Applications to achieve your financial goals | Savings and budgeting

There is an app for everything, including your money. Some, like the popular Mint, are the financial equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife. They can do a bit of everything from creating a budget to tracking investments.


But sometimes you want a specialized tool; one that is designed with your specific need in mind. Fortunately, there are also financial apps like this. Here are five apps created to help people reach their financial goals, whether it’s a safe retirement or a relaxing vacation.

  • Acorns.
  • Support.
  • One is.
  • Living.
  • Bank of America Life Plan.


Use for: Pension saving

Since launching its app in 2014, Acorns has added banking and income options, but it got its start in investing. A defining feature of the app is the ability to round purchases on linked debit and credit cards and invest the change. Today, users have the option of putting that money into a Traditional, Roth, or SEP IRA using Acorns Later.

“If you’re not an expert, that’s okay,” says Kennedy Reynolds, head of content and education at Acorns. After answering a few short questions, the app can recommend a diverse portfolio based on the user’s goals. In addition to investing the change in a retirement account, Acorns allows people to set up recurring and one-time contributions that can be as low as $ 5.

“We designed Acorns to work as a system,” explains Reynolds. Banking and income options are designed to be used in conjunction with investing, and the company also offers a number of educational resources. Acorns Later is included with personal subscriptions which cost $ 3 per month.


Use for: 529 education savings plans

With tuition, room, and board fees averaging $ 24,623 in 2019, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, college is a big and looming expense for many families. While there are many options for college savings, a 529 plan can offer the best tax benefits, and the Backer app makes it easy for families and friends to participate in a student’s higher education.

Backer allows parents and grandparents to link an existing 529 plan to the app. Or if they don’t have a 529 plan yet, Backer will recommend one. Once a savings plan is linked or created, the app makes it easy to invite others to support the fund with gifts for birthdays, holidays or other times. Users can also earn money by purchasing from partner accounts, and this is added to the balance as well.

The app allows users to choose their own monthly fees. While the minimum is $ 1, Backer says most families choose to pay $ 5 per month. There is also an annual fee associated with 529 accounts. These vary depending on the plan administrator, but they can be as low as 0.16% for plans recommended by Backer.

One is

Use for: UTMA / UGMA accounts

Money from a 529 plan can be withdrawn tax-free for eligible study expenses, but you will pay the tax if the money is used for other purposes. Parents who are unsure whether their child will go to college can use a UTMA / UGMA account instead. Meaning Uniform Transfers to Minors Act and Uniform Gift to Minors Act, these accounts also offer tax benefits and additional flexibility.

“It’s not necessarily just the university,” says Ksenia Yudina, founder and CEO of UNest. The app allows parents to create a UTMA / UGMA account for their child and save money that can be used for any purpose, from buying a house to paying for a wedding. For 2021, the first $ 1,100 of earnings in the account are tax-free and the next $ 1,100 is taxed at the child tax rate. Parents retain control of the account until their child reaches the age of majority.

Like Backer, UNest allows users to invite family and friends to deposit money into a child’s account. The app also offers additional benefits including rewards that can add money to the balance. Currently, UNest is investing money in low-cost ETFs, but there are plans to add unique stocks and possibly cryptocurrencies in the future, Yudina said. UNest costs $ 3 per month for a regular account or $ 6 per month for a family account.


Use for: health savings accounts

Health savings accounts offer a way to pay for medical bills with tax-free dollars, and the Lively app makes it easy for people to manage their money. It allows users to set up one-time or recurring contributions and then invest that money in stocks, bonds, or other securities.

Contributions to HSAs are tax deductible, up to annual limits, and the money in an account grows tax-free and can be withdrawn tax-free for qualifying medical expenses. However, only people with a qualified, high-deductible health insurance plan are eligible to open an HSA. Once opened, the balances in these accounts are renewed every year, making them a good choice for saving for medical bills later in life.

Opening and maintaining an account with Lively is free for individuals. However, there may be costs associated with investments.

Bank of America Life Plan

Everyone’s financial goals are unique, and Life Plan is an app designed to help clients reach any milestone for them. “The Bank of America Life Plan is a digital experience designed to help clients set and track their short and long term financial goals based on life priorities and better understand and take action to address them. achieve, ”said Teron Douglas, digital director of Preferred Banking and Consumer Investments at Bank of America.

Life Plan allows clients to set goals such as paying off a loan, credit improvement or go on vacation. The app provides educational tips and resources and also tracks progress towards each goal. When individual assistance is required, it can also be requested through the app.

Bank of America customers can access and use the Life Plan for free in the Bank of America app.

About Joan Dow

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