A few cents for each purchase and you save without even realizing it. This is the philosophy proposed by the micro-saving apps, loved by millennials and generation Z (those with less purchasing power and consequently with little possibility of applying more traditional saving methods) and very widespread in the USA with growth prospects also from we. They should not be confused with micro-investment apps, such as Gimme Five or with trading platforms with low access costs: here there is no initial investment, not even minimal, and sometimes not even a monthly fee. The operation is simple and intuitive: we connect our payment methods to the app (a bit like we all did to receive the status cash back) and, depending on the app and our preferences, something is set aside for each purchase. For example, you can choose to round the figure for each single purchase, large and small, to the next integer. If I spend € 1.80 at the breakfast bar and pay with an ATM or card, the app will withdraw precisely 2 euros from my account, setting aside the 20 cents of change in the virtual piggy bank: an old grandmother’s trick to set aside a nest egg without not even notice it. Or a percentage of each purchase made with a single and specific payment method can be allocated to the piggy bank: on average from 5 to 20%. But what to do with the accumulated nest egg? You can keep it there, like a real piggy bank, and choose at any time to be credited back to the account what has been set aside. Or you can make investments. The progenitor and the most famous of these apps is Acorns, which, however, has not yet left the US where it has over 9 million users. The name is evocative: acorns are the acorns that the squirrel sets aside for the winter. Acorns works by rounding up expenses to the next dollar, and allocating that little hoard of change to one of 5 financial portfolios created with the help of Nobel laureate Harry Markowitz, who was the startup’s financial advisor. They are portfolios with various levels of risk, spread over 7 thousand corporate and government securities. Now, in addition to the possibility of saving and investing, the app has also introduced the Acorns Later section, for investing in pension funds. Other similar apps in the US have sprung to death over the last few years, with alternating successes: it is difficult to replicate the success of Acorns. If we like the idea, in Italy the one that comes closest to the “spare change” microsavings concept of Acorns is Oval Money, a free app that provides savings tips by analyzing our spending habits, and allows you to allocate a percentage of certain expenses (for example, the purchase of clothing or groceries) or new income to the virtual piggy bank. Having reached our savings goal, we can decide to transfer them to the account to use them freely. Or, as with Acorns, we can invest in the financial products available on its marketplace, with different purposes and degrees of risk. Oval also provides a credit card for payments and withdrawals from your Oval account.