Extra Cash: 4 Steps to Get Started Investing

Saving money is tough. So what if you could do it in a way where you wouldn’t even notice?

1. Pay Down Your Debt One Coin At a Time

An app called Qoins can help you get debt-free without really thinking about it. Qoins rounds up each purchase you make to the nearest dollar. The app tracks the roundups and makes withdrawals in about $5 intervals that it automatically pays toward a debt account of your choice each month.

How it works:

  1. Add your lender (the account you want to pay off).
  2. Connect your checking or other bank account.
  3. Start saving and automatically paying down your debt.

Users report saving an average $50 a month to put toward their debts. Once you sign up, Qoins waits a month before making a deposit on a debt account so you have some extra time to save.

2. Get More From Your Spare Change 

Digit makes that possible. This innovative app automates saving for you. Simply link it to your checking account, and its algorithms will determine small (and safe!) amounts of money to withdraw into a separate, FDIC-insured savings account. You’ll be surprised to see how fast your savings add up, and once you’ve stockpiled a little bit, you can start thinking about how to make that money work for you and your future.

3. Invest Your Spare Change

If you want to invest, but you can’t drop thousands of dollars right off the bat, consider starting a microinvesting account through Acorns. With Acorns, you can start small. And by small, we mean pretty much nothing: The app rounds up your purchases and invests your digital change. It might seem unsubstantial, but those little investments add up. As your finances get better, you can always increase your investments later.

4. Pay Your Credit Cards Less and Yourself More

You probably have some credit card debt that’s holding you back. Finding a lower interest rate and staying on top of your payments can help you get out from under it faster. That’s where Tally comes in. It’s a simple app that lets you store and manage your credit card payments in one place, optimizing the amounts and times. 

No more missed payments. Lower interest rates. All in one place. And don’t worry, Tally uses bank-level security, so your information is safe. The result is that when you pay less interest, you can lower your monthly payments and still make great progress toward your debt. This frees up other funds in your budget to be used elsewhere — like, I don’t know, investing?