One of my most cherished childhood memories is going with my dad to the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society, a huge bank located in Center City. It was one of the tallest buildings in Philadelphia and was easily identifiable in the city skyline because the sign was a bright neon blue. The interior of PSFS was a wonder of glass and marble and had about twenty teller windows that were arranged in a square in the middle of the floor; it smelled of leather, furniture polish, with a whiff of ammonia. Birthday and Christmas money and other the occasional cash gifts from extended family were deposited and my dad would show me the increasing balance every time we visited the bank. I tried to get excited about the money but my sole motivation for going was the huge glass bowls of colorful lollypops at the window of every teller. The candy looked like bright round jewels encased in cellophane and had a looped handle at the bottom just right for kids to stick their fingers through. You would think that this lovely memory would have encouraged me to be a prolific saver, but…Nah.
My first summer job involved constant trips to the bank (this was pre-ATM, no old age jokes, please) to deposit my check on Fridays and take out sums of money Monday through Thursday. Thoughts of lollipops took a backseat to purses, shoes, magazines and albums.
Even as an adult, my savings account was a revolving source of cash. I was disciplined enough to save but not disciplined enough to not spend my savings. Ugh. It took years (and a few financial challenges) for me to appreciate the intrinsic value of a savings account. I learned the hard way but you don’t have to.
The good news is, if you struggle to save, there is help that’s readily accessible by way of your computer, tablet or smartphone. There are plentiful options for digital saving apps. The array is impressive and you can probably discover one that will suit your needs. Please understand that this information is not an endorsement of any of these apps but rather a short list for you to investigate so that you can make informed decisions about how and where to save your money.
SmartyPig: SmartyPig is a free online app designed to help you save for specific goals and track your progress. This app is FDIC insured and is an online product of Sallie Mae (Student Loan Marketing Association). SmartyPig has NO fees and allows the participant to earn interest on savings. Presently, there is no mobile app but you can set up your digital account on a computer.
DIGIT: The tagline of DIGIT is “save money without thinking about it.” It analyzes your income and spending habits and then calculates how much you can comfortably save. The savings is transferred to a DIGIT savings account. There is a small month fee involved and unfortunately, no opportunity to earn interest but the automatic settings make it easy to save with minimal effort.
Qapital: The most inviting feature about Qapital is the money saved is tied to a goal that’s important to the customer. Whether it’s a new car, a wedding or a down payment for a home, Qapital’s Round Up Rule, allows you to round up to the nearest dollar when you shop, and the change goes into your savings account. Even better news, it’s a free app and is available for Android and iPhone.
These digital saving apps are but a small sampling of what’s available for consumers, so I would encourage you to research these and others to find one that would help you achieve your short term or long term financial goals. If you save enough, you’ll be able to buy your own bowl of lollipops.
The team at CESI is committed to helping you make wise financial decisions and to helping you understand how to get out, and stay out of debt. For a free debt analysis, contact us and find out how we can help.
Consumer Education Services, Inc. empowers people to overcome their financial challenges and lead financially-healthy lives.
CESI is NOT A LOAN COMPANY