It can be hard to start saving. I’m a huge fan of automation, to eliminate room for error or temptation. But it can be challenging to even automate your savings if you don’t even have a budget. When you start automating you have to decide on an amount meaningful enough to help you reach your goals, but not so much that you’re forced to dip into it for necessities.
Digit is a free service that can help if you’re just starting out.
It’s even helpful if you’re like me and have all your savings on autopilot but are always looking to do more, Digit can be a great way to save some extra without even noticing!
What Digit does is take out small sums of money from your checking account every few days and saves it for you. Sometimes it’ll be under $1, sometimes it’ll be $50. It’s all based on your account balance and your regular account activity, which it analyzes over time. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of saving. There’s no fee for them to do this for you, but you don’t earn any interest on the money saved (which is how they make their money). They do give you quarterly “bonuses” of 5 cents for every $100 you keep in your Digit account, based on your average Digit account balance. They also have a guarantee that they will never overdraft your account and if somehow they do, they’ll pay the fee.
Benefits of using Digit:
- Free (I love free!)
- “Trick” yourself into saving/saving more
- Helpful daily balance updates via text
- Your money is easily accessible
- Quarterly savings bonuses
- $5 referral bonus for every friend you get to start using Digit
- Digit will not overdraft your account. If they do, they will reimburse you for the fee
- You can check your balance, transfer your savings, or save more aggressively with a quick text message
Drawbacks to consider before signing up:
- They keep any interest accrued on the funds they save for you. You can, however, reroute your Digit savings to your IRA or primary savings whenever you want (which is of course what I do, because I like to keep my money working).
- In my humble opinion, the savings they hold for you can be, for some, a bit too accessible. You can have everything you’ve saved transferred back into your checking account within a day or two. For some struggling to keep their hands out of the cookie jar, Digit may not be as helpful as hiding your money in an account that’s hard to access.
- A friend of mine using Digit mentioned they were taking more than she wanted from her account. Apparently you’re able to choose to save more aggressively, but not less. However, you are able to pause your Digit savings or transfer any portion of it back at any time.
Overall, I think Digit is a great idea for those who lack the self discipline to save on their own. It has gained a lot of popularity just since I started using it a few months ago. You may already be using it. If you are, tell us what you think in the comments!