Wednesday, March 15, 2017

You'd Be Nuts Not To!

The amount of tech, financial, career guiding, and leisure articles that I (we, I'm sure) get bombarded with daily can be overwhelming. And because of that, every so often we read about something that's really cool only to forget about it in the next article we browse.

Hearing about Acorns the first time was like that. I read about it and thought "That's really cool; I should do that!" and then quickly forgot about it. A recent conversation with a pal caused me to recall Acorns and, this time, I didn't forget.

Acorns is the modern, digital equivalent of throwing the change in your purse or pocket into a bedside jar every evening. You do this by rote and before you know it... ta da! You've got a few hundred bucks of change in your jar. With Acorns you link your credit cards and other accounts and set the round up amount up to a whole dollar, e.g., pay for your $4.45 grande Iced Chai Latte at Starbucks with your bank card and Acorn rounds up the amount to $5, depositing the difference (55 cents) immediately into your account. Acorn does cost something: $1 per month, but after using Acorns for only 4 days, I've already squirreled away a thoughtless, painless thirteen dollars and seventy-one cents. At this rate, I'll have sacked $1,250 in a year!

Another interesting item is Acorns' Found Money™ program. There's a bunch of stores including The Gap, Walmart, Airbnb, Walgreens, Old Navy, Nike and so on that offer to kick more into your account. For example, I think The Gap's is pretty good: They'll kick 2% of your purchase price when you pay with an Acorns linked card into your account up to $40 per month. Hey, if you were going to buy something there anyway, why not?

Personally, I see little risk but you should know that your money doesn't just go into a jar, it goes into an investment account. There are five accounts ranging from conservative to aggressive. So like any good adviser might advise: if you are risk averse or uncomfortable with digital security, Acorns may not be for you. Also, read the fine print.

I've got nothing to gain by promoting Acorns other than hoping you'll give it a quick study and see if it is for you. I think most of you could find it beneficial and a very simple way to save a little money.

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