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Hi. I'm Jacki

I write a lifestyle blog for Gen X women who are ready to say YES to (mid)life & become what they might have been.

Money Monday #5: Automate your savings with Qapital

Money Monday #5: Automate your savings with Qapital

Pay debt first. Save first. Save three months of salary. Save nine months. Financial experts don’t always agree. But there’s one habit they all seem to back. Automate. Especially your savings.

Let’s be honest. As human beings, we’re a pretty lazy bunch. If something takes effort, we’re less likely to do it. That includes the things that are good for us. Like putting money aside for emergencies. Or vacation. Or insurance premiums.

There are several apps now available that help automate your savings. For the last several months, I’ve used Qapital.

What is Qapital

According to the Qapital, it is “ a new way to bank designed with your goals in mind.”

The app lets you set up savings goals, then choose actions that trigger deposits toward those goals. These triggers are called Rules.

When you set up an account with Qapital, your are creating an FDIC-insured DDA (demand deposit account) that lets you make as many deposits or withdrawals as you like. Your Qapital account is linked to your regular checking account, which acts as a funding source.

There are no fees to use Qapital - no minimum balances, usage fees, or monthly fees. The money you save is deposited with Wells Fargo Bank until you are ready to withdraw your funds.

To open a Qapital account, you need a checking account with a U.S. based bank or credit union. You’ll also be to be 18 years of age or older.

Personalizing your goals

There are two things that make Qapital stand out among the automated savings apps - Goals and Rules.

Set up a Qapital Goal

First the Goals. Qapital lets you set up as many different Goals as you like. Right now I have five Goals - Slow Fashion, Walt Disney World, Car Registration, Emergency Fund, and Just Save.

When you first open your Qapital Account, you set up a Goal. The app asks what you want to save for - Do something, Go somewhere, Get something, pay of debts, or just start saving. You pick the category that fits your goal.

Next you give your Goal a name, enter how much you need to save, and pick a fun cover photo. That’s last one is part of what makes the app so much fun to use.

Before you finish with your Goal, you activate one or more Rules. And here is what you can get creative.

Qapital offers some suggestions, like rounding up each time you spend money from your checking account. Spend $4.47 for a mocha, Qapital will transfer $0.53 into your Goal. You can also deposit a certain amount each week or each time you make a guilty pleasure purchase. You can even connect your Apple Health app, so each time you hit a health goal a deposit is made.

These are the Rules I use with each of my Goals:

Slow Fashion

  • Round-up to the nearest $1
  • Set & Forget - $2 each week
  • Steps - $5 for each day I reach 10,000 steps (sadly doesn’t happen often)
  • Guilty Pleasure - $1 each time I buy something at the nearby cafe

WDW

  • Round-up to the nearest $1

Emergency Fund

  • Round-up to the nearest $1

Car Registration

  • Set & Forget - $2 each week

Just Save

  • Payday - 1% of any deposit of to my checking account over $50
  • Set & Forget - $1 each day

It doesn’t seem like much, and in all honesty, it’s been slow going. But I reached $100 in my Walt Disney World account without even noticing. It was painless, easy, and simple.

Qapital Goals

You can change the Rules anytime you like. Pause one, cancel one, create a new one, or edit an existing one. Right now, I need new Spring and Summer clothes, so I have lots of rules set up for my Slow Fashion goal. Once I'm set there, then I'll reduce the number of Rules for that Goal and add more to other Goals.

It’s easy to stay motivated with Qapital. First off, it’s automated, so you don’t have to think about it. Also, when you log into the app, Qapital makes it easy to see your progress on each goal. If you have notifications turned on, you’ll also be notified when you reach a certain percentage of your goal.

The downside

If you set up an account today, you don’t earn interest on your savings.

That’s a bummer for some.

For me, the convenience and flexibility make it worth the loss. I’m not saving huge amounts of money for long periods of time on Qapital. In another savings account, the interest earned would be minimal.

But I have a work around. There are three Qaptial accounts that I’ll save significant (to me) amounts in - Just Save, Emergency Fund, and Walt Disney World. I currently have an emergency savings account with my local credit union. When I reach a predetermined about in my Qapital Emergency Fund, I’ll withdraw the money and deposit it into my credit union account.

I have the same set up with my Disney Fund. I have an account on SmartyPig (another great automated savings option, but not as flexible). The money resides there because it’s not easy for me to get at. But every time I reach $100 in my Qapital WDW account, I move the money over to SmartyPig. But the Goal keeps on running on Qapital.

A few more details

One other reason I love Qapital is their overdraft protection. If my checking account dips below $100, Qapital will suspend all transactions. I never have to worry about my checking running into the negative.

And withdrawing money from my Qapital account is quick and easy. It only takes two business days for the money to appear in my checking account. That’s what they guarantee, but I’ve seen it as soon as the next business day.

How to sign up

Think you might want to give Qapital a try? Click on through and you and I will both earn $5 to go to our savings goals.

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