Money saving apps at your fingertips

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

If you’re like a lot of people, you’ve probably seen ads on your social media feeds for apps like Stash, Digit or Honey. They’re apps designed to help manage money and investments and, unlike traditional investing, they don’t require a large up-front commitment.

Technology Journalist Tishin Donkersley tells us they’re designed for people who’ve never had to give much thought to their finances. “

What these apps do is assist the person setting goals and budgets, and putting money aside for them” she said. 

She said they’re aimed at millennials but can help anyone looking to dip their financial toe in the market.

“A lot of times people don't even know what to invest in and they're guessing.”

Stash lets you become an investor for as little as $5 and lets you choose your stocks based on your interests or hobbies. They offer clusters in categories like the environment or innovation. Other apps, like Robinhood, are for the more savvy investor. Robinhood takes the commission out of traditional trading fees.

“For as little as $10 per month you can trade what you want without a fee per trade.”

Those small amounts are what make these apps appealing for financial experts like Mike Sullivan.

“I like the idea that there are low risk ways to make mistakes,” he said.

If you'd rather save than invest maybe try Acorn which takes your spare change and turns it into savings by rounding your purchases up to the next dollar and pulling the extra into a separate account. 

Sullivan said, “They do the thinking for you. They go in and they take money that you don't know you have available and they put it into savings.”

These apps will take all of your financial data to guide you in the best direction, everything from your bank accounts, credit cards, and income. They’ll combine that information to give you a snapshot of your financial picture. That transparency, Donkersley said, is the key to being successful because there won’t be any hidden money.

You may also see ads for Honey or Ibotta. Donkersley said those are coupon code apps that will scour the internet and automatically apply the best coupon for the items you are purchasing online. Donkersley said the companies are essentially splitting the commission of the item between you and the store. She said, if you're a frequent shopper at these places listed on the app, you'll likely do well.

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