How I saved $1,300 in 1 year

I have officially spent one year with Acorns. Looking for a way to save a little more? Check out my results!

*Disclaimer! While finance is a passion of mine and I do research with podcasts, publications and webinars whenever possible I adjust as I learn and am in NO means an expert! Always listen to your gut and make informed decisions that work best for YOU when it comes to your money. YOU WORK HARD!

Personally, I have always been part squirrel when it comes to money. As a kid, I put money under my mattress, hid it in books on my book shelf and, after a sketchy run in with a step sibling stealing from my coin jar, I moved my change to a shoe box at the top of my closet. I hid money due to nosey siblings but also so I wouldn’t spend it. Out of sight out of mind became an early mantra for my finances.

Then, I read my first Suze Orman book from my Aunt Dianne’s garage sale and my childish ways changed forever.

I read that women don’t invest, they save. This habit costs us security in the long run. It ends up costing us thousands, hundreds of thousands, possibly millions! I promised myself that day; NOT ME.

At 19 I started an IRA account which I made the goal of putting away $25 a month from my waitress job. At 24 I got my first corporate job with a 401k in which I put in as much as I could, even more than the corporate match. I made the goal then that I would NEVER pull money out and I would raise my contribution rate by 1% each birthday. This was my present, for my security; my future!

Catch up to 2017 when I finally clicked the button for Acorns. My boyfriend had a gift subscription to Fortune Magazine from a family member and in reading it I kept seeing their advertisements. I just kept thinking it was a fun idea. In September 2017 I finally signed up.

It works like 21st century acorns! You link your credit card accounts and any bank accounts you want associated with it. Then any items you swipe for get rounded up with that extra addition going into your investment account. So if you buy a latte at $3.49, then Acorns would round up your purchase to $4 and send $0.51 to your account. The goal is that you don’t miss these small purchase additions but with Acorns doing all your management, it really adds up!

My favorite part is the fun app with a colorful dashboard on your phone where you can track your growth and potential growth! Also, I know if I needed the money tomorrow I could pull it out, no hassle, no worries.

I figured even with the down trends in the stock market expert analysts always state that while day to day or year to year numbers can be down or volatile long term trends are historically positive. The market recovers. So my one year experiment commenced!

Ready to hear how my year with Acorns went?

I set up my account, linking all my credit cards to keep me honest. Here are the specks to my account:

-Double Round ups: Every time I spend an even dollar amount on my card I donate a dollar to my account (My double feature doubles that to $2). Any other time my change rounded up just doubles (ex: my groceries cost $45.85, it sends $0.15 to my account and I double it- sending a total of $0.30 to my account)

-I have an automatic deposit of $50/ month plugged into my account from my checking account again hoping I wont notice it and knowing I could stop the deposit or pull money out anytime I needed.

-You can earn Found Money purchasing things with participating companies that give extra discounts sending that discounted money to your account. For example, below in my numbers I did my taxes with H&R Block and because of their partnership with Acorns I got a % back to my account!

-Acorns has a Referral feature where helping friends to save sends your account a little too! Normally $5! *Mine is hyperlinked above- Thank you for your support to GP!

Here is my account outline. You have my full transparency!

Total Invested through roundups and monthly $50 auto withdrawl: $1,340

Found Money: $13.88

Referrals: $10

Dividends Paid from Investments: $18.02

My ROI with Acrons: $41.90 or 3.12% (this number fluctuates daily with the market despite a recent down turn at the time I am publishing this it has ranged wildly from -2% to +9%)

My current bank offers 0.02% interest on my savings account. This money sitting in that account would have made about $0.27 for the year!

Curious about the projected value of my account if I keep on this track?

$170,256 by the time I am 71 years old!

Having a little extra pocket change in retirement sounds pretty good!

Will I keep the account going?

Yes! Acorns is a fun addition to have on my phone. I’m able to check in on my acorns whenever I want to dream about retirement. It has helped me watch my spending habits and focus on saving vs. Instagram!

A really important reminder is that Acorns is an investment account so unlike the stability of a bank account the market does change daily. If you are someone that stresses easily about change this may not be for you. Know yourself and make choices that coincide with your financial plan!

Where is my account headed in the future? I’d like to start checking the Found Money area before making purchases I already make to see if I can make next year more lucrative without spending more. I also find that reading their Grow Your Knowledge area offers great financial insights and has helped me with my other financial accounts. The glamorization of long term saving is a fun addition to my financial wellness. Acorns does a great job of keeping investing fun, light and growing!

Finances are like voting. We all have a responsibility to do it, and if we don’t play the game we aren’t allowed to complain about the results. If you need support on this journey please reach out. I’d love any opportunity to help you find a contact or support as you make these epic decisions to brighten your future!

Namaste Friend!

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