5 budget-friendly apps that teach you how to invest
I’ve always been an avid learner. I’ve never been very proficient with math however. I could do it, and do it well in some cases, but, overall, it was not my strong suit or passion. Add money into the mix and you were just asking for a bit of a problem.
So when I started getting involved in blogging, I saw many references to budgeting for those who hate budgeting, paying off large amounts of debt and, last but not least, investing.
I knew investing was a good idea. I knew my grandparents had done it to an extent. I knew it would help me earn and save money potentially.
But I had no idea what to do.
How did I start? Who did I sign up with? Was it really worth the headache? How did I trade? Should I trade?
Those were the questions at the tip of the iceberg when it came to my concerns about starting to invest.
After a bit of searching and some solid advice later, I found 5 apps to spread my wealth around. Each budget-friendly investment app allows you to start learning the ropes with a starting investment of $5 a month.
Here are each of the 5 budget-friendly apps to help you learn your way around the investment world. Without having to break the bank.
What I like about Acorns is that they take you through the process and explain different ways to invest, all during the sign up process.
This app explains the various risks, percentages and types of investments that the app will make on your behalf with your money. Pie charts are included, which is great for anyone needing a visual cue.
Acorns also helps you make small investments. I’m a fan of using their round-up feature for this exact reason. (Talk about being budget-friendly.)
I’m able to track my daily purchases with the app, and, at the end of the week or day, I’m able to round-up all the purchases that have occurred, and apply that extra change to my investment portfolio.
For example: I buy a Starbucks coffee for $5.84 with my linked debit card. Acorns retains that 16 cents and adds it to a $5 minimum round-up investment.
Now, that might not seem like a lot. But think about this: I started using Acorns sometime at the start of the year in 2019. So, over 8 months, I’ve accrued about $220 on round-ups alone. All on the budget-friendly concept of $5 every few weeks from extra change.
Acorns also allows you to invest a percentage of your online purchase orders when you order through their app.
So if you’re buying an Apple product anytime soon, 1.5% will be contributed to your account. At no extra contribution to you.
You can also set up recurring payments to your account, like a normal investment account would allow, but I love that Acorns gives you the option to invest in newer ways.
When I first started learning about investing, Stash kept showing up on my Facebook and Pinterest ads. I finally caved and looked into the app. I was not disappointed.
While Stash is a little more on the traditional-side of investment accounts, I highly recommend it for new, budget-friendly users.
Stash is great about always giving you advice, educational material, and helping you understand investing and financial matters. They have many ways you can learn about investing on different scales and through different processes.
On your home page of the Stash app, I find two key components that I find incredibly useful.
Grow Knowledge Quickly: I’m able to see, not only investment advice, but financial and budgetary advice, for my account. Stash curates content to make sure your investment grows how you want it to while keeping you well informed and stable in other financial areas of your life.
Investments You Might Like: Not only does this provide actual companies to invest in, but also which market to invest in and how to diversify your portfolio. I imagine this is personalized to each user, but in case it’s not, this is still a personalized way to broaden your range about companies and stocks that might be a good fit for you.
If you’re looking to track your spending and learn about the ins and outs of investing, their new debit card feature tends to tilt their budget-friendly persona even more in their audiences favor.
Stash uses it’s own debit card to track your spending habits for investments. It promotes that it has no minimum balance, no maintenance fee, and no overdraft fee. It hosts about 19,000 in-network ATMs to choose from and you can get your paycheck up to 2 days earlier.
Learn more here to see if the Stash Debit card is right for you.
This app is the most recent one that I’ve joined in on from this list.
Robinhood allows you to view the stock market as you invest. If you want to know how Twitter is doing on a random Tuesday afternoon? It’s at your fingertips with your Robinhood app. Not only can you see the line graph for the current value for Twitter’s stock, but you can also invest in it right then and there. Much simpler than just viewing the stock market app, pre-programed into your Apple phone.
I also like the feature that gives you knowledge about investing.
The Investing 101 feature gives you plenty of food for thought when it comes to your investment questions. Not only does it tell you information about how to invest but how much, with who, earnings from the stock market, funding, and much more.
It’s also really easy to navigate like many of the apps on this list. I think the Robinhood app is one of the cleanest and user friendly to use.
Robinhood’s News feature also has a pretty large spread for its curation. The news comes in from various sources so you know you are getting multiple viewpoints and reliable information about your investing needs.
You invest in various stocks and bonds sure. But they specifically target women in their algorithms.
Want to know how much you should invest to buy a home? What about a once-in-a-lifetime purchase like a honeymoon or a baby on the way? Maybe you need to start a rainy day emergency fund?
Whatever your goal, Ellevest looks at various aspects of your life during the sign-in process. They make sure they understand your employment status, your age, and possible goals before giving you graphed results for your ambitions.
They use these factors to predict your potential return investment with a monthly and one-time deposit scenario. That being said, they still follow a budget-friendly option, where you can choose how much to invest on a monthly, bi-monthly, and quarterly basis.
There are many reasons Ellevest is great for women looking to invest. They understand that women have different financial needs than men. We live longer and usually have to pay more for things out of our already sub-standard livable wages. Ellevest caters to those needs and helps you set aside money and earn money through your savings.
I really like Ellevest in terms that it’s very straight-forward in it’s usability. I know what to look for and how to find various things that are important to me. They curate their magazine to educate me, have a tab for my information, and allow me to transfer money when I need it in its own solitary tab. There’s no guesswork or finders fee for anything I might need to know.
Now, can you invest with Ellevest if you are a man? Yes! Just because Ellevest is catered towards women and making sure they are receiving equal investing opportunities to men, does not mean Ellevest is excluding them from using their service.
I started using Twine as a savings account for a Rainy Day Emergency fund. You can start for as little as $5 a month. Talk about budget-friendly.
But get this, if you save $50 a month, you could save up to $600 a year. While less than the standard suggested Emergency fund, $600 is a great way to start saving.
I know a lot of people struggle with saving money. Many people are desperate just to get by on their bi-weekly paychecks. Twine is a great way to automate the process of keeping your money in a safe spot.
The thing about Twine is it acts more like a savings account than an investments account. While you do earn money off of the money you invest in your account, you feel like you are just setting that money aside for the time being. It hardly feels like your investing anything, which might be a problem for some people.
I think if you’re a bit nervous about investing, you should try Twine first. It’s the simplest way to start setting aside money without all the hassle of learning the stock market or investment language.
Overall there are a lot of investment apps that would be able to teach you about how or what to invest in. I tried to compile an array of user-friendly apps that would work well with anyone on any budget.
If you’ve tried, used or are still using any of these apps, let me know in a comment down below!
If you’ve tried another investment app, let me know that as well and why you enjoy the program so much.