Confession: I am terrible at saving Money. You might be thinking, "Well, you write a blog called Cheryl Shops, so duh," and you'd be right—I do indeed like to shop, but I don't spend money I don't have...it's just that I spend what's there. And I since I have a healthy six figures already in my retirement Account, perhaps a more accurate statement is I'm terrible at budgeting, which is indeed true. But while my retirement savings are on the healthy side, my personal savings are…not. So one of my non-resolution resolutions for 2018 is to save more. Thankfully, I've discovered an incredibly easy, low-maintenance way to do it.
Meet Acorns, a site whose name stems from one of my favorite facts about nature—that trees are grow because squirrels forget where they bury their acorns. The main way it works is simple: link your credit cards to your account, and every time you make a charge, Acorns rounds it up to the nearest dollar and deposits the difference in your account. (For example, let's say you pay $8.52 for lunch; Acorns will put 48¢ in your account.) The actual deposits come in chunks about once a week from your bank account, and in my case, are usually between $5 and $10 depending on how much I use my card. (You can also multiply these 2x, 3x, or 10x to really step things up, but I recommend starting with the single round-up until you figure out whether you can live with the deductions.) The logic is that these savings are so small, you won't notice the difference in your day-to-day life, but over time they'll grow, and eventually you'll have a bunch of money (or a forest, if you will).
The money in your account is then invested and will (hopefully) continue to grow; you can also make a one-time or recurring contribution to pump up your account—I do an additional $20 a month but will probably ramp that up soon. There's also a "found money" function in which you can earn money back from certain retailers or services, kind of like eBates. I haven't tried this yet, but I'm so addicted, I probably will soon. For me, the coolest thing is that I have (to date), $182.75 in my account, and I opened it just two months ago! It's not six months' worth of expenses (which you're supposed to have saved), but it's a start.
Speaking of which, if you use my link to sign up, you'll get $5—totally free—and you'll already be on your way to saving! Acorns will also plant an oak tree for each referral, so you can feel doubly good about saving money. And that's way better than becoming the old woman who literally lives in her shoes.