Saving your money is smart, but it’s not fun. It’s not sexy.
And generally, it’s not easy.
Between taxes and bills, so much of your income is already taken away. The last thing you feel like doing is cutting another chunk out and hiding it away in some account that you’re not supposed to touch.
It’s about as exciting as throwing your money into a hole and setting it on fire.
But what if someone did the saving for you? What if they did it so subtly, you didn’t even notice the money was gone?
This is probably the easiest it can be to put away savings.
A little over a month ago, I was googling for an app like Acorn* that would automatically put money in a savings account rather than some random investment.
(*Acorn, in case you didn’t know, is an app that rounds card purchases to the nearest dollar and invests that extra change in different stocks.)
That’s when I found Digit.
Digit is an app available for Android and iOS that automatically creates a savings account for you. All you do is sign up with a name, email, and phone number, connect it to your bank account, and Digit goes to work.
Using algorithms (and possible some form of the dark arts), Digit monitors your general cashflow and spending habits, taking out small amounts every day or two and placing it in an FDIC insured account. The idea is that the amounts are insignificant enough that you don’t feel like you’re losing any money.
But give it some time, and those unnoticed amounts add up to notable savings.
Additionally, Digit has a little text bot that sends daily greetings to your phone along with your current account balance. This gives you a constant awareness of your finances, which might not always feel like a positive thing but is probably for the best.
By responding via text, you can send a variety of commands which include the ability to control how aggressively Digit saves money.
The upsides of Digit.
- Absolutely free
- You can withdraw money at any time
- Zero effort on your behalf
- Save money without feeling like you’re losing money.
- Won’t overdraft your account (and if it somehow does, they’ll cover the fee)
The downsides of Digit.
- Not a proper savings account (no interest)
- Likely won’t save as much money as you should have set aside
- Doesn’t work with cash income unless you put it in the bank
Digit actually makes its money off the interest of users’ accounts, which is why you don’t get interest. That said, there are “Savings Bonuses” you can earn.
In the company’s own words:
Every 3 months you will receive a Savings Bonus from Digit. The Savings Bonus is based on your average balance over the previous 3 month savings period.
For every $100 you keep in Digit for 3 months you will earn a 5 cent Savings Bonus.
Is Digit right for me?
Some will probably wonder how this is different than setting an automatic savings withdrawal on your bank account. It’s largely a mental and emotional thing. You don’t know exactly how much Digit is going to take. And you won’t notice it when it’s gone.
If you want to do an automatic withdrawal on your own, I’d suggest doing that and still using Digit.
In a little over a month, my Digit account has managed to set aside $135.18. I increased the aggressiveness of the saving one time, and growth rate from that was solid without affecting my current cash-flow.
I know this is going to sound like a load of crap, but it’s kind of exciting to see how much it’s able to set aside without you noticing.
While Digit is better than nothing, I wouldn’t use it as a substitute for a proper savings account.
Instead. It’s best utilized for something like:
- A special purchase
- Fun money
- An emergency-emergency fund
- Charitable donations
Personally, I’m on a bit of a “kill all my student loans” kick right now. I plan to leave Digit going as is for the rest of the year, at which point, I’ll take all of the money that’s in there and throw it at one my loans.
Sure, my total loan amount will probably just laugh at this payment. And then I’ll cry a little bit.
But when the tears run dry, I’ll know that I’m a little closer to being debt free.
For that, I think Digit is pretty awesome. Click here to sign up for FREE!
Have you tried Digit? What about Acorn? Any money saving apps you’d like to share? Comment below!