- Saving money sounds easy, but can often be a difficult chore, with just under 50% of American families unable to afford an unexpected expense of $US400 or more.
- The Albert savings app can be an easier, more satisfying way to set savings aside for the future.
- I saved over $US1,500 in the first six months of using the paid version of the app.
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I’ll be honest: When I graduated from college, I was absolutely terrible at saving money. I’d always heard things like “pay yourself first,” but the minute I started working full-time and had a regular paycheck, I realised how difficult that actually was.
My issue was that by the time I finished paying rent, bills, student loans, and buying groceries, I was usually left with around $US150 – and having to set aside any of that for a rainy-day fund or retirement, instead of using it to spend freely, was almost painful.
So I wasted the first six months or so of my first job not saving any money – even though financial experts say one of the most important parts of saving is to start as early as possible.
Enter Albert, a personal finance app I recently started using. When you download it, it gives you a rainy-day fund and asks how much a week you’d like to save. I chose $US20, a sum I wouldn’t really miss too much, then basically forgot about it.
A little over a month later, I got a notification from Albert, telling me I had saved $US120. That was exciting – imagine going into the pocket of a pair of jeans you wore a month ago and finding $US120. That was how I felt.
I explored the app more and realised how they could help me track my spending, too. After that, I was all in, so I decided to get the paid version.
Here’s how my experience went, and how it led to me saving $US1,500 in six months.
For as little as $US4 a month, Albert’s paid version gives you access to features such as expert financial advice at the press of a button and an unlimited number of savings goals.
The cool thing about the paid version of the Albert app is the cost is up to you – starting at $US4, you can pay whatever you think is fair.
That’s a serious steal because with that membership you get access to extra features. You can add as many new savings goals as you want, and even pause savings on your rainy-day fund as your other goals fill up.
You also get access to the advice from Albert’s Geniuses, or financial experts. If you have questions about anything, from what credit card to get to smart investing moves, you can text Albert and an expert will give you advice.
The app allows you to see savings goals clearly and even allows you to earn more interest than the average APY with a bank savings account.
Albert recently added an investing option as well.
Yes, it’s true that a savings account with your bank with automatic paycheck deductions would accomplish most of the important features that Albert does, but Albert does it better.
First of all, you don’t have to go anywhere or sign any paperwork to get started. Everything is done on your phone.
Second, you earn more interest saving with Albert. The average annual percentage yield or APY for a savings account with a bank is 0.09%. With Albert, however, you get a full 1%. Your savings are also still FDIC-insured, up to $US250,000.
Last, and perhaps most important, you wouldn’t be able to separate your savings out and see your goals fill up the same way you can with Albert. This is how the app really changed my views on money and savings.
The app provides a monthly spending budget calculated around your other expenses, and tracks your total spent in real time.
I may occasionally get the satisfaction of looking at my bank savings and seeing a larger number than the last time I saw it, but if I ever want to use it for something, I have to do a lot of maths, and experience the guilt of watching the number go down when I take the money out to use it.
On Albert, I can open the app and instantly see how much money I have for each purpose. When I wanted to go to Puerto Rico, I opened up the app and saw that I had $US653 dollars set aside specifically for a vacation, so I knew immediately how much money I had to work with. I was able to skip the stress of budgeting and immediately get to the fun part and start planning my trip.
Albert takes the added organisation and stress that can come with financial planning and makes it accessible at the tap of a phone screen.
It was only then that I truly understood the old adage “pay yourself first.” It’s a simple thing, but you cannot underestimate the joy of having money accumulate into organised goals without you thinking about it.
I saved over $US1,500 in the first six months of downloading Albert with absolutely no effort. It was like buying a pair of jeans that always has money in the pockets when I put them on.
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