Money! Sweet money. Dollar bills. Loot. Cheddar. Scarola. Whatever you call it, it makes the world go ‘round. Acquiring more of it than we dispense is a goal (probably) shared by every person reading this. Yet sometimes the simple act of saving money eludes some due simply to the time and energy it takes to set up. At Accountingprose, we are all about bettering your bottom line every way we can. To that end, we’ve got five passive saving resources that can help anyone grow their green with practically no effort at all. Without further ado, they are….
Honey – Honey is a web browser add-on that automatically finds relevant coupons or discount codes whenever you’re making a purchase online. Simply install the extension into your favorite web browser and let the savings roll in. If you’re a big Amazon shopper, it also includes functionality that automatically finds the lowest priced seller for a particular item. Using apps to save money with ease? Accountingprose approves!
Paribus – Paribus is a godsend to anybody who has felt the sting of a recently purchased item coming down in price after you bought it. Many big retailers have policies to refund the difference if this happens, but you have to 1) notice and 2) go through the motions of asking. This is where Paribus comes in. Connect the app to your email (it only works with Microsoft, Gmail, or Yahoo) and it will keep a watchful digital eye out for any price drops on purchases you make at a Paribus supported retailer. Giving over access to your email might be scary, but you can do what we do and register a Gmail account just for purchases. This way nobody at Capital One (who own Paribus) can see all the secret recipes and hilarious anecdotes in your personal email 🙂
Acorns – Acorns is a brilliant concept. If you’ve seen the movie Office Space, it may sound familiar. Essentially this app will: plug into your bank account, round up any purchases with uneven amounts, then invest the rounded up change on your behalf. So if you spend $12.17 at Chipotle for lunch (good call springing for the guac!) you’d then be adding 83 cents to your Acorns Investment Account. One thing to be aware of, Acorns’ $1/mo fee will far exceed the recommended percent of investment fees until you reach about $1,500.
Digit – Like Acorns, this tool links to your bank account, but it’s more aggressive about saving. First, unlike Acorns, Digit chunks away your money into an FDIC-insured savings account (whereas Acorns invests it). Digit calculates your spending and income then takes what it thinks it can and stows it out of your spendy reach. If you leave your funds alone for three months, Digit gives you a 1% bonus. There are settings you can adjust, such as requiring Digit to keep a minimum balance in your checking account. Digit is free for the 100 days, after which it costs $2.99/mo (which, if you’re already using Acorns, means a sweet extra penny in your investment account :D).
Qapital – Qapital is like Digit on steroids. Rather than relying on mysterious algorithms, Qapital puts you in control. With it, you can set up rules and triggers that will automate your savings into various goals. It features the same round-up savings capability as Acorns, but instead of investing it goes into an FDIC backed account (though a waitlist is now available for their Investment program). In addition to round-ups, it has other logic triggers to use when setting up a new goal.You can even set up budget limits and be rewarded by automatically putting those savings towards a goal (i.e. If you spend less than $20 at Starbucks in a week, put the amount under towards a chosen goal). This is a great tool if you know what/how you want to save, you just need the push to actually get it done. Qapital will make it easy for you!
Take Note: With those last three tools, it’s important to bear in mind the fees. These tools are useful to kickstart savings when you have none. If you have the resources to engage a financial planner or time to manually setup savings yourself, you’ll save even more money in the long run due to the nature of compound interest.
Bonuses for Businesses
Design Pickle – If you do any type of marketing such as writing blogs, creating website content, sending emails, posting to social media, etc, you know how important it is to have high-quality, eye-catching graphics. If you can’t afford to use a freelance graphic designer or a design agency, we suggest a stellar alternative: Design Pickle. They charge a flat monthly fee for unlimited requests to their large, talented team. If your content needs justify it, you could save enormously.
Xero – If you know anything about Accountingprose, you know we love Xero. It has every feature a small business needs, wrapped in a tidy, friendly user interface. It’s not only the best product available, it’s cheaper than its competitors. If you’re a DIY bookkeeper for your small business, Xero is the way to go to save time and money. We can’t recommend it enough!
With these tools ,you can spend the rest of 2018 saving money with little effort. These tips are a tiny taste of what the Small Business Superheroes at Accountingprose have in store for you this year.