’d know what the hell was going on!
I also don’t like that some of the Found Money offers are kinda lame. For example, Walmart offers 1% cashback for going through Acorns. I mean, I know it’s free money, but that 1% is hardly worth it unless I’m buying $4,000 worth of crap online from Walmart.
The bottom line
Although Acorns isn’t perfect, I’ve had a really good experience with them over the past few months. It’s definitely not a way to get rich quick, but if you want to learn more about investing and want to have your money grow over time, it’s fun.
And if you’d like to sign up for an Acorns account, you can go through my referral link here. When you sign up you’ll get $5 free! Not bad, eh?
We want to know: Are you using any investment apps?
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