First of all, this is not a sponsored post. I’m just sharing info about this service because I think it’s a pretty cool little financial app that I’ve signed up for myself.

The app (which you can also access on your desktop or laptop) is called Acorns. How it works is like this: you link your bank account up to Acorns, which is very simple to do using just your online log in info for your bank account plus your debit card info.Then you just use your linked debit card like you normally would and every time you make a purchase using that card, Acorns automatically rounds up the amount to the nearest dollar and your spare change goes into your Acorns account. You can also set Acorns to double or triple your spare change on each transaction so even more round-up change goes into your account.

What happens to your round-up funds? Well, Acorns invests it for you. Acorns offers five different exchange traded funds (ETF) which are a type of index funds, to choose from. When you set up your Acorns account you’re led through some questions that help you pick which fund is right for you based on risk assessment. The five funds range from conservative to aggressive.  Investing small amounts like this over time is called micro investing and it’s best suited for people who plan to leave their dollars in place for at least ten years.

Additionally, you can set up one-time or recurring amounts of any dollar figure to be transferred from your bank account into your Acorns account and these amounts are also invested in your chosen ETF. You can easily check your app every day to find out how your round-up change and any other money you’ve invested is performing.Another cool thing that Acorns offers is its “Found Money” feature which is a rewards program where if you spend money using your linked card at any one of a bunch of different businesses ranging from Nike to Walgreens to PayPal to Airbnb you get either a percentage of the amount you’ve spent or a flat amount deposited into your Acorns account. Acorns also plans to launch an IRA product called “Acorns Later” sometime this year where you can use both your round-up change along with one time or recurring payments to fund your IRA.

You can open your regular Acorns account with $0 but once your spare change round-ups hit $5, Acorns starts investing for you in the one of the five ETFs you selected when you signed up. The fee for using your Acorns account is $1 monthly or 0.25 if your account exceeds $5,000. The amount you can earn each month with the Found Money feature is capped at $40 monthly.

If you become an Acorns investor like I am, you get to use their referral program where every person you refer and who signs up for Acorns receives $5 deposited into their new Acorns account (meaning your investing starts right away) and the referring Acorns member also has $5 deposited into their Acorn account too. So if you decide to give Acorns a try and start investing right away with your free $5, I hope you’ll consider using my referral code to get signed up.

Now obviously, Acorns is not something to be considered as your primary source of investing your money. But if the whole idea of investing in stocks and bonds or mutual funds has intimidated you so much that you’re not investing at all, I think Acorns is just a really fun way to become more confident in investing some of your income into index funds. And it’s really fun to check the app each day to find out how much you’ve earned in round-up change and how your money is performing each day. Just remember that index funds are a financial product to leave in place for the long haul so some days your app may show you that your invested amount has gone up and other times it may have gone down, but historically, money invested into the type of funds offered by Acorns grows nicely over time.

So anyway, check it out. I’m really liking it. I’ve already adjusted my round-up amount to be doubled each time I buy something with my linked card, and I’ve set up a recurring monthly amount to be deposited into my account as well.

Let me know if you sign up. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of it.

 

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