Why I Use Acorns To Invest Money
You might be wondering what the heck I'm even talking about and trust me, this is still pretty new to me, too! BUT since I started my business I've been wanting to figure out a realistic way to start saving my money. I wanted to set something up that I DO have access to, but treat as a long term savings plan and only if there were some crazy emergency, I want to leave it alone.
Before becoming my own boss, I had a 401K set up through my work. It was easy. It automatically came out of my paycheck each month and it was simply money I never thought about, because I didn't "see" it. I wanted to find something similar that just took it automatically without me needing to think about it. As my business continues to grow, I know how important it is to start saving for my own retirement outside of everything my Husband has set up. I want to know that I have something of my own and that I can contribute to our future retirement, too.
SO WHAT IS ACORNS?
Imagine if you could invest in your future without really noticing. That's what Acorns does. I'm going to quickly summarize how it works then tell you what I set up for myself and my business!
HERE ARE THE WAYS IT WORKS:
- Round-Ups - Invest spare change from everyday purchases
- One-Time Investments - Boost your account anytime, anywhere. Even $5 adds up.
- Recurring Investments - Set it and forget it with a daily, weekly or monthly automatic investment.
- Found Money - Earn money when you shop with over 200 top brands.
- Acorns Later - The easiest way to save for retirement.
- Referrals - Grow your account when friends start investing.
What is a "portfolio?"
PORTFOLIO: A portfolio is a select combination of investments, often stocks or bonds that you own.
STOCKS & BONDS: Stocks are shares of ownership in a business. Bonds are a debt investment where an investor loans money to a business or government for a defined period of time and interest rate.
To create a portfolio, tell us your financial situation and goals. With those answers, Acorns will recommend you a mix of ETFs that will become your portfolio.
What are you investing in?
Exchange Traded Funds
ETFs for short, are made up of broad holdings of stocks or bonds. Often, these ETFs replicate an asset class or index like the S&P 500 or Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Asset classes represent certain categories or classes of stocks or bonds. Each ETF represents an asset class in your portfolio ranging from Large Companies to Real Estate.
Diversification is Key
When you invest in several different asset classes, it helps to smooth out any bumps when the market changes.
Today's Top Companies
Every dollar you invest is automatically diversified over 7,000 stocks & bonds. This is all possible due to Fractional Share Ownership in our portfolio ETFs.
Make automatic daily, weekly & monthly investments. Every purchase you make can become an investment with Round-Ups. When your portfolio moves with the market, we’ll rebalance it to stay on track.
No minimums. No trade fees. Only $1, $2, or $3 per month until you have $1 million invested.
Once you're all set up and connected, you begin to customize. You can select how much you want to round up when it lands on an even dollar, which for me I increased mine to $2. Your most important part is selecting what portfolio you want.
Your money can be invested in five fund types, ranging from conservative, which puts most into cash and bonds, through to aggressive which has over 80% allocated to equities.
I have mine set to moderately aggressive, with companies such as Telstra, Westpac, BHP and Wesfarmers. I do this because I’m young enough to be a little riskier.
Here's a snap of how my funds are spread out in Acorns:
The roundups are awesome and work so well. Essentially, if you spend $3.50 on a latte the app will the automatically round up 50 cents into your investment account. Once you’ve rounded up $5 worth of change it then deposits that into your account. You can accelerate this if you want and deposit more money as you please.
I’ve learned how important it is to save. I’ve also learned how stressful things can be when it’s tight. That is NOT a fun feeling and it’s always our goal to make sure we not only have enough in our account at all times but we have a cushion for any of the unexpected expenses that do come up in life.
My Husband loves the stocks and investing and he handles our “big” stuff. I wanted to do something on the side that I don’t really have to think about. Saving money is fun and addicting when you see your portfolio increase! It’s my goal that the money I save can be used for any emergency or future travels together.
We have been working SO hard to be completely debt free and we’re close. This money I’m saving might also be something I use to completely set us free from owing anyone else money. I hate that feeling! My car payment gets me the most and we’ve learned that we’ll never purchase a car again until we can pay for it in cash. Loans seem to simple and no big deal when you’re shopping, then it’s your $300-700 investment each month and it’s frustrating. My car payment is $300 and I’ve always put an extra $100 toward it each month so while $400 isn’t outrageous, it’s still a payment and I hope to write an update at the end of the year letting you all know that I OWN my car outright! That’s one of my biggest goals! Anytime I have extra, I try to throw it at principal on my loan. I’m so close and am hopeful I’ll have it paid off by October. Fingers crossed!
And honestly, while $50 to $100 to $200 doesn’t seem like all that much when it comes to investing in your savings, it will pay off later. I think right now I’m realizing that creating the habit itself is so important, which will simply make it easier to increase my savings rate as my income continues to grow.
Food for thought from Acorns:
Happy savings, friends!
I think this is SO important and while I genuinely LOVE what I do and wouldn’t trade my chosen path for anything, I would totally be lying to you if I told you that I’d continue the hours I put in for free. It wouldn’t be worth it to me. My own success looks different than anyone else’s success. For me, it’s about being secure and it’s about being PRESENT in this one life we’re given. My Husband and I work really hard so that our daughter won’t have to worry and that she’ll learn what it means to be responsible and take care of things. I wish I could tell you that I’ve always been smart with money but the truth is that I haven’t. It’s taken me awhile to realize how important SAVINGS are and knowing that in an emergency, you’ll be okay. I feel blessed to manage a business that is actually generating an income and making an impact for my family. My business covers so many of our big expenses, fun, and much more. And now, I’m saving with Acorns and I couldn’t be happier with how it all works and what it’s doing for our future!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: EMMA ROSE
Emma Rose is a Squarespace website designer and photographer based out of the Pacific Northwest. She helps photographers not only stand out online, but dig deep to find the why in what they do. She strives to work with like-minded entrepreneurs who want to grow an audience, start and thrive their online business and change the freakin' world. She aims to help people create not only meaningful businesses but lives. For more about Emma, click here!
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