Qoins: A “Rounding Up” App That Pays off DEBT!!

by J. Money -

qoins

Guys!!

I found the third app to complete the Financial Trifecta!!!

We already have a killer one for helping us *save* our money (Digit), and then of course another great one that helps us *invest* our money (Acorns), but now – FINALLY – we have one that will help us do the one major problem most of us have: PAYING OFF OUR DEBTS!

It’s called Qoins, and similarly to Acorns, it rounds up all your transactions and then sends all the “spare change” directly to your debt in order to pay it down faster.

It’s not going to solve all your problems (after all, we’re only talking about adding up change here), but it’s additional ammunition to better complete your quest to debt freedom. I personally just signed up to test it myself, and I have a feeling it might be one of the next “hot” apps out there :)

(And by “apps” I really mean “any technology company that helps with finances” whether it’s officially an app or service or web-app, etc. “App” is just easier to say/understand so I’m going to use them interchangeably today even though technically Qoins is a “web app.”)

I don’t know why it’s taken so long for a financial company to address this colossal debt problem we’re drowning in (student loan and credit card debts amount to $2,340,000,000,000+ alone in the US!), but I’m glad Qoins stepped up to get the wave going. And hopefully it inspires others to hurry up and start addressing this as well.

(A little birdy told me Digit is working on some big things around this too, but since that’s all the birdy would tell me (what’s the point of a talking bird if it won’t spill everything??), Qoins remains the only one currently in the game)

How Does Qoins Work?

how qoins app works

In a nutshell, here’s how it all works once you sign up to them:

  1. You connect the account where you want to fund the rounding up to occur (i.e. the checking account that will be sending the little chunks of money towards your debts)
  2. You connect the account you want Qoins to monitor for these “rounding up” transactions (i.e. whichever account has the most action going on. For me, it’s my credit card since I put most of my payments on it)
  3. Qoins tracks it all, rounds up the spare change to the closest $1.00, and then shoots the total amounts over to your debt at the end of the month. For example, if you buy a sandwich for $5.35 it would send $0.65 to pay off your debt. (Though it’ll actually transfer over totals of $5.00 from your accounts once the change reaches that much, and then if you have $10.00 or more by the end of the month push it over to your debts.)

That’s it :) Again, very similar to how Acorns works, only applied to debt instead of investments. They also state they never store your banking info on their servers, and that the average customer so far is saving on average about $40.00/mo for their debts.

Are There Pros and Cons to Qoins? Yup.

Let’s start with the cons since I’m sure it’s what most of you are wondering by this point :)

  • They are REALLY new – like, less than 500 users new. This means there’s a LOT to figure out still and probably some bumps along the way in gaining our full trust. On the flip side, you get access to another way to pay down your debt faster and can be a part of helping them get better over time (if that’s something you enjoy).
  • If you don’t like giving account access to companies, you won’t like Qoins. They need to access them in order to do the rounding up and transferring of all the money.
  • It costs $1.99/mo to use. The fee is deducted from the “rounded up” change Qoins has saved for you, and then all the rest goes right to your debt. (They’ll only charge you the $1.99 if your total rounded up amounts for that month reach $10.00 btw. If it doesn’t, it’ll roll into the next month and charge you the $1.99 then once it goes over the $10.00 and they apply it towards your debts)
  • There’s also a fee if your checking has insufficient funds when they go to transfer out the rounded up change. (Because it costs them money to attempt to withdraw it if it bounces). It didn’t say how much they charge for this in their FAQs?
  • They don’t work with all banks yet (and before you ask – yes, it’s only US-based :)). They work with the biggest 13 banks right now – Wells Fargo, US Bank, USAA, TD Bank, SunTrust, Charles Schwab, PNC, Navy Federal, Citi, Chase, Capital One, Bank of America an BB&T – but haven’t added *all* of them  yet. More will be connected as time goes on.
  • They mainly focus on *credit card debt* and *student loans* right now. You can manually add in the information of whatever other debt you’d like for them to pay towards, and they will, but you need to find the right address and get your account #, etc, etc first so they know where to send the money. Not the worst thing in the world, but def. not automated or convenient at least at first. Once you submit the info it’ll at least be there for future ones. (I have to do this, btw, if I want to send my $$$ towards my car payments every month. So for now, I just stuck w/ my USAA credit card to test).
  • The debt payments are sent by check vs electronically. I imagine this will change in the future, but right now they cut out the payments to all the debt companies so there’s a lag time in when they actually get applied.
  • You can only track transactions for *one* account currently. So you can’t have them monitor both your credit card and checking, for example. At least yet. They say it’s one of the next features they’re rolling out shortly.
  • They don’t have an app-app yet. Ironic as I’m calling them an “app”, but hey – like I said they just started ;) So for now you have to sign up the old fashioned way of accessing a web browser before their “real” apps  hit (in 2017 I’m told, for both iOS and Android)

The Pros! (If you’re not already scared away now ;))

  • You pay off your debts faster! Even if you save just $10 extra towards them, it’ll go a long way in reducing interest fees as well as the main principal over time.
  • You don’t have to do a thing once it’s all set up. You spend the first 5 minutes or whatever to attach everything, and then you let it ride in the background rounding up and paying off debts while you sleep (or eat, play games, read the best blog on money EVER)
  • You can adjust the amounts it saves/pays off for you. Its default is to round up the transactions to the nearest $1.00 to stash away, but you can change that to other amounts, as well as tell Qoins to transfer out other chunks you’d like on top of the round-ups as well.
  • You get to be a first to test it!

But really, the one and only reason to use this app is to just pay off your debts that much quicker so you never have to deal with it again. Whether you choose to use an app or do it on your own as people have done for thousands of years before us. What’s important is just that the debt gets paid off! :)

You can learn more about Qoins here for all those interested: Qoins.io

I’ll continue to update this page with new features/changes over time, as well as how much they end up saving ME for debts as well – similar to how I already do for Digit and Acorns. Acorns currently invests roughly $25-$30 a month for me, so I’d imagine it mirrors that pretty well considering it’s tracking the same transactions :) Only time will tell though!

Let us know what you think in the comments below! Their team will be watching and responding to any questions/concerns y’all have…

Happy debt paying!

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As always, reviews of companies that I promote and excite me have affiliate links contained, meaning I’ll be compensated if anyone signs up to them. I delete approximately 97% of all products and services that come to my inbox, but every now and then I get a surprise gem in there and rush out to share it with you. Today is one of those days :)

 

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Jay loves talking about money, experimenting, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his two beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brian @ Debt Discipline October 24, 2016 at 6:15 am

I have never heard of Qoins. I do like paying off debt faster, :) but it does sound like they have some things to tweak a bit before it really working well. Good luck.

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2 whiskey October 24, 2016 at 6:47 am

While I will say Good Luck in your venture, those of us who watch our finances don’t need that kind of service. Our debts are paid off or we are not / do not go in debt. I do not need another company in my pocket for a service that I can do my self.

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3 J. Money October 24, 2016 at 7:08 am

That is ideal, yes – being able to take care of business ourselves :) For those who aren’t so good or just need an extra push though, apps can certainly help get you going…

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4 The Green Swan October 24, 2016 at 7:05 am

Just to clarify one thing, you can have Acorn, Digit, and Qoin each monitoring and rounding up the same transactions (on your credit card for example) and apply then each to their respective services?

Agree with whiskey above, I’m one who has always been fine doing this process manually rather than paying to automate it.

Thanks for sharing and keeping me up to date though.

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5 J. Money October 24, 2016 at 7:14 am

Yep! You can have all three – or any combo – humming along at the same time monitoring stuff.

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6 Band of Savers October 24, 2016 at 7:13 am

For the right person I think this sounds like a game changer. Several months ago one of my wife’s cousins was working on an app that did this exact same thing and was seeking some input from us (now I need to look into who the creators of Qoins are to see if this was him that actually pulled it off). Because I already have a great debt payment system set up for my mortgage that works for us I am not planning on investing $2/month to test it out but I’m glad the option is now out there – especially if it was Hunt that provided it.

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7 J. Money October 24, 2016 at 5:06 pm

DUDE! Would be so crazy if it’s connected! Let me know whatever you find out!

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8 Full Time Finance October 24, 2016 at 7:26 am

When I first heard of apps like Acorns and services like roboadvisors I scoffed. Why would you pay a service for something you could do so easily for free. Then I took a step back and realized not everyone has the discipline to control spending, especially initially. Kind of like when on a diet you don’t bring junk food into the house if you want to be successful, or when you read about Alcoholics Anonymous you learn they leverage a buddy system to keep people on the path to sobriety.. The key theme is once you go down the path sometimes you need outside help to dig out of debt and save. In that case while I’m not the demographic of a customer of such a service, I get the need. Here is hoping they help someone turn their life around.

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9 J. Money October 24, 2016 at 5:07 pm

EXACTLY.

These apps aren’t for everyone, but they can be game changing for those just needing *something* to get them started and off into the right direction. Or hell – even for people like me who enjoy putting in more *on top* of what I was already planning on doing anyways…

It’s a fun way to push yourself :)

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10 Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies October 24, 2016 at 8:11 am

If this went towards my mortgage…man, oh man. I think automating is good, but I really like making deliberate money choices, too. I’d be curious to see where this app goes in a few months!

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11 Amanda @centsiblyrich October 24, 2016 at 8:52 am

I’m with you, Penny! If it would put the $$ toward the mortgage, I would consider it! Even though I’m pretty good at automating savings and investing myself, I do use Digit and Acorns for that extra boost. Why not? The fees could be a deal killer for me, though.

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12 J. Money October 24, 2016 at 5:12 pm

I think you could hack it by just selecting “other” and putting in the mortgage mailing address and account number and it would send the payments there :) I’d just email them first if you wanted to try it out…

(I totally get the “manual” route too – as I very much prefer that in most cases as well.)

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13 Free to Pursue October 24, 2016 at 8:17 am

A $2 fee for an average debt payment of $40 per user?! That’s 5% per month…seems pretty steep (and for you even more at 6-8%).

Something else that throws me off is that you have to “spend money” to accumulate the debt repayment. I don’t think I’d want that association if I’m trying to improve my relationship with money if I’m a problem spender. It works from an investment perspective like Acorn (assuming one has no debt to pay off), but I don’t know about this one.

I’d spend that $2 every month on a coffee as I read another personal finance book for an extra dose of inspiration/information/motivation. But hey, that’s just me…and I’m Canadian anyway.

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14 J. Money October 24, 2016 at 5:15 pm

Haha…

It’s actually tied to all the transactions you are making already, and the same goes with Acorns too. So unless you’re spending $0.00 on life every month, that part their isn’t a concern :) (Or unless you TRY to spend more just to pay off more debt, but I doubt our awesome readers here would do such a thing, haha…)

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15 Apathy Ends October 24, 2016 at 8:27 am

I agree with Free to Pursue above on the fee feeling to high, the reason I don’t mind the monthly fee for acorns is if I were to invest that money I would have to pay trading fees and $1 a month to constantly dollar cost average sits well.

Interesting app though we keep an eye out and see what features they add over time.

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16 Paul October 24, 2016 at 8:37 am

I gotta be honest, I was kind of excited as I absolutely love Acorns, but slight fees are a little more palatable when you are investing rather than trying to pay off debt. I know Acorns charges too but that $1.99 fee kind of took the wind out of my sails.

I feel like they should find another way to make money…. That being said its a great idea, albeit a relatively expensive one.

#DucktalesforNESwasoneofthemostfungamesevermade

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17 J. Money October 24, 2016 at 5:16 pm

It would def. be better if it was free, yes :) Though if you have some pretty significant interest rates on your debt, maybe it evens out more?

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18 Paul October 25, 2016 at 9:22 am

Probably, I think it has its place, but I also think to compete they are going to need to be in the $1/month price range at a maximum. $2/month just seems like way too much

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19 COD October 24, 2016 at 9:28 am

Allowing unknown start ups access to your checking account is risky. Not that the start up is a criminal enterprise, but if they get hacked Russia or whoever might have access to your checking account.

Also, thinking about Office Space here, it would be easy to skim a few pennies from a couple million accounts each month and make a fortune with a service like this.

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20 J. Money October 24, 2016 at 5:17 pm

Hahaha… one of the best movies ever, if you ask me.

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21 Mrs. Picky Pincher October 24, 2016 at 9:31 am

This is actually really cool. For a while I assumed this is how Acorns functioned, but I was kind of disappointed when I learned that it was only for investing!

I like that this app focuses on debt, which is what many of us are focusing on eliminating before investing!

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22 ZJ Thorne October 24, 2016 at 9:32 am

I’m with the folks on finding the fees steep. Not worth it IMO.

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23 Jen @ Saving with Spunk October 24, 2016 at 10:51 am

They liked a few of my pics on Instagram so I checked them out and I flipped when I found out what they were doing. It’s about time something like this came on the market. I’m stoked to see what they do in the future! I’d probably only use Qoins on recurring debt like credit cards, to help keep the balance at 30%. Not worth it if you’re trying to eliminate student loans but can possibly help your credit score if you use it right.

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24 J. Money October 24, 2016 at 5:18 pm

Let me know if you end up trying them out and how it goes :) It’s so new I don’t know anyone using them yet!

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25 Mike B. October 24, 2016 at 11:10 am

I think this could be the extra push i need to reach a balance zero. If I end up paying $21.89 to Qoins in fees ($1.99 x 11 months of CC payments left) to shave off a month or two of CC payments, that might work for me. In the name of science this is worth trying.

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26 J. Money October 24, 2016 at 5:19 pm

For real…

Even if it just gets you to PAY OFF MORE by yourself it’s well worth the $1.99!!

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27 Fiscally Free October 24, 2016 at 11:15 am

These rounding up services seem pretty gimmicky to me. If you want to invest more or pay off your debt, don’t sign up with a bunch of random startups, just make a plan and stick to it.

If you like the sound of this Qoins service, skip it and deliberately send an extra $40 toward your debt every month. Make it $42 to in include what their fee would be and pay off your debt even faster.

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28 J. Money October 24, 2016 at 5:21 pm

You do realize that if people actually followed through with this there would be no need for any of our finance blogs, right? :) You know very well it takes all kinds of methods/ideas/articles to get people to take action… This is just one more way to hopefully shock people into paying it all down faster.

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29 Mike B. October 24, 2016 at 11:17 am

Btw, i think it’s just a $1 fee/month. You might want to double check that, J$!

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30 J. Money October 24, 2016 at 5:23 pm

It was while they were testing it out – or maybe it is still – but they told me it’s going to $1.99 so I figured I’d just stick with that and if people get a nice surprise, even better :)

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31 TJ October 24, 2016 at 11:31 am

I don’t understand these rounding up apps. If you have excess cash on hand in you account, why wouldn’t you just lump it towards your debt and bypass the app completely?

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32 J. Money October 24, 2016 at 5:26 pm

– people are lazy
– people don’t always*know* how much they have extra (or think they don’t any when they really do!)
– people like doing things in different ways (like apps/tricks/hacks/etc)
– people look for new and different ways to see if they stick.

we can all agree that doing any of this $$$ stuff ourselves is best, but unfortunately that doesn’t happen with the majority so apps and services like these guys help to bridge the gap more.

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33 EL October 24, 2016 at 11:35 am

Seems like a good service, IF all 3 round up the same amounts, you will def get ahead in saving, investing, and paying off debt with time. The little amounts add up, just be careful to monitor, the monthly withdrawals if you do all 3 services.

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34 Colin @ rebelwithaplan October 24, 2016 at 11:57 am

Very cool idea and something I can’t believe didn’t come out sooner. Personally I wouldn’t use it since I already have a small separate savings account that rounds up my transactions and then I use the small additional money in that account to put towards my debt.

It’s good the financial trifecta is complete!

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35 Financial Panther October 24, 2016 at 12:45 pm

I always like you sharing these type of apps, but I’m not quite sure that $2 fee makes it worthwhile. Rounding up spare change is great, but you’re probably not saving more than $50 or so per month from spare change. So a 4% fee for the pleasure of having an app save for you doesn’t seem like a great deal. I’d rather use Digit and just put the money that’s been saved for me towards my debt. It’s free to do it that way.

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36 Financial Panther October 24, 2016 at 12:54 pm

Although. to add on my post. If folks are having trouble finding that extra money to pay down debt, paying a small amount to get that extra motivation might be worthwhile. It’s probably not for me since I’m pretty good at motivating myself to pay off debt, but I can see a number of people who are positive that have no extra money to pay towards debt that could probably use this app and find that they actually do have a bit of extra money they didn’t know about!

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37 J. Money October 24, 2016 at 5:28 pm

Yup – exactly! The point is to *get you to pay off more debt*, so if this app – or anything else does that for you really, then it’s a win-win all around! Paying $2.00 to pay off $50 or $0 to pay off $0 is a pretty big difference :) Same goes with the investing apps and others out there as well.

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38 AR October 24, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Is there an app similar to this that does the roundup where you can put it in a savings acccount instead?

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39 J. Money October 24, 2016 at 5:30 pm

Digit puts savings away for you, but not by rounding up transactions, and some banks will offer the service if you have checking with them, but so far I haven’t come across an app that “rounds up” and drops it into savings yet.

Maybe try Tip Yourself? It’s an app that helps you save more, but in different ways (and the founder/company is doing some pretty cool things with it).

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40 Lauren Wittry October 24, 2016 at 2:48 pm

Love Qoins! I signed up a couple of weeks ago, and noticed the address they showed on file for my credit card company didn’t match the payment address on my statement. I contacted support about it, and they stated they actually make the payments electronically. Here was their response (it was regarding my Citi Costco card):

Hey Lauren,

Correct, we currently send payments to Citi electronically. If there’s any doubt about the address, (For instance, if Costco processes your payments, and not Citi.) we can definitely send a check to the address you have if you’d like.

To change that, just log into your dashboard, edit your lender, select “credit cards”, and then select “Other”. From there, you can enter the address that you have.

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41 J. Money October 24, 2016 at 5:33 pm

Nice!!!

You’re the first person so far that I know uses Qoins now! And even better that they did it electronically for you!

How much have you saved so far since you signed up?

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42 Lauren Wittry October 24, 2016 at 6:46 pm

Haha, $11.43 :) But I’ve only synced my account about a week ago. But hey, every penny counts!

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43 J. Money October 26, 2016 at 7:05 am

For sure! No shame in that! (If it was too high I’d be questioning how much you spend ;))

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44 Beth October 24, 2016 at 4:11 pm

I think I could be interested in this. Even though I pay my bills like clock work it would be nice to have extra applied without having to put much thought into it.

Unfortunately I can’t use it because I don’t bank at any of the banks it is utilizing right now and the same goes for Digit. I can and do use Acorns thought. I like it a lot!

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45 J. Money October 24, 2016 at 5:33 pm

They need to catch up! :)

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46 Jody October 24, 2016 at 8:45 pm

OK, just gotta ask….when you set up a budget, how in the heck to you plan for things like Acorn, Digit, and this one when you have no clue how much they’re going to take out each month?

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47 Karlene October 25, 2016 at 3:18 pm

I was wondering the same thing too Jody. :) It would be nice if someone could answer this question.

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48 J. Money October 26, 2016 at 7:10 am

You’d get a good average of how much it takes after a couple of months :) So after that you can budget in the top of that average and be fine most times. Maybe with the exception of Christmas or months where you tend to to a ton of transactions, but fortunately since we’re only talking about spare change here it’s hard to go *wild* :)

Qoins says they save their customers an average of $40/mo, and in the past year and a half of me using Acorns which tracks the same transactions, I average about $30/mo in savings.

So to answer your question, I’d budget in something around $50/mo to be super conservative for the first month or two, and then when you see what *actually* happens in reality (just like you would in any other budgeting category), adjust from there.

Always takes a little time to get it right :)

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49 Finance Solver October 24, 2016 at 9:48 pm

More so than paying off debt, I get pretty paranoid that my bill doesn’t come out to be exact. I get very happy when the bill comes out to an even number. In restaurants, I will pay someone $3.83 as a tip to make the bill be even (apologies to the waiters if this is inconvenient!).

This sounds like a great startup app. I’m with you in the boat, why someone hasn’t already thought of this already. Living the debt free life is a very meaningful one!

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50 J. Money October 26, 2016 at 7:12 am

Hah! Fortunately Qoins actually only pulls out the money $5.00 at a time from your account (it doesn’t pull out 28 cents and then 72 cents, etc each time) so for you even-steven people you’d be a-okay :)

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51 zolar October 25, 2016 at 10:01 am

Hm.. I just using MS Excell for my personal finance.
The important thing is how consistency using the system .
The hardest one is to be discipline on your spending..

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52 Syed October 25, 2016 at 4:39 pm

Like the idea of a trifecta. I guess users can kind of choose which app to focus on depending on their current goals. Pretty natural idea hope they get rid of that fee though!

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53 Paul Moyer @SavingFreak October 25, 2016 at 9:01 pm

This is a great idea! I am going to recommend this to anyone in our financial coaching meetings that is struggling to get ahead in their debt freedom march. The fee is on the annoying side, but I like that they limit that to anyone using their card less than $10. This might encourage people to use cash more often and their debit card less.

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54 J. Money October 31, 2016 at 10:16 am

Let me know what your clients end up thinking/paying off with it!

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55 Jay R October 30, 2016 at 12:34 am

$2 monthly fee?. Why not just skip the gimmicky Qoins ’round up’ and instead just set up an automated amount, say $40 to auto debit from your checking account instead of giving it to Qoin to auto debit monthly.

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56 J. Money October 31, 2016 at 10:17 am

Yes, that would be optimal but we all know people don’t do it :) So I’m all for anything that helps wake them up and gets them to at least *start* – even if it comes with a fee.

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57 Marty October 30, 2016 at 9:38 am

Interesting that they only accept 13 banks currently. Do you know why that is? Is there a specific API they are using now and or look to use in the future? Thanks!

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58 J. Money October 31, 2016 at 10:19 am

Probably because they are the biggest and maybe easiest to connect to? I don’t know what API they use but it’s probably similar to the ones the other apps/services uses too. I think it gets harder trying to add one-off banks with different systems, but def. no expert here :)

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