Acorns is the Easiest Way to Save & Invest Your Money for $3 or Less a Month!

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Savings are just an app away. 💰

There’s an app for just about everything these days, but what if I told you there’s an app that can get you investing all of your spare change and building your dream retirement fund in less than 5 minutes? The best part about it all… the app is free to download and you’ll only be paying $1-$3 a month to grow your oak! 🙌

“The Acorns app is my new daily obsession – my only regret is that I didn’t know about it sooner!”

The fact I could try it out with hardly anything to lose was a no brainer for me, especially since I’m by no means an investing or savings expert. Starting an investment and boosting my monthly savings (all on my own) as I head into my 30’s has been life-changing and has me so excited about my future! Read on for my honest review of the Acorns investing app.

Helpful tip: If you finish reading this post and have questions about Acorns, investing, retirement, or finances in general, we recommend speaking with a finance professional to help guide you. We know you work hard for your money, and while we love helping you save it, there are other individuals out there who can help you make it grow!

What is Acorns?

hand holding phone with green future savings on screen

Website | iOS | Android

It’s a full financial wellness system right at your fingertips! It’s truly the easiest and most low-stress way to start saving and investing for your future. In fact, their goal at Acorns is to make it so simple, that investing and growing your “oak” can truly be for anyone!

Here’s how I got started on Acorns in under 5 minutes:

hand holding phone with acorns app on screen

To get started with my very own all-digital banking system (AKA: Acorns) all I needed was my email and a password to make an account. Then I linked my regular checking account, which was also super easy.

They just asked me a few security questions and some personal information, like my address, legal name, etc. They also had me answer some security questions so my new Acorns account is protected.

three screenshots of different investment options

Once I was in, I created my profile, which allowed me to elaborate on what I was looking to get out of Acorns. They help you determine how aggressive (or not so aggressive) you want to be with your investing and the great part is that you can always make changes down the road! Above, you can see 3 of the offered options that I was provided.

You can also choose when you’d like to be able to access your investments based on your needs. There are options to access your money within the next 5 years if you want to purchase your first house or you can hoard all your earnings for 20+ years for retirement.

three screenshots of potential investment growth with numbers circles in red

You do have to set up recurring deposits when starting your account. These will come directly from the account that you have linked, but they can be as low as just a few bucks a month – it all depends on how quickly you want to grow your money. And if you’re feeling flush with cash from time to time, you can even make one time deposits for any amount you’d like and reach your savings goals even quicker!

Since I consider myself a novice to investing and I’m still getting the hang of good savings habits, I went the conservative route and choose to only make weekly $5 deposits… for now anyway. 😉 It’s easy to adjust this later, too.

You can see above what my potential investments would reach in 40 years if I were to switch from $5/week to $10 per month, week, or if I invested $10 every day – which would put me well over half a million dollars by the time I’m 69! 😱

There are also additional ways to grow your Acorns account:

1. Found money:

hand holding a phone with acorns app on screen

More than 300 major brands, like Nike, Grubhub, and so much more, have partnered with Acorns, so now every time you make a purchase with any of these brands, they’ll invest a percentage into your growing account.

There are two ways you can earn found money with your new Acorns account:

1. Found Money section (in the app).

This is how most brand partners allow you to invest. They just require you to make your purchase after tapping on the brand’s link in the Found Money section of the app. Just be sure to complete the purchase in the same session.

2. Simply Spend

For brands marked Simply Spend, just use your linked card or Spend Card (I’ll talk about this more below) to your Acorns account when you make a purchase.

2. Round-ups:

Woman holding Starbucks Secret Chocolate Strawberry Cold Brew drink outside Starbucks cafe

Every time I make a purchase, like coffee at Starbucks or fill up with gas, it will be rounded up to the next dollar and put into my new Acorns account for any cards that you have linked. For instance, if I buy a coffee for $6.10 then my Acorns account will round up $.90 for me to invest.

Just note that these round-ups do come from your own linked account, but I have found these small round-ups to be insignificant and it’s so much easier to balance my checkbook when everything is an even dollar! 🙌

In the last month, I’ve had $36.99 just in round-ups and the best part is that I didn’t even notice!

hand holding 4 different bank visa cards

To activate the round-up feature, all I had to do is link my most used debit (or credit) cards and they’ll take it from there! Easy peasy! In fact, immediately after linking my cards, it listed all my recent purchases so I could choose to start investing right awaywhich of course I did! 

Even purchases that are an even dollar will round up to the next dollar and be added to your Acorns account. After you reach $5 in round-ups with your linked cards, it will be deducted from the checking account you have linked and go directly into your Acorns account. Unless you get their sleek new Acorns Spend card…

And yes, I totally recommend getting this card! Plus, it’s another easy way to save & invest!

hand holding a green visa card with white pamphlet

The Acorns Spend card was free to apply for and it’s linked directly to my checking account. It’s also made of tungsten so it’s heavy-duty, built to last, and unlike any other card you probably have sitting in your wallet! I’m telling you… it is SO worth it!

In order to receive your Acorns Visa Debit Card, you’ll need to upload a valid photo to verify your name and address. This can include a utility bill, phone bill, or standard forms that your local DMV would accept.

After snapping a photo, you’ll just have to wait a few business days for it to be approved. After approval, it will take a few weeks to receive your flashy new card, so make sure to apply for it sooner rather than later. Also, it does appear that recently Capital One opted out of being able to link their cards, so in the case you’re a frequent Capital One user, all the more reason to get an Acorns Spend card. 😉

hand holding a green visa card in white pamphlet

The Spend card isn’t just pretty, it also comes with tons of additional, amazing benefits:

1. Real-time round-ups: Real-time round-ups are an awesome feature. This allows you to invest round-ups instantly with every transaction you make as opposed to waiting to reach $5 through the app every time.

2. No overdraft fees or minimum balance requirements: Enough said!

3. Reimburses any ATM fees: Yay! 

4. A 3rd way to earn Found Money: Now you’ll not just have access to found-money, but you can also earn local offers from many local restaurants and retailers like when you stock up with Walmart Grocery, order food on Grubhub, and spoil your pets with Bark Box subscriptions. Some will invest up to 10% back when you shop with them.

5. Peace of mind: Your card and account are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 so you can freeze your card from the app if it’s ever lost or stolen.

6. Access to Acorns Grow: This is basically a blog in the Acorns app to help you along the way with any questions you have or the best strategies to get the most out of all your accounts.

man and woman walking on sandy beach along shoreline

Let’s quickly talk about Acorns Later (AKA, your future retirement fund).

Once you’re an Acorns user, you’ll also have the ability to start your very own retirement account for as little as $5 a month – which gets deposited from your linked checking or savings account.

It’s recommended to do this if you don’t already have a retirement account unless, of course, you don’t mind having more than one, but it is nice to have all of your savings in one place.

If you already have a 401K with your employer, Acorns Later still might be a great option, because no one ever complained about having a little extra money set aside. 😉 Acorns Later is totally optional and you can have your new retirement fund set up in just a few minutes.

hand holding an iphone with retirement information on screen

They will offer customized portfolios based on your age, income, and other factors you’ll want to consider when starting your nest egg. Plus, they manage your portfolio for you by doing all of the balancings and necessary adjustments to reflect your account’s aggressiveness.

Acorns Later offers Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and SEP IRA’s:

Acorns Later Traditional IRA: This is the most common type of IRA. You can make tax-deductible contributions and your earnings won’t be taxed until you withdraw them in retirement, which the IRS says is 59 1/2 years old. If you need to withdraw before you’re 59 1/2, you’ll probably owe a 10% penalty, as well as taxes.

Acorns Later Roth IRA: To qualify, you must make under $135,000 individually, or under $199,000 as a couple. Your money grows tax-free until retirement (59 1/2 years old says the IRS) but your contributions aren’t tax-deductible. You can withdraw from your contributions before you’re 59 1/2 without tax penalties, but your gains may be taxed.

Acorns Later SEP IRA: This is a variation of a Traditional IRA, but is for self-employed persons. Contributions are tax-deductible, and your money won’t be taxed until retirement. You can contribute up to 25% of your total compensation or $55,000 a year.

To learn more about each Acorns Later retirement option, click here.

If you’re feeling a bit lost, don’t panic – Acorns will ask you questions and help you determine which retirement account will be best for your future. 

Having both a regular investment account (Acorns Invest) and a retirement account (Acorns Later) can help by allowing you to put away money for retirement and money for all of your short term goals in the decades before. The process has truly never been more seamless or easy, until now! 🙌

Check out more of our favorite budgeting tips!

Join The Discussion

Comments 14

  1. Matthew Henry

    I can honestly say that e as a family have been doing this for just over a year- And it really is amazing how quickly your spare change and round-ups happen- We are looking to spend ours on an upcoming vacation. I know it was our money all along, however it just feels like free money since we saved pennies a little at a time.

    Should you be interested, I say go for it- and If you do – I have a code that provides you a free $5 bucks, and then it also gives me $5. I would GREATLY appreciate anyone using it.

  2. Diana

    I 100% agree with this post. Acorns is amazing. It’s effortlessly builds savings. Great post!!! I highly recommend.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Awesome! Thanks so much for your recommendation, Diana!

  3. ccmama

    Maybe it’s just me – but I have to trust a company that I don’t know with my info + pay to save my money? I’d rather take a certain amount and put it aside every month – for free

    • Neighbor

      Nice until your information is compromised. With discipline you can do this on your own

      • ccmama

        Exactly – and it looks like those in favor are just here to get an incentive for using their code.

        • Diana

          I am not. It’s like a bank account but gives you a lot more advantages and it’s FDIC insured. I’m not asking for anyone to use my code! I’m just giving my opinion.

    • M

      Do you trust the bank or credit cards? Or do you keep it all under your matress or in the couch cushions?

  4. Emma

    I think acorns is a great way to start investing. It’s a good app to teach children too. It’s pretty easy and convenient.
    I would really appreciate it if someone used my link, you’ll Get $5 when you use invite link:

  5. Rn404

    I personally like the Digit app…great way to have a rainy day fund, save for a car or trip without even knowing it

  6. janette

    I like my acorns alot. I use it for long term investment. You choose the level of risk. Higher risk is potential greater reward. I am in moderately risky, and while it did drop negative in Feb March, it is presently up over 3%. Your money adds up over time. I put in a small monthly amount, plus roundups.

  7. MrsG

    Why did H2S delete my comment twice? That’s annoying.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      I’m not seeing any deleted comments, MrsG. Where were they?

  8. Marie

    I have been doing it for a year now and I can honestly say I love it! It is money that I determine goes out every Monday and I choose my portfolio. I have moderately conservative for right now. I have access to the money and when I need it on a rainy day, I have withdrawn from it. I like that it’s money hidden and it goes automatically and saves for me without me having to put it away.

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