Savings accounts are a lot like New Year’s Resolutions in that we start them with the best of intentions, but often abandon them when temptation strikes.
We’d all love to squirrel away more money for a rainy day or even invest it to–in the immortal words of Liz Lemon–“do that thing that rich people do where they turn money into more money.” But saving gets tough when there are impulse late-night burritos and last-minute concert tickets to buy. We’re only human and it’s in our best interest to be honest with ourselves: the burrito will probably win over saving money every. single. time.
And that’s okay. Because Acorns wants to make it easy to save your money and start investing without the thousands of dollars it might usually take to get yourself a decent portfolio.
Though it’s still in beta, Acorns is dropping into the investment game in a big way with an idea based on small change. Through the Acorns App, you may be able to have your burrito and your investment portfolio too.
Small Change Adds Up
Acorns works by rounding up your debit or credit card purchases and investing the spare change in an investment portfolio that you can manage through an app on your iPhone or Android device. For instance, Acorns will process that $4.33 burrito, round the purchase up to $5 and stick the odd $0.67 into your portfolio. Nifty idea, considering most of us would hardly think twice about that extra $0.67 at the register.
It adds up, though. That’s kind of the idea. $0.67 every day is a little over $20 a month, or about $241 a year. And because it’s an investment opportunity, there’s some inherent risk. Though you can customize your portfolio depending on the level of risk you’re willing to take with your money, you may come out with less money than you put in. Simply put, your money is undoubtedly safer sitting in your piggy bank. But that’s not really the point, is it?
Investment Opportunities for Everyone
Acorns isn’t a “safe” savings account that simply holds onto your money. Instead, Acorns is an opportunity to help you save and invest your money with a small behavioral adjustment: rounding up your purchases and allocating the remainder to your investment goals.
It’s true that investing with Acorns isn’t a straight-line, sure-fire path to a fat paycheck. But it’s low-risk, it’s pretty painless, and it might just pay off in a big way. The beauty of Acorns isn’t the promise of a huge pay-off, it’s that it’s bringing investment opportunities to anyone who uses a debit card and has access to the app. Pretty neat trick for a service that only costs $1 a month, plus a 1% service fee. And to sweeten the deal, Acorns gives you $5 when you open your account. You almost can’t afford not to try it.
So, if you’re ready to swipe, save, and invest, head over to the Acorns site to sign up for the beta. And then go buy that burrito.