skip to main content

5 Apps That Help You Build a Savings Account

Written by
Carly Rae Zent
Carly Marie is a content marketing specialist from Florida who covers personal finance. Through her writing, she strives to educate and connect with readers.
Read time: 6 min
Updated on November 2, 2023
woman holding iPad with 7 apps that help you build a savings account
Start saving now without ever visiting the bank.

Building up a savings account is one of the most difficult things to do on a tight budget. Wait-- you’re supposed to pay off your bills, pay off your debt, and create a rainy-day fund? It’s a lot to ask. No wonder 63% of Americans don’t have enough to cover a $500 emergency. 

Having a backup fund for a rainy day is important. Without a savings account, you may have to use your credit card to replace a flat tire, which can be even more costly if you can’t afford to pay off the balance.

Ideally, you should have three to six months worth of expenses stashed away in an emergency fund to help you cover a potential job loss, medical emergencies, and more.

Don’t know where to start with building up your savings? Don’t have the time? Luckily, there are apps for that. These money-saving apps are designed to help you fix your personal finance issues with little effort.

Savings app No. 1: Oportun

Oportun is one of the most passive automatic savings apps on the market. It’s a good fit for people who have trouble keeping a budget in their day-to-day life. If you find yourself accidentally spending the cash you meant to put away, this app may be for you.

With this app, you no longer have to calculate how much you should put aside every month; Oportun will analyze your spending for you and automatically transfer what you can afford from your checking account, stashing it in your Oportun account. The app takes out the money in small amounts throughout the month. You don’t even have to think about it, and it’s designed for users to barely notice the app working behind the scenes. You can even set goals to help save money toward different milestones. And if you’re worried about overdrafts, don’t be. Digit has an overdraft guarantee and will pay your fees if it does actually take out too much.

Oportun also has a feature that allows it to automatically pay toward your credit card debt. What more can you ask for? It may even help your credit score grow.

Oportun costs $5 a month, but considering users claim it has helped them save hundreds of dollars they didn’t know they had, it may be worth it for you, too.

Savings app No. 2: Acorns

Acorns has a unique savings model: It specializes in micro-investing by using the “spare change” from your purchases. This means if you spend $3.45 on a coffee, it’ll round up to the nearest dollar and put 55 cents into your investment portfolio. While it doesn’t seem like a lot (you’re not going to make millions off your spare change), the dimes, nickels, and pennies will add up over time. It could be a great way to passively stash some money aside and make more than you would from bank interest.

Acorns provides users a choice in where they invest their money. It will help build a diversified portfolio based on your financial goals. Stocks aren’t the only financial asset in which you can invest -- you can also start a retirement savings account through Acorns.

Acorns also has a unique partnership model: They partnered with some major brands who, if you shop with them, will give you cash back in the form of some money toward your Acorns investment account.

The entry-level monthly fee is $3 -- not bad for an investing app.

Savings app No. 3: SmartyPig

SmartyPig is a free app that essentially acts as a simple-to-use high-interest-rate piggy bank for people who want to separate their savings towards multiple goals. Supported by SallieMae and FDIC insured, this app is incredibly useful for people who don’t want to jump over the hurdles of opening complicated and numerous bank accounts to save for multiple goals. 

With this app, you can set up recurring contributions, but can also transfer money in, out, or between different goals at any time without transaction fees. It should only take a couple of business days.

Savings app No. 4: Qapital

The thing about Qapital is that you actually have to open a bank account with them. But doing so gives you access to a bunch of features not available in traditional bank accounts, you can set savings goals as well as rules. 

The rules can be as simple as having Qapital round up your purchases to the nearest dollar to deposit the change into your savings. You can also take a more holistic approach and link your Fitbit to your Qapital account to set rules that incorporate your fitness goals with your savings goals. It’s flexible and allows you to be creative about how you save money.

A few interesting features: 

  • You can also activate money missions that help you learn more about how you spend money to provide a more in-depth look at your finances. 
  • The “Payday Divvy” helps you divide up your paycheck every time you get one so that you can figure out how you’re going to spend it upfront. 
  • Plus: Qapital allows you to set up investing, making it a true all-in-one financial manager.

A few notes: There’s no minimum deposit, and no overdraft fees. It is an FDIC-insured account, but you will not earn interest. It costs a few bucks a month.

Savings app No. 5: Truist Long Game

Many mobile app games will try to trick players into bad spending habits, appearing free but requiring you to pay more and more money if you actually want to make efficient progress. Fortunately, there’s at least one game offering perks for saving instead of spending: Truist Long Game.

The more you save using Truist Long Game, the more in-app coins you’ll earn, which can be spent on games that offer real money rewards. The Truist Long Game Savings account is FDIC insured and offers a small amount of interest payments, so it’s almost like a gamified online bank. 

Play hard and earn your savings bonus. 

Save On, Friends!

These are some of the best apps for ramping up your savings, which can be helpful because saving doesn’t tend to be fun. It’s more exciting to spend money on artisanal honey, antique Radio Shack gift cards, hand-carved wind chimes, or whatever Amazon suggests you might also enjoy. However, building your savings will allow more fun in the long run.

Article contributors

Andrew Tavin also contributed to this article. He is a writer, comedian, and a full-time content manager for OppLoans. He graduated with a BFA in TV Writing from Tisch School of the Arts in New York City. You can read more articles from him here.

Please note the below article contains links to external sites outside of OppU and Opportunity Financial, LLC.  These sources, while vetted, are not affiliated with OppU. If you click on any of the links you will be sent to an external site with different terms and conditions that may differ from OppU’s policies. We recommend you do your own research before engaging in any products or services listed below. OppU is not a subject matter expert, nor does it assume responsibility if you decide to engage with any of these products or services.

California Residents, view the California Disclosures and Privacy Policy for info on what we collect about you.