As a personal finance blogger and self-diagnosed money-obsessed 20-something, I am constantly on the lookout for anything that will make my (and your) financial life a little easier. Whether it is online bill payment, depositing checks over my phone, or receiving alerts from my bank when I spend over a specific amount, I am onboard if it means that anything I am doing manually can be done automatically by Siri and all of her smart computer friends. Thus, when I came across SavedPlus when researching personal finance apps, I thought, “Why not give it a try?”
In a nutshell, SavedPlus (which is a free app) makes saving easy for you by taking a percentage of your expenditures and transferring it to your savings account. It’s kind of like the Keep the Change program from Bank of America, only everyone can participate.
Why do I love it? Well, not only does it make saving automatic, you are also able to control how much you save, which can be changed on a daily basis. That way, when December rolls around and all the Frozen-related gifts you bought for your 8 year-old niece rob you dry, you can lower your savings percentage or suspend it for the month it altogether. Then, in January when the world is back to normal, you can reset it to your standard level. On top of that, because it calculates your savings based on your purchases, it makes you think twice about what you’re really buying. Is that $100 pair of jeans really worth it if they’re actually going to cost you $115? Maybe so, maybe not. Either way, it gives you another incentive to really think about the value of what’s going into your shopping cart on Amazon.
Have I peaked your interest? Here’s a little more detail on how it all works.
Step 1: Setting up your accounts
I have to admit, I had a little trouble with this. My Chase bank account was easy enough to set up – they’re one of the (if not THE) largest banks in the US and if you experience difficulty with that one, then you should delete the app altogether because the developers obviously don’t know what they’re doing. Unfortunately, setting up the credit card associated with my Chase account (I wanted to save on those purchases, too) and my savings account weren’t as easy. The good news, though? Their customer support is great (at least in my experience). I emailed them regarding my issues with connecting those two accounts and they responded the same day.
Step 2: Setting your Savings Percentage
You can save anywhere from 5% to 20% - all it takes is a simple swipe of your finger on the main page when you open up the app to change it. Easy as Tinder ;)
Now, if you want to stop saving at any point or for a certain period, you’ll actually have to go outside of the app and to the SavedPlus website (www.savedplus.com). There, you’ll go to “Manage My Account,” hit the “Stop Saving” button, and following the instructions.
Step 3: Setting Your Maximums and Minimums
This is the beauty of the app: you can set a maximum on the qualifying purchases and a minimum on your bank balance. What does this mean exactly?
For me, I have a $100 maximum on my qualifying expenditures, meaning that for anything over $100, the savings percentage is not applied to it. So, if the tires on my car suddenly need replacing (who doesn’t hate that news), I don’t have to allocate an extra $20-80 to savings above the $400 I would already be spending on the tires. Home girl does not need any more money being transferred out of her account when all those benjamins are going to the tire shop.
In regards to the minimum bank balance, savings transfers will only occur if your balance will still be above that minimum after the transfer occurs. Thus, if you have a $200 minimum, a $208 balance, and a savings transfer of $10, the transfer will not go through because it would put you at $198, $2 below your minimum. This is extremely helpful in making sure that you aren’t transferring money to savings that needs to be used to cover your recurring expenses, like rent, utilities, groceries, and gas.
Step 4: Monitoring Your Savings
As an added bonus, SavedPlus makes it relatively easy to track and monitor your savings with several different tools, which I’ve listed below.
- Savings Transfers – allows you to see the total amount and status of your weekly transfers
- Saved with SavedPlus – displays a running total of your savings, your monthly savings average, and amount saved per day based on your purchases
- Forecast – calculates your average daily & monthly savings and gives you the option to see how much you will save in 1, 3, 5, or 10 years based on your current spending habits
Step 5: Take a Bath in All That Money
I don’t use the app as my primary means of savings – I still transfer a certain dollar amount at the end of every month from my bank account to my savings – but it does provide another way for me to supplement my savings even more. And, hey, anything that gets me towards my goals faster is a win in my book. I hope it’s one in yours, too.