Helpful Apps in your Pursuit of Financial Independence by Brandon Jackson, guest contributor

I am thinking and talking about financial wealth more than ever. The more I think about it, I realize we’re so blessed to have the access to the information we do. Even with all of that, no one can do it on their own, and it’s always great to share resources and findings as we all strive for a better life. Here are some apps that I’ve found that work for me as I tackle and reach my goals.

Acorns

Acorns is an app that invests your spare change. You can elect to have automatic roundups from some or all of your debit/credit cards, or you can go through each transaction and opt to invest each roundup yourself. Once you reach $5 you can choose to invest it in your portfolio.

I love this app. It’s the same concept as putting spare change in a jar, except this money is working for you. You have five portfolio options to choose from: conservative, moderately conservative, moderate, moderately aggressive, and aggressive. There is a $1 charge per month for balances under $5,000 and they always have specials going on to invite friends.

It works so well for me that I tend to forget that I have it. Trust me, you’ll blink and $100 will be sitting in the account after each month. You can withdraw at any time, making your investments liquid and convenient if you need the cash.

If you don’t have an account already, sign up here: https://www.acorns.com/

Robinhood

I initially was skeptical about this app, as I wasn’t sure it was legit. However, after giving it a try, it’s very user friendly and secure.

If you’re patient and know exactly what you want to buy in the stock market, download this app right away or visit their website. Robinhood serves as a brokerage account like Fidelity Investments or Charles Schwab, the major difference is you don’t have to pay any fees to buy and/or sell available stocks, index funds, or ETFs! They don’t offer every option, but if they have what you’re looking for, don’t pass up that opportunity.

One of my good friends put me on to this app, and I can’t thank him enough. I’m able to buy stocks in all of my desired companies without the $7 fee, which adds up – believe me. Keep in mind, they will flag you if you buy and sell a stock within the same day.

Further, day trading is not allowed and there is some lag time when transferring funds, but it’s definitely worth it. If you’re interested sign up here: https://www.robinhood.com/

Stash

I just signed up for Stash earlier this week. Once again, my friends put me on, and it’s great. If you’re just starting out as an investor, it’s something you should look into. It’s very digestible, and they help you select where you’d like to direct your investments in small increments.

Also, with Stash you have more options than with acorns. You start by selecting your investing style, then there are additional options to help you reach your goals. Along with that, there’s plenty of educational material to help you get a basic understanding of everything.

One thing I enjoy about the Stash app are the fund transfer options. I set myself up for biweekly payments of money that I can afford to lose. I also know of people who use Stash as their savings account. I personally don’t, but do whatever works, right?

Check it out here: https://www.stashinvest.com/

Mint

I love this app because it’s my one stop shop for everything. Specifically, it shows my net worth day in and day out, which is ultimately what I’m striving to increase. It lists out all of my investment accounts, saving/checking accounts, and debts in one place. This app has specifically helped me when it comes to savings goals, because it requires you to link a goal to an account that you have.

In addition, it displays your FICO credit score, breaks out your monthly budget, and documents all of your cashflow. As soon as I started really taking note of my expenses, my net worth skyrocketed. There’s just something about seeing where you spend your money to influence change in your financial behavior. Once you make note and act, your opportunities are endless. It won’t happen overnight, but you’ll be very happy with your progress if you stick with it consistently.

If you have security concerns about everything being in on place, know that they are under the same umbrella as turbo tax, and you should be safe from data breaches.

Sign up here if you want to get started! https://www.mint.com/

Remember, don’t be afraid to stretch yourself when investing. Also, feel free to check out more of my content at brandonlamarjackson.com.

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