Acorns App Review – Invest with your spare change!

I’ve been reading about this App called “Acorns”. It’s an investment app that tracks your purchases, rounds the value up to the next dollar, then invests the money.  This is similar to the concept of the banks that will do the same thing with your debit card purchases but the money is moved over into a checking account.  The concept is to help you save money without having to think about it.

What sets Acorns apart is that the money is then invested in an ETF, theoretically providing greater returns.  One of the reasons the creators came up with this App is to help young investors get started.  ETFs are generally easier to invest in because they take less effort and help you diversify more quickly than individual stocks.  Unfortunately most funds do require a minimum investment (the ones I’ve researched are around $1,000) and minimums to buy more shares.

Acorns does not have such a high requirement.  Once your account has $5 they will start investing.  You can build this up pretty quickly, within 10 transactions you could build this up pretty quickly.

How does it work?
To get started, you do have to choose the account that will be rounding up.  This can be a debit card or a credit card.  The App will track your purchases and determine how much to pull out to invest.  This is where it could get a little tricky.  The money is pulled out of your bank account that you link to the App.  So if you keep your account at a minimal balance or drain your account in between pay checks, you’ll need to keep an eye on this.

Now that you’ve got the basics, let’s run through an example.  You choose to link your Visa card.  You make a purchase for $10.36.  The App will then say the round up amount is $0.64 to get to the next dollar.  That $0.64 is pulled out of the checking account you’ve linked.  Now you have $0.64 in your Acorns account.  Once that balance reaches $5, it will be invested.

What about the investment?
The Acorns App offers 5 levels of risk, ranging from conservative to aggressive, with more moderate options in the middle.  You can always change what you feel your risk is.  The App also offers some advice based on your age, your goals and other factors.

The Fees
There are some fees associated with the App.  The App itself is free to download.  Once your account is funded, there is a $1/month charge.  There is also a 0.25%-0.5% fee, depending on your balance.  There are no fees for actual transactions, which means you can add extra money or withdraw at any time without having to pay.

The App itself
I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the functions and purpose of the Acorns App, but what about the App itself?  I found it to be really slick.  The appearance is nice, and the controls actually work well.  There is a lot of information to be collected at the beginning (it is an investment account, after all), and I had no problems navigating through everything.

So what’s the verdict?
This part is yet to be seen.  The app itself is pretty nice, but what about the purpose?  I do wish I had something like this when I was in my early twenties.  An easy way to start saving and investing and getting a head start on things.  I may not be in my twenties anymore, but I did decide to make an account.

I funded the account with $50 to get things started.  Going forward I will have all of my purchases automatically round up and deposit into this account.  I’m going to post some updates here on the site as things go on.  What I’m curious about is the fees.  Obviously you need to be making more than $1 a month to make this worth it.  I’ll give it a shot for a while and see how it goes!  Look for the “Acorns” tags below.

To read more about the App, visit the Acorns website at

Have you tried out the Acorns App?  What did you think?  Leave your comments below.

Book Review: “Queeny: A Monster Maker”

Review of “Queeny: A Monster Maker” by Linda Scarlett.
Format read: Kindle

The preview for this book is what drew me in.

A raspy, sinister whistling of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” swallows the room. 

Delicate hands sew two thick, fleshy pieces of material together. The needle is large. The thread, a heavy fishing line. The material is tough to sew. It looks like skin. The stitches are crude. 

When the sewing needle struggles to get free, the whistling stops. As the needle releases, the hands begin to sew again. The whistling continues where it left off. 

The next piece sewn onto the patchwork has hair on it, long human hair. 

Sometimes monster stories are real.”

The use of an innocent children’s song is a wonderful tool in the horror genre in my eyes.  I immediately thought of the use of “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” by Tiny Tim in 2010’s “Insidious”.  The juxtaposition is great, and I immediately wanted to know what else was in store.

“Queeny” uses another technique I love.  Each chapter follows a different character or location, with everything eventually intersecting.  This gives the reader a special view into what is happening, while the characters are often oblivious to what is going on right in front of them.  As a storytelling technique, this builds up the horror, as the reader wants to be able to yell at the characters, “Run away, you fool!”

This story follows Red, a detective who is always on the lookout for whoever murdered his father, and Queeny, a young lady who works at the local animal shelter and has some special secrets.

As the two characters cross paths and feel a special connection, they soon learn that their connection runs much deeper than either of them expected.

I found the characters to be intriguing and sad.  I was pulled in by Queeny – she has a caring heart, but we soon learn that something lurks beneath.  I kept rooting for her to find a way to battle her personal demons and come out on top.

At times, Red seemed pretty clueless for a detective.  He had giant flashing warning signs right in front of him, but he missed them.  As the story went on, I found myself relating more and more to Red.  Who hasn’t ever been in a relationship (or the beginnings of one) that had all sorts of red flags, but we missed them because we were so infatuated with the other person?  This is what Red was going through.

All in all, I have to recommend this book to anyone who enjoys horror or suspense stories.  I pride myself on being able to predict how stories will work out, but the end of this book caught me by surprise!  I’m always pleased when this happens.  Scarlett did a great job of giving me hints, but still managing to keep the end a secret until the end.

 Grab your own copy of “Queeny: A Monster Maker” on Kindle or Paperback

My Woot Pro Football Mystery Bag

A little over a week ago, had a “Pro Football Mystery Bag” up on their site.  The rules were to pick an NFL team, and Woot would send me at least 6 officially licensed items.  I obviously picked my San Diego Chargers, and my “Bag of Football” has now arrived!  Let’s check it out.

All the goodies!

All the goodies!

A cooling towel! We're going on day 3 of temperatures over 105 so this will come in handy!

A cooling towel! We’re going on day 3 of temperatures over 105 so this will come in handy!

Coasters to keep the wife happy

Coasters to keep the wife happy

Always helpful to keep my pants from falling down

Always helpful to keep my pants from falling down

We just moved, so I'm in need of more keychains.  Perfect!

We just moved, so I’m in need of more keychains. Perfect!

Woohoo!  Math cards!

Woohoo! Math cards!

Nothing like keeping my beer nice and cold during the game

Nothing like keeping my beer nice and cold during the game

And finally, a necklace.  I'm not a jewelry guy, but I might have to make exceptions on Sundays

And finally, a necklace. I’m not a jewelry guy, but I might have to make exceptions on Sundays