I am not a good saver. Mike is, and he gets a regular paycheck which makes regular savings easier. But I am loathsome at it. When we were raising kids, much of the money I made went to buying clothing, food, and the myriad of other things that come with the schooling years. It always seemed like there was an expense that needed urgent attention in the moment.
The rule of ‘pay yourself first’ is not that easy for an in-the-moment person like me. I always paid my bills first, took care of kids second, bought supplies for whatever hobby I was focused on third, then if there was something left over…well actually that never happened to be honest. I realize that this is an undisciplined way to live so don’t even bother to tell me. I’m already taking out my hearing aids so I don’t actually even hear you. Now that the kids have been replaced by the boat, it’s still hard.
I am always just amazed at how good Mike is at saving money from every paycheck, but to be fair, working for a mindless corporation comes with some benefits such as having automatic withdrawals and deposits. Even to get that kind of convenience, though, I would never have survived the corporate world because my bullshit detector is always set to ‘stun’.
Well the digital world has finally caught up with people like me. I discovered this fantastic application for my phone: Digit. Their motto is “Save Money, Without Thinking About It”. Are you kidding? Sign me up! But wait, is it safe? How does this thing work?
I explored their website and found that all funds up to $250,000 are FDIC insured. OK, well that’s the same as a big bank so that’s fabulous. I’m unlikely to save that amount without spending some of it anyhow. Also it’s free, which it should be since it’s actually acting as an online bank, which means they are holding my money for me until I want it. They get to use my money just like the banks do. That’s a fair trade for this amount of convenience. You do not earn interest, but when was the last time you really earned interest on a bank account? Who cares?
So how does this work? It’s actually pretty slick. You connect Digit to your checking account and their program analyzes your spending and deposit patterns by checking your account for activity every few days. Then it begins moving small amounts that you will not even miss into your Digit savings account. If that sounds stealthy, well, it is. But the beauty of this is the amount of communication you receive from Digit, and this is what I really love about the usability of this application.
Every single morning I get a text from Digit telling me my checking account balance. I LOVE that. I don’t have to remember to check myself, I don’t have to log in to my account. I just get this nice text. All communication is done via text. When they move money over to my Digit account, I get a text. If I want more information, there are commands I can text back, such as ‘balance’ or ‘recent’ to see recent transactions. No dealing with ‘press 1 for English’, ‘2 for someone from India who says his name is Ken’, ‘0 for us to hang up on you’.
So for instance, last week Digit saved $9.72 for me. That’s not very much, and I didn’t even notice it, which is part of the beauty of this system. They texted me to let me know they had saved money for me, then if I wanted to save more I could text them back and tell Digit how much more I’d like to save. I can also log onto the website and see a complete history of all transactions. It I want to make a withdrawal, a simple text command is all it takes to transfer money into my checking account.
I’m pretty impressed with this application. Actually, I love it. So far I have saved about $125 that I would definitely not have saved otherwise. I’ve been using it for a little over a month. That’s not very much yet, but it will buy muchos fish tacos down in Mexico.
My only regret is that this is a new thing, and I would love to have had something like this 20 years ago. If you are working on beefing up your sailing kitty and want to try Digit, here’s a link you can use to sign up. If you do sign up, please consider using the link here. Full disclosure: I get 5$ if you use my link. If you sign up, you will get your own link to use with your friends and family. Then you, too, can buy fish tacos.