A few weeks ago I told you about one of my favorite (free) financial tools, Acorns. While Acorns isn’t where most of their investments make their home, I love the small passive investment boosts that I get from making everyday purchases. It’s great to know that I invest a few pennies in future me every time I get gas, groceries, or make other purchases. If you want to learn more about Acorns, check out my post Easy Investing With Acorns and if you decide to sign up, be sure to use my referral link to get an extra $5 in your starting balance. It gives me a few extra dollars too, which I appreciate since I don’t get paid for any the work I do here at Frugal PhD.
Today I want to tell you about a way you can earn more than just a few pennies at a time with Acorns. Earlier in the spring, Acorns rolled out a new feature called Found Money. With it, select companies that Acorns has partnered with will invest money into your account whenever you purchase something from them using a card that’s linked to your Acorns account.
Let’s see an example of how it works. When Acorns first announced this feature, it was almost Mother’s Day. And what do lots of people do around Mother’s Day? They send their lovely mamas flowers. I actually would much rather take mine out to a nice dinner or brunch and spend time with her, but I’m currently living 2,500 miles away in LA, so it wasn’t an option for us this year. Anyway, back to the example. When Acorns launched Found Money, they partnered with 1-800-Flowers and ran a promotion. If you made a purchase of $20 or more with 1-800-Flowers using a credit or debit card linked to Acorns, 1-800-Flowers would invest $15 in YOUR Acorns account.
What a neat deal! I spent about $25 to make my mom smile (which is a great reward in itself) and then I got $15 to hold in my investment account for many years where it will eventually grow into a much bigger sum. Look at me! Not only was I able to make my mom smile, but I made her proud too. Neat!
Found Money is still a relatively new feature, so they don’t have a whole lot of partner companies yet. In addition to 1-800-Flowers they’re currently partnered with JackThreads, HotelTonight, Dollar Shave Club, and Jet.com. I’m hopeful that as Acorns grows, they’ll continue to partner with more companies.
Lately, Mr. Frugal PhD and I have been using Jet.com as a sometimes alternative to Amazon. Jet is an online shopping site with an impressively sizeable selection. They offer free shipping on orders of $35 or more. I know what you’re wondering—how do prices compare to Amazon? It depends. Some of the things we tend to buy on Amazon are still cheaper there, but we’ve found quite a few staples that are cheaper on Jet. So when we shop, we check both. And as an added bonus, Jet.com is partnered with Acorns, so when we buy things on Jet, they invest 5% of our purchase amount into our Acorns accounts (up to $25 total).
Like I said, Found Money is a new feature, so check with Acorns to see current partners and promotions. The companies they partner with are likely to change and—I hope—grow. I wouldn’t recommend buying things you wouldn’t typically buy just because it would earn you Found Money on Acorns. But for things that fit into your normal spending routines, why wouldn’t you want companies to invest their money in you?