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The best money saving apps of 2021

Compare nine savings apps for budgeting, investing and automatic savings.

Our pick for a round-up app: Chime Savings

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  • No monthly service fees
  • Get your paycheck early with direct deposit
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The best money saving apps are built to help you cut down on costs, sweep your spare change into savings and invest. We looked at 40+ savings apps under three different categories and considered key factors like cost, rates, compatibility, accessibility and how quickly it helps you grow your savings to bring you this best list.

What’s changed in 2021?
We replaced Mint with YNAB as one of our best budgeting apps because it has more features and educational tools. We replaced E-Trade with SoFi Invest as one of our best investing apps for its fee transparency and membership perks. We replaced Digit with Chime Savings as one of our best round-up apps because it has a competitive 0.5% APY and automatic savings tools. We replaced Simple with Mvelopes because its parent company, BBVA, is shutting it down.

Closer look at the best money saving apps

Here’s a closer look at the best savings apps, split into three different categories so you can quickly compare the type of app that interests you.

Best round-up apps for saving money

The best round-up apps make saving effortless because you never have to give it any thought. Just simply make a purchase and have your spare change swept into savings for you.

Chime Savings

Grow your savings with 0.5% APY with the Chime Savings account. The best part is that there are no fees or minimum deposit requirements and your purchases are rounded up to the nearest dollar and added into your savings. But you’ll need to open a Chime checking account first.

  • Compatibility: iOS 11.0 or later and Android 5.0 and up
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Service fee: $0
Pros
  • No fees. You won’t pay any fees at all when you open a Chime Savings account, and you can get started with as little as $0.
  • Earns interest. You’ll earn 0.5% APY on your total balance, which is on par with most high-yield savings accounts available today.
  • Automatic savings. Put your savings on auto-pilot with debit card round-ups and paycheck transfers that let you save up to 10% of each direct deposit.
Cons
  • Chime Spending account required. You must have a Chime Spending account to open this one, which may be a drawback if you’re not looking for a new checking account.
  • Limited access to funds. The only way to access funds is to transfer them to your Chime Spending account first.
  • No joint accounts. You can’t open this account jointly with a partner or child.

Acorns

Acorns is a micro-investing app that allows you to invest your spare change into a personalized investment portfolio. Once you connect your credit card, Acorns will round up your purchases and send the leftovers to your investments.
  • Compatibility: iOS 11.0 or later and Android
  • Monthly fee: $1, $2 or $3
  • Service fee: $0
Pros
  • Three plans. The $1 plan gives you access to Acorns‘s micro-investing tool, the $2 plan allows you to save for retirement and the $3 plan comes with a free checking account.
  • Flexibility. Adjust your investments, risk tolerance and financial goals at any time.
  • Special perks. Access perks like the Found Money program, which offers cash back for your portfolio when you make a purchase at over 100 participating companies.
Cons
  • Limited investment options. Your money is invested into one of five pre-diversified portfolios made up of ETFs, so you can’t choose specific stocks, bonds, or other assets.
  • No tax benefits. Some investing apps help you reduce your taxes through tax-loss harvesting, but Acorn doesn’t have this feature.

Qapital

With Qapital, you determine when your purchases get rounded up. For example, you can ask the app to make a deposit every time you dine out or visit the gym. Once you set your goals and rules, sit back as the app rounds up change from your purchases to the nearest dollar and moves it to your savings accounts.

  • Compatibility:iOS 11.0 or later and Android 5.0 and up
  • Monthly fee: $3, $6 or $12
  • Service fee: $0
Pros
  • 30-day free trial. Try before you buy with Qapital‘s 30-day free trial.
  • Create savings goals. Put money aside for multiple goals like a vacation or a car, and decide how much you want to save.
  • Set rules. Set rules to reward yourself for spending less than you normally would or to save more money when you spend on dining, entertainment or other wants.
  • Investment features. Step up your savings efforts by investing in Qapital’s prebuilt portfolios. The app will diversify your money — just tell it how much you’d like to invest.
Cons
  • Monthly service fee. You’ll pay $3, $6 or $12 a month to use this service, depending on which features you want.
  • Low interest. The Spending account — which comes with the top two membership tiers — only earns 0.1% APY.
  • Limited customer support. Qapital doesn’t offer phone support and you can’t chat with anyone on the weekends.

Best apps for investment

The best money saving apps for investing offer the tools and insights you need to start building wealth — regardless of your experience.

Sofi Invest

SoFi lets you swap commission-free stocks and access a no-fee robo-advisor. You only need $1 to get started and if you’re new to investing there are plenty of education resources. But it has limited securities options, like no access to mutual funds, bonds, futures and forex.

  • Compatibility: iOS 13.0 or later and Android 6.0 and up.
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Service fee: $0
Pros
  • Fee transparency. You won’t pay any fees for trading, transfers, custodians or commissions and you only need $1 to open your account.
  • Free personalized help. SoFi has financial advisers on standby to help you adjust your portfolio and investment strategy based on your situation.
  • Membership perks. As a SoFi member, you’ll get access to career coaching, unemployment protection and more.
Cons
  • No tax optimization. Unlike other services, SoFi doesn’t offer tax-loss harvesting to help you optimize your losses.
  • Limited securities. You won’t find any bonds, mutual funds, futures, forex or orders with SoFi Invest.
  • Limited support. SoFi customer support is only available weekdays, so you can’t get help on the weekends.

Stash Invest

With Stash Invest, you can start saving for your future with as little as $0. The app starts by asking you a series of questions to gauge your investing experience. Then, it suggests certain stocks and ETFs based on your answers.

  • Compatibility: iOS 11.0 or later and Android 5.0 and up.
  • Monthly fee: $1, $3 or $9
  • Service fee: $0
Pros
  • Three plans. The $1 plan is for individual investment accounts, the $3 plan is for retirement accounts and the $9 plan is for custodial accounts.
  • Free checking account. Each Stash Invest plan comes with a free checking account that gets direct deposits up to two days early.
  • Auto-Stash features. Automate your investing in three ways: transfer money into your account on a recurring basis, round-up your purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer your extra change to your account or let Stash analyze your spending habits and move $5, $10 or $25 into your account.
Cons
  • No free plan. The monthly subscription fees could eat up a large chunk of your returns depending on the size of your investment account.
  • Trades aren’t instant. Stash Invest executes trades one or two times a day when the market is open, so don’t expect instantaneous trades.
  • No mutual funds. Stash doesn’t offer mutual funds or cryptocurrencies through its platform.

Robinhood

Robinhood is a stock and options trading platform built for new and experienced traders alike. It has zero commissions. But stock prices are known to lag within the app, so it’s not ideal for active day traders.
  • Compatibility: iOS 11.0 or later and Android
  • Monthly fee: $0 or $5
  • Service fee: $0
Pros
  • No commissions. Robinhood doesn’t charge any trading fees for stocks, funds and options.
  • Free plan works for most people. Unless you plan on investing on margin, the free version of Robinhood may offer all the tools you need.
  • No minimum account balance. You can get started with Robinhood with as little as $0.
Cons
  • Limited securities. You can’t invest in mutual funds or bonds with Robinhood.
  • Limited research. Compared to other investing apps, Robinhood lacks well-researched information on various companies.
  • Monthly fee for Robinhood Gold. You’ll pay $5 a month if you want to borrow money from Robinhood to buy stocks.

Best apps for budgeting

The best money saving apps for budgeting offer the tools you need to get out of debt, save for your future and accomplish any other goals you set your mind to.

Mvelopes

Mvelopes is best for those who want to use the envelope budgeting method without having to carry around cash. Simply connect your financial accounts, then fund your virtual envelopes to start tracking your purchases.
  • Compatibility: iOS 11.0 or later and Android 5.0 and up
  • Monthly fee: $6
  • Service fee: $0
Pros
  • Free 30-day trial. Take Mvelopes for a spin with a 30 day free trial before your monthly fee kicks in.
  • Automatic imports. Mvelopes syncs to your bank account, credit cards, debts and investment accounts to automatically import transactions as you make them.
  • Financial coach. Choose the Plus or Complete plan and you’ll meet with a personal finance coach monthly or quarterly to review your situation and get advice.
Cons
  • Monthly fee. You’ll pay $6, $19 or $79 a month depending on which subscription plan you choose. That’s anywhere from $72 to $1,000 a year.
  • Not completely hands-off. Mvelopes imports transactions for you, but you may still need to categorize them yourself.

YNAB

YNAB uses the zero-based method of budgeting to help you stay on top of your spending. While there’s an annual fee of $84 or $11.99 a month, college students can use the app for free.
  • Compatibility: iOS 12.0 or later and Android 6.0 and up
  • Annual fee: $84
  • Service fee: $0
Pros
  • Free 34-day trial. Enjoy a free 34-day trial without having to enter your credit card information.
  • Zero-based budgeting. YNAB uses the zero-based budgeting method, which helps you track where every single dollar is going.
  • 100+ free weekly online workshops. YNAB puts a focus on education and has tons of workshops and in-depth guides to help you learn the software and reach your financial goals.
Cons
  • Expensive. You’ll pay $11.99 a month or $84 a year for YNAB, but college students can use it for free.
  • Potential learning curve. One common complaint with new YNAB users is that the interface can be difficult to figure out. But that’s one of the reasons why YNAB hosts so many workshops.

Marcus Insights

Marcus Insights by Goldman Sachs helps you track your spending, negotiate bills and save money for long-term goals. It’s free to use, but you’ll pay a fee equal to 33% of your savings if the app successfully negotiates a bill for you.
  • Compatibility: iOS 11.0 or later and Android 5.0 and up
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Service fee: 33%
Pros
  • Budgeting tools. After analyzing your spending, the app creates weekly budgeting goals, tracks your progress and notifies you if you’re spending more or less than usual.
  • Bill negotiations. Marcus Insights negotiates your bills for free. But it keeps 33% of the total amount you save if it successfully lowers a bill.
  • Cancel subscriptions. Review your list of recurring subscriptions and cancel any you don’t want straight from the Marcus Insights app.
Cons
  • No customized budget. You can’t create a customized budget to use as a guideline each month.
  • Third-party account. It doesn’t come with a savings or checking account to help you manage your money. Instead, you must link to existing financial accounts.
  • US-based banks only. Marcus Insights doesn’t sync to overseas banks.

Are money saving apps best for me?

Here’s how to determine if a money savings app is right for you:

  • You want to automate your finances. Money savings apps leverage technology to complete a range of financial tasks for you — from cutting down expenses to automating your savings. If you want to automate your finances, a money savings app can help you do it.
  • You want a clear snapshot of your financial picture. Money savings apps are chock-full of data that help you analyze your income and expenses, track your savings and more as you work toward your financial goals, which makes them a handy tool if you want a clear snapshot of your current financial situation.
  • You don’t know where to start. Whether you want to save, invest or budget, a money savings app can help you take the first step. In most cases, all you do is enter some basic information and the app’s algorithm does most of the legwork for you.

Alternatives to money saving apps

If your goal is to save, invest or budget, but you’re thinking a money savings app isn’t for you, here are some alternatives to consider:

  • Savings accounts. Many banks have savings tools that allow you to set up recurring transfers and even round up debit card purchases and sweep the spare change into a high-yield savings account.
  • Digital bank accounts. These federally insured accounts are like a savings app, checking account and savings account all rolled into one. They typically come with budgeting tools and snazzy features to help you manage your money and save all in one place.
  • CDs. If you already have a chunk of money you won’t need for a while, consider putting it in a high-yield CD where it can earn interest while you wait to use it.
  • Investing accounts. If you’re looking to grow your savings in the stock market, you may be ready to upgrade to a full-blown investment account.

The best bill splitting apps to use with friends

Bottom line

Many of us have a long list of monthly expenses. With so many payments to keep track of, it can be hard to save. These apps were designed to automate the savings process and put money aside – with little to no effort on your part.

To get serious about managing your money, compare the latest budgeting software options.

Compare savings apps

Use the tabs in the table to view top apps for savings, budgeting and investing. If you’ve got your eye on a few different accounts, you can click the “Compare” box next to each one to view them side-by-side.

Name Product Annual percentage yield (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open
Chime Savings
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime Savings
0.50%
$0
$0
Grow your savings automatically with recurring transfers, round-ups on debit card purchases and 0.5% APY.
Digit
Finder Rating: 3.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Digit

0.10% on $0+ When you save for three consecutive months, your account is rewarded with a 0.10% annualized savings bonus.
$5 per month
(can be waived)
$0
Digit analyzes your spending and automatically saves an appropriate amount every day so you don't have to think about it.
Marcus Insights
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Marcus Insights

0.50% on $0+ You'll need to open a High-Yield Marcus Online Savings Account through the Marcus Insights app
$0
$0
This Goldman Sachs tracking tool includes a bill-negotiation service to reduce your annual bill and free credit score monitoring.
Qoins
Finder Rating: 2.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Qoins
APY not advertised
$1.99 per month
(can be waived)
$0
Use spare change from everyday transactions to make an extra payment toward your debt, every month.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Fee Service fee Platforms
Chime Spending account
$0
iOS,Android
Get rid of fees with this financial app offering consumer-friendly accounts. Chime can also help you save easily and access your paycheck faster.
Emma
$0
iOS,Android
Emma helps you in avoiding overdrafts, finding wasteful subscriptions and giving you control over your finances.
Digit
Digit analyzes your spending and automatically saves an appropriate amount every day so you don't have to think about it.
Trim
$0
33%
PC,Mac
Get financial advice, pay off debt, create a budget and automate savings with this budgeting app. But be prepared to pay for extra features.
Billshark
$0
40%
PC,Mac
You won’t pay a dime if this company can’t lower your monthly bills. But you’ll pay a hefty fee if it does.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Available asset types Annual fee
Acorns
ETFs
$1 per month
Invest your spare change. Anyone can grow wealth.
Personal Capital
Stocks, ETFs
0.89% on balances up to $1,000,000
Offers financial analysis and tracking, plus wealth management services. User-friendly interface with a retirement planner component.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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