One of the things that Mrs. CD and I have struggled with off and on is our ability to consistently save money. We’ll set some goals and do ok for a while, but inevitably some slimy unexpected expense monster will crop up (often slithering up from the colossal money pit that is Mrs. CD’s car) and gobble up the money we’d been setting aside for savings, if not our entire savings account balance.
We’re certainly not the only people out there who have struggled with these problems, and there’s no shortage of proposed solutions either. One that I stumbled across a few months ago, entirely by accident, was a neat little app called Qapital.
Qapital is a free app that’s designed to make saving money easy by making it automatic. It has several different methods of setting aside money, dubbed “rules”, that can be used independently or in any combination to move money from your linked account(s) into the checking account Qapital creates for you. The primary one I currently use is “round up”, which rounds up every purchase from your linked account(s) to the nearest $1 or $2 (your choice) and deposits the difference into your Qapital account automatically.
It also has options for automatic transfers of any size on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, the “52 Week Rule” which saves $1 on week 1, $2 on week 2, etc. for a full year, and others like setting aside a percentage of every paycheck. It’s even compatible with IFTTT (If This, Then That) to create any completely custom rules you could possibly imagine. These rules apply to all users of any shared accounts linked to Qapital. It also has overdraft protection that will put any scheduled savings transfers on hold if your linked account balance drops below a user-configurable limit.
Another thing I like about it is the option to configure any number of specific goals for your savings, each with its own set of separate rules. Want to use the “round up” rule to set aside money for a special occasion while using the “guilty pleasure” rule to beef up your emergency fund every time you break down and buy a $5 latte from Starbucks? You got it.
We here at Casa de Cash Dummy have been using Qapital for about three months now, and even just using the “round up” rule have managed to set aside an extra $544 (and counting) without lifting a finger or taxing a brain cell. I have the attention span of a kindergartener on a sugar rush, so I tend to gravitate toward automation at every opportunity.
That being said, Qapital isn’t going to get you to FI by itself. It puts your money into a regular old fashioned savings account, so it’s not doing anything other than sitting there. It is, however, really handy if you want to automate setting aside money for a nice date night (which is what Mrs. CD and I are using it for at the moment). It’s also good for folks who are just starting out managing their money, or who have struggled with paying themselves first.
Are any of my fellow Cash Dummies out there dabbling with Qapital? What other handy tools are you using to help stay on track with your savings goals?