I spent part of December simplifying my banking situation, I’m hoping to leave my longtime National Bank relationship for a local credit union that offers a checking account that bears 3% interest. … It seems like a no brainer!

As I transition my spending to the debit card at the new institution, I want to see if I cant find a way to stimulate some savings without it making too big of a splash on my normal budget. I’ve decided to give Acorns a try for the first 6 months of 2019.

Acorns: Round up your debit card transactions!

Acorns is a Financial app that syncs up with your bank account to round up the transactions from your debit card as if you were throwing your spare change in a coin jar. I’m really curious to see what sort of impact is has on my savings in 2019.

Because I’m an extremely active user of YNAB so we will see how using this service actually works in practice. Acorns tracks the amounts of your rounded up transactions until the total reaches 5 dollars, and then they pull the 5 dollars from your account, because of this, I’ll likely have to do small adjustments to my budget as the withdrawals happen.

Once money is in Acorns, you can select between 5 different portfolios:

  • Conservative (20% stocks, 80% bonds)
  • Moderately Conservative (40% stocks, 60% bonds)
  • Moderate ( 54% stocks, 6% REITs, 40% bonds )
  • Moderately Aggressive ( 72% Stocks, 8% REITs, 20% bonds )
  • Aggressive (90% Stocks, 10% REITS)

I’ve selected the Aggressive portfolio. The stock market right now is a wild ride, but I’m not looking to retire in the traditional sense with purely stock investments and dividends, so I’m ready for a long ride!

More ways to add to your account

You can add money to your account via a direct deposit- like a traditional investment account, but there’s also a program called ‘Found Money’ which is essentially a list of companies that if you purchase things with your Acorns Activated Card, they will add more money to your account, there are Found Money deals from:

  • Hulu
  • Moosejaw
  • Nike
  • Sam’s Club
  • Thrive Market
  • Zappos
  • and many more.

I am going to take a look and see if any of these are potential places for me to funnel my purchases towards, but right now I’m not spending a lot of extra money outside of groceries.

My plan for Acorns is to spend the first 6 months of 2019 optimizing purchases to leverage the Acorns platform, and then transition to a new experiment for the end of 2019. — I’m currently thinking about doing a credit card churning experiment for the second half of the year!

Do you have any experience with Acorns? What do you think?

Do you do cool things with your spare change?

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