How people are using apps to save money

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That’s the name of the game for some people looking for easy incentives to stash away a little extra cash without thinking twice about it.

Before Mike Pearson, 37, and his wife planned a trip to the Bahamas last year, they downloaded a savings game app that let them “set it and forget it.”

“We wanted to set a savings goal to help pay for the trip, and we thought it would be a good way to ‘force’ ourselves to save up,” Pearson, a New York City based music industry lawyer, told MarketWatch.

He downloaded a personal finance app called Qapital, which links to a user’s checking account and lets them set savings goals like a rainy day fund, spa weekend, concert or student loan payment.

The app has customizable rules. Pearson chose one that rounded up his transactions to the next dollar and put the difference in his savings account. When he made a purchase for $9.60, the app would deposit 40 cents into his savings account. He was able to create a joint goal, so his wife could also contribute to their savings plan.

Pearson estimates he and his wife saved $3 to $4 a day for a year. “It doesn’t sound like much, but that’s about $100 per month, or $1,200 per year,” Pearson said.

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