It’s the new, painless tech way to save. And it’s about as a far from money under the mattress or coin jars as you can get.
We’re talking about round ups. Perhaps you’ve even heard? It’s Everyday Round Up, a massive game changer for Australians that could genuinely help save money in the most surprising and easy of ways.
Acorns started it with their app that allows you to invest the small change involved in rounding up your spending on everything from a cup of coffee to your bus fare.
Now online banking behemoth ING has just rolled out the new digital savings tool, Everyday Round Up which allows customers to collect their loose change online and sweep it into an ING Savings Maximiser account where it can earn interest.
“We’re encouraging customers to boost their loose change instead of losing it. Everyday Round Up allows customers to roundup leftover change from purchases automatically into their Savings Maximiser account,’’ says Tim Newman, head of product at ING.
The customer chooses how much of their purchases can be rounded up to the nearest $1 or $5. So if your morning coffee and croissant costs you $8.50, ING will round up the transaction to $9 or $10, depending on what you have chosen. This will mean an extra 50c to $1.50 will be sent to your Savings Maximiser where it could earn as much as 2.80 per cent interest at the current special rate.
So whenever you make a purchase with your debit card, credit card or Apple Pay and Android Pay, the system will automatically stash any of the spare “digital change.”
“Many people are eliminating the inconvenience of cash by turning to contactless payment methods such as mobile pay. Not only can contactless payments ensure you’re not carrying loose change, it also ensures you’re not losing or throwing your money away,’’ Newman added.
Making your spare change work harder for you is not new. Leading automated platform Acorns has a micro-investing app that automatically invests your spare change into a diversified portfolio of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), making it easy for even the most casual investor to try to grow their wealth.
The app targets millennial investors who might be tight on money and not ready to invest large sums of money.
This is how it works. The app connects your credit or debit card to your Acorns account and automatically rounds each purchase up to the nearest dollar and deposits into your portfolio.
So if you paid $4.20 for a cup of coffee, the app would round up and put 80 cent into an Acorns account. Once these “round-ups” reach $5, Acorns then invests this money in your portfolio of choice. There are five investment portfolios, each of which comes with varying degrees of risk from conservative to aggressive.
Acorns is all about investing small amounts of money on a regular basis and accumulating wealth over time without affecting your lifestyle. It can be thought of as the “digital equivalent of a coin jar.’’
There are no deposit or withdrawal fees, all you pay is $1.25 a month for accounts with a balance of under $5000.
Exchange Traded Funds or ETFs are tradable securities that can be bought and sold like an ordinary stock. They can also track an index or basket of assets.
However, ASIC warns that ETFs can be risky. While most are easy to understand, some can be quite complex.
“Before investing in these products, read the disclosure documents for further information about the specific features of each product and consider getting professional financial advice,’’ ASIC said.