Acorns – How to Make Money Investing Spare Change

If investing scares you because you think you don’t have enough money, think again.

Acorns, a robo-advisor, invests your spare change. Once you accumulate at least $5, it invests your funds in low-cost ETFs (diversified stock investments).

It sounds crazy, but Acorns started millennials on the investment track and it’s helped millions get on their path to financial wellness one penny at a time.

Acorns operates under the motto ‘from acorns might oaks do grow,’ meaning even small investments add up and they want to show you how!

What is Acorns?

Acorns is a robo-advisor focusing on micro-investing. It operates with the Modern Portfolio Theory, investing your funds in one of its five portfolios ranging from conservative to aggressive. Acorns doesn’t have an account minimum and they manage your portfolio for you.

Acorns rebalances your portfolio according to your risk tolerance and timeline. As you get closer to your goal’s timing, Acorns pulls your portfolio’s aggressiveness back to ensure you still meet your financial goal. It’s early in the investment that Acorns invests aggressively, helping your account grow.

How Acorns Works

It takes seconds to open an account with Acorns. You can sign up online or in the mobile app. After entering your personal information, you’ll answer a few questions related to your risk tolerance and financial goals. Acorns uses this information to choose your portfolio.

Once you link your credit card (your most used card) and your bank account, you’re ready to start. Acorns chooses the portfolio for you based on your risk tolerance and timeline – the more time you have and the higher your risk tolerance, the more aggressive Acorns will invest your money.

Every time you spend money using your linked credit or debit card, Acorns rounds up the purchase to the nearest dollar. Let’s say you spend $7.50. Acorns would round up to $8.00 and invest the $0.50. It doesn’t sound like much, but every bit helps.

Once you accumulate $5, Acorns invests it according to your plan. It’s a great way to GET STARTED INVESTING.


  • Acorns Later

Save for retirement $5 at a time with Acorns Later. Set up recurring contributions – daily, weekly, or monthly and let Acorns do the rest. You can also make one-time contributions from your dashboard.

  • Acorns Spend

Acorns Spend is an investment and checking account in one. You get a taxable investment account, retirement account, and digital checking account with an Acorns debit card. Every time you spend with your Acorns debit card, Acorns rounds up your purchase and invests the spare change. Acorns Spend is FDIC-insured up to $250,000. Acorns charges no account fees, and has a 55,000+ ATM network.

  • Acorns Early

Save and invest for your children with Acorns Early. Set up recurring deposits in $5 increments and have accounts for multiple children at no extra cost. There aren’t tax benefits to the funds, but you and your kids can work on their savings goals together.

  • Acorns Earn

Acorns Earn increases your investment by investing more money based on your activities, including:

  • Shopping at Acorns partners
  • Downloading the Chrome extensions for bonus investments
  • Getting a new job at an Acorns partner in the app
  • Inviting friends and earning a referral bonus


Acorns has three options:

  • Acorns Lite – $1/month
  • Acorns Personal – $3/month
  • Acorns Family – $5/month

Acorns Lite

This is the basic taxable investment account. You can invest your spare change and earn bonus investments from Acorns partners. Acorns invests your funds in one of its five portfolios and automatically rebalances it based on its performance compared to your goals.

You can withdraw from your Acorns Lite account at any time – there aren’t any tax penalties (or advantages).

Acorns Personal

This tier has all three Acorns programs – taxable investment account, retirement account (IRA), and a spend account.

This program gives you everything you need to meet your financial goals. Save for retirement with regular contributions, round up your purchases for your taxable account, and use your Acorns Spend account to have everything in one place.

*Keep your funds in Acorns Later until you’re at least 59 ½ years old to avoid tax penalties.

Acorns Family

This tier includes everything in Acorns Personal plus a savings account for each child. It includes free family financial advice and makes it easy to set up recurring deposits into your children’s accounts. The children’s accounts don’t have tax benefits, but saving at any age is helpful.

Pros and Cons


  • No account minimum to sign up
  • User-friendly and great for beginners
  • Acorns chooses your ETFs, all you have to do is answer risk-based questions
  • You can set up automatic deposits
  • Acorns has some socially responsible ETF options


  • It’s easy to get comfortable investing only spare change, which won’t be enough for retirement
  • You don’t have access to human advisors
  • Acorns doesn’t offer tax loss harvesting to minimize your tax liabilities
  • The pricing is high when you have only a little money invested

Who’s it Best For?

Acorns is great for anyone looking to get started with investing. Millennials and beginners of any age are great candidates.

All you need is $5 to start. You don’t need any investing knowledge or even to make any important decisions. Acorns handles it for you, making it easy to start reaching your financial goals, by letting your money grow.

Try Acorns Today

Are you ready to see what the hype is all about? Sign up for Acorns Personal and receive $5 just for joining! You’ll already be ready to invest just by receiving your free gift. You’ll see how easy it is to invest and will wonder why you didn’t try earlier! Have some fun, let your money grow, and make it easy to invest by setting up round-ups and automatic contributions and take the thinking out of investing today.

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