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The App That’s Saved Me
$8,266.49 So Far :)
Two years ago, a friend of mine texted me about a new app that was going to hit the scene called “Digit” and said I needed to check it out. He told me it was going to be a game changer, and asked if I wanted to connect with the founder as they were friends.
I said yes, and two months later I had become not only one of their biggest fans (which is rare as I don’t usually get obsessed with apps), I also joined their board of advisers because I believed in them that much. I’d spend the next three months telling every blogger and friend I knew about it, and two years later we’ve all saved a combined $5,000,000. Not a typo.
Here’s a screenshot of my own money saved (sadly not near millions ;)):
Why am I telling you all this? Well for one, to let you know I’m very much biased here towards this week’s app, haha… And two, to show you just how helpful Digit can be :)
Now it’s not for everyone, as we’ll get to in a bit, but here’s an overall snapshot of all the pros and cons and exactly what Digit is. I hope it helps!
What is Digit?
Digit is an app/service/tool that automatically saves money for you without lifting a finger. You connect your main checking account with them, and every day their robots will scan your account to analyze your spending patterns and then transfer over small amounts of money it knows you won’t miss (usually $5.00-$50.00). If you have money to be saved, it saves it for you, and if you don’t, it doesn’t! That’s it!
Here’s a 1 min video if you prefer the visual explanation:
Ummmm… I have questions.
Okay, lay ’em on me!
- What if I don’t have any money to save? If you have no extra money laying around, they won’t save you anything and will just wait for when you do (though you’d be surprised what they find!).
- What if they take out too much and my account bounces? They have a “no-overdraft guarantee” that will take care of any costs you’d receive in the off chance your account bounces (which their algorithms are extremely careful of). You could also set a threshold of when you’d like them to stop saving for you once your checking account hits a certain minimum if it makes you feel more comfortable. For example, I have mine set at $1,000 as I like having a padding in there.
- What if I budget using a credit card? As long as you pay your credit card with your checking account, the money will get analyzed just like any other transaction.
- What if I get lazy and just let them save everything for me? This is definitely a possibility, however seeing that you’re on a $$$ site right now (for fun!) I’m sure you’ll be just fine ;)
- Where do they save all this money? Digit opens up a savings account in your name that they manage for you (at a bank they are partnered with). You can take out or put in money anytime you want by simply sending them a text message. It takes one business day to get it back into your checking account.
- Is Digit insured like other banks? Yes – all money saved is FDIC insured up to $250,000.
- Is Digit secure? Yup. All personal info is anonymized, encrypted and securely stored using state of the art security measures.
- Can you withdraw your money from Digit anytime you want? Of course! Just text in “withdraw” and you can send as much or as little of your savings right back to your checking. The same as any other bank account (only cooler with texting :)).
- Is Digit free? Yes, for the first 100 days – then it’s $2.99/mo. This is a recent update as of April, 2017. My general feeling about it is that if they help you save tons of money, keep going w/ them! And if you think you can do it on your own (and you *WILL* do it on your own) then consider canceling out before those 100 days. But 3+ months should be more than enough to tell you whether it’s helping you or not :)
- Do I get any interest? Not “interest” technically, but yes – they give you cash “bonuses” for leaving the savings alone. Every three months you will automatically receive one of these Savings Bonuses based on your average Digit balance over the last 3 months.
This comes out to 5 cents per $100 saved.UPDATE: Users now get 1% Saving Bonuses!
- Does it work in Canada or other places in the world? No :(
- How about with my really tiny bank? Probably not, though they do work with over 2,500 banks in total! And you might be surprised even if you do have a relatively smaller one, so I’d still give it a shot if it’s something you’re interested in.
- Do they have an app Yes! Both on Apple and Android now! They didn’t when I first started using them, but now both are up and running and it’s great :)
Some of the Digit “Commands”
Since everything is done over text after you’re signed up, they provide you a list of “commands” you can use to do stuff. Here are some of the most popular/helpful ones:
“Savings” — This will tell you how much you have saved up in your Digit account so far.
“Checking” — This will show your checking account balance (which you also automatically get every morning unless it starts annoying you and you shut it off :))
“Recent” — To see a list of the last 3 transactions in your checking account.
“Save” — If you want to have them move over extra money on your behalf.[Pro tip: Add a $ amount after “Save” and you can do it even quicker. For example, let’s say you want to save an extra $22.00 because you used a coupon somewhere that saved you $22.00, and now you actually want to SAVE IT for real. So you’d text in “Save $22” and Digit will move it over for you.]
“Pause” — If you want Digit to stop saving for you at any time.
“Hello” — If you want to hear a fun fact ;)
Overall Pros and Cons
Here are the quick pros and cons to using Digit to wrap it all together:
- Digit literally saves money for you
- It’s automatic
- It’s separated out from your accounts giving you less temptation to pull from it!
- It’s super easy to use and interact with
- You can tweak a lot of the features to best fit your situation
- You have to give another app access to your bank account
- As well as relinquish a little control
- They move over money every few days which can be annoying for reporting
- They don’t work with all banks or all countries (only U.S.)
- You have to wait a business day to get your savings back
Worth Giving It a Shot?
Is it for everyone? No. But if you’re still looking for a better way to save without the frustrations (or forgetting!) of doing it on our own, Digit can be a solid option.
And remember – it’s all YOUR MONEY at the end of the day, so you can still do with it as you please! Some periods I let it build up just to see how high I can get it (it’s a fun game!), and others I need to transfer it back out to pay for stuff. Life happens.
But as good as I am with my money, I can tell you for a fact I wouldn’t have had over
$8,000 $10,000 extra saved without using Digit those two years ago. So I’m definitely glad I gave it a shot!
Want to try it? Sign up here.
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