We spend a lot of time talking about budgeting. I’d wager that most doctors would say it’s an unhealthy amount of time. But we strongly believe that really adhering to the principles of budgeting make for smarter spending and savvier saving.
But you see, there’s a problem: budgeting isn’t always easy. In fact, we get lots of emails from readers who lament that very problem. If you’re nodding your head and raising your hand at your desk, put it down before people see you — that’s weird. But we think you’re going to want to keep reading and hear what we have to say about Qapital, an app that we’re going to review today.
In a nutshell, Qapital introduces a fun, automated way of saving money for specific goals. The totally free iPhone app is designed to help anyone reach savings targets by setting goals and applying rules to automate the saving. Qapital integrates with IFTTT (If This Then That), allowing you to create savings “recipes” that will automatically put those savings aside when it’s triggered. It’s sorta like having a mini-savings-laboratory on your phone where you can cook up fun and motivational savings rules to see how quickly you can reach your goals. Rules can be as simple as rounding up to the nearest dollar on everyday expenses or as interesting as rewarding yourself if you do certain things, like running a mile in the Nike+ app.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you’ve been dying to attend the National Lentil Festival (because you’re weird and we don’t judge you) so you need to save up some dough. So you go into Qapital and create a goal to save $300. Then you start creating rules. You know you have a problem spending money at Target so you create a “Spend Less Rule” which means if you come in under your Target spending cap, that remaining balance will go directly into your Lentil Festival savings. You also want to make sure you’re in good shape for stuffing your face full of legumes, so you set an IFTTT rule to reward your savings account with $5 every day you walk more than your set goal that’s tracked in your pedometer app. And after a few successful months of avoiding Target and power-walking all over town, you’ve got yourself a ticket to Lentil Fest!
The magic of the app is in the rules. We love the idea of setting a bunch of triggers that automatically help us save a little more. We’re big fans of the Round Up and IFTT recipe rules and we’ll share some of our favorites in a future post. Just a heads up: in order to apply rules, you obviously need to link up a bank account that you use for spending so that it can move money into your savings goals. You can read up on how they keep your account and information secure here.
While it’s definitely one of the best personal finance apps we’ve given a test drive this year, it sounds like upcoming updates will address a few common feature requests. This definitely isn’t a one-size-fits-all app like Mint, and we like it that way. A lot of folks are eager to see the Android version released soon, and we’re also excited to see the Qapital Debit Card released to make it easier to cash out when a savings goal is reached. We’ve also caught wind of some other enhancements that should help make the app more social with friends and loved ones.
So if your savings needs a little extra boost or if you’re looking for a fun, motivational alternative to save more, you should give Qapital a shot. And if you have any interest in free money, if you sign up here, you’ll get $10 deposited in your account for free. Sweet.
Just a heads up, this post is part of a sponsored campaign we’re doing with the folks at Qapital. This should go without saying, but all opinions are our own and came straight from our own noggins.