Investing and Credit

How To Start Investing When You’re Broke And Clueless

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how to start investing when you're broke and clueless, investing for millennials

Back when we were first married and our budget was incredibly tight, we pinched every penny until it screamed. We strategically worked our budget down to the last cent. We kept hearing how millennials should be building their investment portfolio, but because of what we thought we knew about the stock market, we thought this was completely impossible.

Now that we have been able to increase our weekly budget, I don’t write down every penny spent on our kitchen chalkboard. Instead, as we make a purchase, I round up to the next dollar and keep track that way. Which will you remember better – that you spent $13.67 or $14?

While this makes math much simpler and easier to remember on the go, it makes reviewing the statements on the computer more difficult because my budgeting doesn’t match well.

I was also looking for a way to make my dollars work for me, but I wasn’t sure I was ready to learn all the ins and outs of investing. We definitely weren’t ready to risk a bunch of money to learn about the stock market the hard way.

There’s an app for that.

I had been reading about the Acorns app for over a year and toying with the idea of using it. I hesitated because the stock market is scary and the idea of putting funds into an investment opportunity seems crazy.

I was wrong.

When you sign up with Acorns (get started with a $5 credit from me!), you fill out a short questionnaire to help determine your investment goals. The investment portfolios are organized by growth rate and risk, and include a variety of companies to help you reach your goals.

How Much Money Does It Take?

There are several different ways to invest your money with Acorns, and they are all focused on making investing possible for millennials. It takes $5 to get your account started – open your account with this link and get that $5 from me!


Have you ever heard the budgeting advice “always pay yourself first”? The idea is to take steps to make sure your savings account is a priority. This is the idea behind monthly automatic withdraw. You can choose between presets of $5 a week, $20 or $100 per month, or set your own custom amount. As they encourage on the site, “even $5 a week is $260 a year!”

You can also deposit in one-time amounts, which would be helpful if you want to get your account started or give it a boost.

Round Up

Rounding up is the absolute easiest way to save. All it does is round up every purchase to the nearest dollar.

This is the easiest way to build your investment porfolio automatically. Simply link your debit card(s) to Acorns, and every time you use your card to make a purchase, the amount will be rounded up to the nearest dollar. Once the amount reaches $5, Acorns will withdraw that amount and invest it for you. You can increase the round ups to multiply 2x, 3x, or 10x the amount.

Are you wondering if that’s even worth it? At the time of this writing, I have had exactly 150 roundups and added $87.10 to my investment portfolio, just from roundups. It adds up steadily, and I feel better knowing there is very little risk involved.

Found Money

If you’ve followed me for long, you know I’m a huge fan of getting money back via rebate apps. Acorns has joined the party with this, but instead of giving you cash back, they add the amount into your investment portfolio.

To use this feature, you simply log into your Acorns account and click on the “found money” tab. This will bring you to a current list of available offers. The offers are in several categories, including food, clothes shopping, membership fees for certain stores, and even occasionally signing up with a new insurance company. At the time of this writing, for example, I see a $30 investment when you sign up as a new driver for Uber, and a $30 return when you sign up with a new Blue Apron meal delivery service.

I think I’m most excited about this idea because, although I do love getting cash back in my hands, I also really like that this money (that I was going to spend anyway) goes into an account that will benefit me for years to come.

Like other rebate apps, the deals may vary, but typically they have deals on fun things, like food, wine, and travel. So yes, it’s the dream of millennials – you can make money while you treat yourself. It’s now possible, thanks to the Acorns investment app.

Educate Yourself

There are so many articles within Acorns, designed to help you understand everything related to investing in general. From deciphering the jargon to recognizing trends in the industry, the blog articles will help you learn all about this crazy world of investments and how to make the wisest decision.

Down To The Details

Alright, so now that you know why using the Acorns investment app is so awesome, let’s talk about the details of how it all works (if you aren’t a details person, just click on over to sign up now and get started with $5 from me).

Step One: Sign Up

Click this link to sign up for your Acorns account, and start it off with $5 from me! (You can use this regular link if you aren’t comfortable with using my affiliate links, but you won’t receive the $5 bonus)

Step Two: Survey

Once you have an account, Acorns will take you through a short survey to determine the level of risk for investments you are likely most willing to take. The risk ranges from conservative to aggressive, depending on how close you are to retirement and how much you want to regularly invest. Personally, we are set to moderately conservative.

One of the features I like the most about the Acorns company is how it takes the guesswork out of the investment experience. Once you sign up and are assigned a risk level, Acorns takes care of the rest. You buy into a diversified investment portfolio, which contains a mix of different stock categories including large company stocks, small company stocks, real estate stocks, government bonds, and international large company stocks.

Step Three: Choose Your Investment Amount

There are several ways to add money into your Acorns investment account (see above). Thankfully for us millennials with very little spare time to spend on our investment portfolio, they made the avenues for investing very simple.

Step Four: Cost

So how much does it cost to use the Acorns investment app? $1 a month. That is, until you have your first $1,000,000 invested with Acorns. That’s a pretty decent deal!

I’m a huge fan of using Acorns. I don’t have a ton of time to study investment opportunities, and I certainly don’t have the time to dedicate to watching the stock market screen each day. What I do have time for, as most millennials do, is to use an investment app on my phone to make me money while I’m on the go. I have time for companies that make investing on a budget possible, and I have time for opportunities to build my investment portfolio while I make my normal every day purchases.

If you grew up thinking that investing as a millennial was confusing or just out of your budget, I would whole-heartedly encourage you to check out the Acorns investment app and see just how easy it is to invest, even on a budget.

And don’t forget your $5! 🙂

If you found this review helpful, be sure to pin it for future reference!

the Acorns app review: the easy way to start investing for millennials

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  1. Rebekah

    June 24, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    We’ve been using round ups with acorns for a few months now, and we really like it—investment on autopilot, accruing until we’re ready to do a bit more. Definitely beats doing nothing and occasionally thinking we should someday get around to learning about investing!

    1. Mrs. Crunchy

      June 25, 2018 at 3:18 pm

      It’s so great! Definitely check out the articles on their site, they are really educational.

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