As a mom-of-two who just made yet another summer camp payment, I’m not exactly surprised it was a husband and wife team with four little ones of their own who finally cracked the code on money management with an easy and intuitive app that’s perfect for busy parents.
Yes, Qapital is seemingly the answer to an age-old parenting problem: how to budget and save when it feels like you’re constantly opening up a daycare bill or a surprise Invisalign invoice just as your kid outgrows the sneakers you bought three weeks ago. Using behavioral science and automation, the Qapital budgeting app gives families an organized, unintimidating, and customizable way to set and reach financial goals while still accounting for expected and unexpected childcare costs–plus your own personal spending habits.
From clever ways to almost trick yourself into growing your savings to a joint money management tool that lets you and your partner share financial goals, Qapital offers a stress-free, budget-building, money-saving app busy parents like me–and probably you–have been looking for.
Now that I’ve given Qapital a try, here are a few of my favorite features–plus access to a free trial:
Set sneaky money-saving “rules” to reach your goals with little effort
To me, this is by far the best thing about Qapital. Once you set a goal–like a downpayment on a new home, for example–you can implement these clever wealth-building hacks that essentially automate your saving efforts. Instead of simply selecting a dollar amount to put towards your goal each month (which you can also do on Qapital), you can chip away bit by bit with small barely-noticeable changes to your spending. Here are some popular rules:
- Round Up Rule: This is the most popular rule on Qapital. Choose to round up your change to the nearest $2 or $3, which means each time you spend, you save.
- Apple Health Rule: Need a little motivation to get those steps in? With this rule, Qapital will save or invest everytime you hit your workout goal.
- The Guilty Pleasure Rule: This is perfect for someone like me, who’s not giving up a good cup of coffee. Set your “guilty pleasure” on Qapital, and money will be moved into your savings each time you indulge.
- IFTTT (If this then that) Rule: This feature is totally unique to Qapital. Set a rule that saves or invests your money each time you complete a specific action on another app. We’re talking every time you post a cute photo of your kids on Instagram or place another Amazon order. Just think how quickly those dollars will add up…
Stay on the same page as your partner by syncing up your accounts and goals
If you’re like me and my husband, it’s possible that you still have some money in separate bank accounts–which can make it difficult to collectively manage your family’s spending and saving. But, Qapital has a really helpful feature called Dream Team™ that lets you aggregate the accounts of your choice into a single dashboard. You can then set both personal and shared financial goals across saving, spending, and investing. My husband and I are using the feature to build a more comprehensive budget and to help us save up for a big home-improvement project, but it’s also a great way to take on an emergency fund or retirement as a team.
In-app communication makes it easy to track your goals and set collective “rules” to customize and automate your saving, spending, and investing. You can also make the most of free instant transfers as needed.
Build a budget that actually accounts for the way you spend
Budgets that limit your ability to spend on things that are meaningful to you and your family aren’t effective or sustainable–and they don’t do much for your happiness either! I love that Qapital has come up with the idea of a “Spending Sweet Spot,” which helps you create a weekly budget that factors in your actual spending habits and your household income while making sure you feel good about where your money’s going.
While many other apps focus on monthly budgets, Qapital’s in-depth research shows that having a weekly goal helps you spread out your spending to ensure that it lasts. And the ability to adjust your goal at any time helps you to learn and further understand your habits without feeling like you “messed up” anytime you “overspend.” Qapital also gives you a chance to rate how your weekly spending made you feel, and guides you in changing your goal accordingly.
A feature called PayDay Divvy helps take even more guesswork out of your budgeting, and has been a game-changer for me. Tell the app once how you want to divvy up your paycheck–rent, preschool, groceries, etc.–and every time that check hits, Qapital immediately calculates the right amounts and makes all necessary transfers to keep you on track.
Invest on autopilot with as much or as little risk as you’d like
If you’re totally intimidated by buying, selling, diversifying, and reinvesting–which I know I am–Qapital’s pre-built portfolios are designed to demystify the process. Answer a few questions about your timeline, goal, and desired level of risk, and get matched with a portfolio that you never need to touch. Using Nobel prize award winning theory, Qapital will monitor your account, reinvest dividends, and rebalance your portfolio based on changing market conditions. Create “rules” to determine what money gets invested and let Qapital do the rest.
Try Qapital for free
Qapital plans start at just $3 a month, but you can try the app risk-free for 30 days at no charge. Members save an average of $1,500-$5,000 a year, depending on the package.
All photos courtesy of Qapital