There's an app for that: 4 ways to save money for summer vacations

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Tax season is stressful, especially for the procrastinators among us, but it's not always all bad. If you're lucky, there's that sweet, sweet refund awaiting on the other end of TurboTax.

But the only thing more daunting than doing your taxes in the first place is figuring out how to make your refund grow (or, if you're a shopaholic, how to hide it so you just won't spend it). Thankfully, Silicon Valley, which has an app for everything, has an app for all that too.


Short Term Savings: Digit

A penny saved is a penny earned, right? Digit thinks so. The platform promises you won't have to lift a finger to save some bucks, requiring only that you set up a digital bank account that will automatically deduct small amounts, based on your historical spend, from your checking account each month. Didn't spend a lot this month? Digit will automatically save more than normal. Overspend? Digit will take a break. While Digit isn't the best place to park a large amount of money for a long period time because you won't earn much interest (you'll get 1 percent annual cash back paid every three months), it's a great way to stash a few bucks for your next weekend up north. // digit.co

New to Investing: Acorns

You don't need to know anything about investing to use Acorns. All you need to know is your personal threshold for risk. The super-simple micro-investing app rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and invests the change. Or, you can adjust your portfolio more granularly if you choose. If you're not planning a trip right away but want to plan a stash for a honeymoon or major trip over the next couple of years, this might be the perfect place to bury your nuts. // acorns.com

Bank Replacement: Chime

Fed up with your bank and you want to take a vacation? Same. Chime wants to be your new bank, debit card and all, and it has a few nice tricks up its sleeve to woo you. Specifically, you can set up direct deposit and then ask Chime to automatically save 10 percent of your paycheck. // chimebank.com

Emergency Fund with a High APR: Marcus

Let's assume you already have the money you need for a vacation, but you're worried about unforeseen costs—last-minute flight changes, accidents abroad, and whatnot. Marcus by Goldman Sachs is the best savings account out there, with a 1.6 percent APR. Hopefully you'll never need to touch your stash, but if you really need to, an intuitive online interface makes it easy. The only downside? No app means no instant access. But maybe that's by design—it's supposed to be savings after all. // marcus.com

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