Acorns isn't quite like anything I've written about before. It's not a rewards site, survey panel, shopping app or product testing site. It's an investment app that I'm pretty excited about and you can earn extra cash through it. I was drawn to it because of how easy it is to invest your change with Acorns and the potential for the growth of my funds through the stock market.
What is Acorns?
Acorns is what people call a robo-advisor. It's a savings account and also a way to dip your toe into investing in stocks and bonds even if you don't know anything about the stock market.
There are various ways to fund your account and Acorns will invest that money into stocks and bonds, helping your savings grow beyond what a regular savings account will usually yield.
How Do You Invest Your Change With Acorns?
I remember back in the day before we were all using credit cards and debit cards to pay for purchases, we just used cash. We would buy something for, say, $19.50 and hand the cashier a $20. That $.50 change we got back would go into our pocket and maybe into a change jar at home. Once that jar got full enough, we'd take it to the bank and have it turned into cash to use for other purchases or maybe we'd just stick it in the bank to save it.
With Acorns, you link your debit or credit card and it will round up your purchases to the nearest dollar. If you use your card to pay that $19.50, it will treat it as $20 and take the $.50 and put it in your account. That money is then invested into one of five stock portfolios of your choosing, ranging from conservative to aggressive. Then, it starts multiplying.
Funding Your Acorns Account
Beyond the round-up feature, you can also directly fund your account. Once you've set your bank account as a funding source, you can have Acorns automatically withdraw a set amount daily, weekly or monthly.
I'm not sure if there's a limit to how much you can fund it with, but the minimum is $5. I currently have mine set to take just $5 once per month but will likely set it to weekly soon.
You can also directly fund at least $5 at any time if you get some extra money you want to save.
Acorns also has a “found money” feature where you can navigate to one of many online retailers from the Acorns site and make a purchase. A percentage of that purchase gets invested into your account.
What Are Portfolios?
Acorns will invest your savings in one of five possible portfolios. These portfolios are conservative, moderately conservative, moderate, moderately aggressive and aggressive.
Conservative portfolios put more money into bonds while aggressive focuses more on stocks. They will also see fewer dips and rises in their funds as they're low risk while aggressive has a higher risk but a chance at higher rewards.
It's all up to you to decide how much of a chance you want to take with your savings.
Acorns Limitations and Fees
Acorns is only available to people living in the US and Australia.
It is also unfortunately not free, however it's not expensive. There is a $1 fee per month for management if your account has less than $5,000 in it. Once you hit that limit, the fee changes to 0.25% of your annual funds, so if you have $20,000 invested, your fee will be $50 for the whole year, which comes to a little over $4 per month.
However, college students get 4 years with no fees at all, but they have to sign up with a valid .edu email address.
Opportunity For Growth
Acorns allows you to view the potential growth of your funds based on how much you are funding every month and your round ups. Using the conservative portfolio and funding just $5 per month not including round ups, I will have approximately $1,400 saved in 5 years, assuming I don't change anything at all.
In 25 years, when I'm 60, that amount jumps up to $20,000 based on the monthly investment.
If I decide to invest $5 per week instead, I can expect that amount to likely quadruple if not more. These figures are not including any round ups.
I Tried It!
I've had this app for a while now. I accumulated $155 doing the minimum. Even though you are not supposed to cash this out, and instead build it up so it can grow, I did end up cashing this out recently. I was paid within four days of cashing it out. Now I'm starting over.
How To Get Started And Invest Your Change With Acorns
If you are ready to go ahead and invest your change with Acorns, you can go here. Good luck, and please comment below with your experience if you have it!