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Text Digit to Boost Your Savings

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I'm a big fan of Lifehacker and last week one article caught my attention: Boost Your Savings Account by Adding the Money You Save on Every Deal. The article brings up a great point by Eric Nisall of DollarVersity in an article posted on The Simple Dollar about saving money:

"If you’re constantly scouring the Internet for deals or whipping out your coupon binder, you could be saving boatloads of money on everything from groceries to office supplies. But, what if you actually transferred those savings into an actual savings account?

Eric Nisall from DollarVersity once tricked himself into saving money by doing exactly that. Each time he used a coupon or earned significant savings somehow, he would move that money into a special account. Over time, this helped him build a stash of cash that practically came out of nowhere, he says.

'So, if I went to the grocery store, or any shopping really, I took the ‘total savings’ from the bottom of the receipt and transferred it,' says Eric. “I transferred all of my overtime payments as well. Since I only budgeted for gross spending and regular paychecks, I didn’t notice any difference in my everyday account.'”

I have two non-sequiturs* that I'll save until the end so I can get to the real point.

This sounds like a very cool way to save money. I immediately dismissed it because I'm Lazy and I'm not going to go into my bank account and physically transfer the money. When you are on the go, it simply doesn't make a lot of sense. I could save receipts for home and do it then, but it still is "bookkeeping" and part of my message is that you shouldn't spend time managing your money.

It was then I realized that I had my Digit account. I can just text, "Save 13.72" in the SMS thread with them on my phone and move on. Digit will transfer the money out of my checking account and put it in their (FDIC-protected) savings account.

Regular readers know that I love my Digit account. I've written about how Digit saved me over $100 in one week and how Digit is a core tool for my saving. I even showed how you could use it to save money for the holidays gift giving season.

Digit makes Nisall's idea very easy and much more practical for the average person.

As I was publishing this, I decided I should read the comments on the Lifehacker article. It's really interesting...

One person asks for an app to make this easy and the author of the article agrees it would be "amazing."

The very next person asks if someone has heard of Digit and proceeds to explain how it squirrels away little bits of money each day. This is my main reason for using Digit. However, the person bringing up Digit and the people responding don't bring up the texting functionality of Digit that is the amazing app that the author is looking for. It seems like it was brought up as an alternative to Nisall's way of saving money rather than a way to easily implement it as a complimentary savings tool.

* 1. I had dinner at a Five Guys with Eric last year at FinCon. First time I had gotten a chance to really talk with him. Great guy.
2. This is the first time I've had to embed three layers of quotes with the "total savings" quote in the article. I have to admit that I didn't know what to do here, so I just stuck with the single quotes.

Posted on February 10, 2016.

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Money Management

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6 Responses to “Text Digit to Boost Your Savings”

  1. Big-D says:

    Do you get interest on your digit account? I see no interest amounts on Digit’s page.

    • Lazy Man says:

      The interest is insignificant and not really worth mentioning. You get 0.05% of your balance every 3 months.

      I set up a quarterly calendar entry to review it and move it elsewhere if it’s over what I’m comfortable with. I swept a pile of it into my Roth IRA last month. I like having the extra, extra reserve.

  2. michele says:

    Hey there. I did sign up when you posted your last article about digit. I like the passive savings but I am kind of freaked by it pulling money out of my account on a daily basis. is there a way to tell it that once a week is fine? Overall I like it and it has saved me a bit in the last month.
    Too broke for it to be 100 in a week, but 100 in a month isnt too bad.

  3. Lazy Man says:


    According to Digit’s FAQ:

    “Save More / Save Less – You can text each of these commands up to 3 times in either direction. This will increase or decrease the amount that Digit attempts to save for you in a given day.”

    So it won’t make it save less often, but saving less money each time might have a similar effect.

  4. Revanche says:

    The interest is new, right? I remember when J Money reviewed it, Digit kept the interest as their “payment”.

    I can’t decide if I want one more thing going on in my financial background picture or not. It sounds good but I’ve never needed to trick myself into saving. Example: I started tracking our Side Money, all the cash / like-cash payouts already go into savings.

    • Lazy Man says:

      I think the interest is new, but again, it’s so small that it probably isn’t worth noting. It feels to me that they are giving something to say, “Hey see… we are paying interest.” And yes, I think they keep the majority of the interest as their payment for the service.

      I don’t mind having another spare account with some extra savings in it.

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