Have you heard of those bank or credit card services that take your change and deposit it into a savings account for you? Could using … Read More

Can You Save Up for an Option Fee with Change?

February 23, 2019 by Marty Orefice | Financing

Can you save for an option fee or down payment using a spare-change app?
Have you heard of those bank or credit card services that take your change and deposit it into a savings account for you? Could using them be a good way to save up for an option fee?

Here’s how they work:

You make purchases on your debit or credit card to buy groceries, lunch or anything else you might purchase on a day-to-day purchase, these apps round the purchase price up to a dollar and save the change for you.

These apps are similar to when you pay for something in cash and lose the change, except the change goes into a savings account.

That can mean 27 cents when you do a grocery run that comes out to $67.73 or 81 cents when your coffee order comes out to $2.19.

At the end of a set period of time, you can tap into that savings account to reach a goal, like a dream vacation or a new car. But who’s to say that you can’t save up that money for an option fee? Is it realistic?

Can You Save Up for an Option Fee with Change?

Every month, there’s a guaranteed list of things you will need to pay for:

  • Groceries
  • Your mortgage/rent
  • Utilities
  • Transportation

These are the basics that most everyone has to spend. I’ll assume that you do groceries twice a month and that you make no other charges throughout the month. If we consider the maximum possible savings of 99 cents per charge, you’re looking at a minimum of $59.40 each year – that’s hardly an option fee.

For people who spend the minimum amount on the extras, this strategy will not get you far. In three years of using this strategy, you still won’t have 1 percent of the cost of a $100,000 home.

That’s not to say you can’t use it to help make at least some impact. Twenty-nine percent of Americans have less than $1000 in their savings accounts, according to Magnify Money. If you fall into that group, $59.40 constitutes a minimum six percent boost in your savings. But you’ll have to do more to make it all the way.

For people who spend a little more on the extras, like going out for lunch or coffee, buying clothing or going to the movies, this can be a portion of your strategy.

However, these apps claim that the minimal strategy is not the norm for their users. According to Money Pantry, the average BoostUp user saves $30-50 a month, which adds up to an average $360 to $600 per year. Still, that’s less than one percent of a $100,000 home, but, if true, by using this strategy you will have enough money for a down payment on an FHA loan on a $100,000 in five years by using this strategy alone.

Recommendation

If you decide to use one of these apps, be careful with fees, some apps will charge you to use them. The profits you’ll make from using these apps is slim; therefore, you don’t want to widdle it down further with extra fees.

Nonetheless, if you know that you will be saving a lot of money with these apps, look further into apps that invest your savings into a diversified portfolio. These are often the ones that will charge you for use, but they have the potential to increase your savings even further. And, it’s a pretty neat concept to gain so much more from money that in a cash world would sit in the cupholder of your car for years to come.

Should you decide to use an app that invests your money, look for apps that insure your money.

It can only help you to use a change savings service if that service deposits your money in a savings account that you control. With apps like these, your money isn’t at risk. This is definitely the safest strategy and the easiest to recommend. While other apps might make you more money with investment, there are no guarantees on them. Therefore, use them at your own risk.

Paired with other savings methods, you can use this strategy to save up for an option fee or a strong down payment for your lease-option home.

Silver and Gold Coins by Pixabay is licensed under the CC0 license.

Marty Orefice

About The Author

Marty Orefice

Martin Orefice is a real estate investor who has been in the industry for over a decade. He has experience with rent to own deals from all sides—as a buyer, seller and investor. He created RentToOwnLabs.com to provide the #1 resource where people can find information about all things rent to own.

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