Trick Yourself into Saving More Money With Automation

Posted on 1 July, 2016 in Productivity / 4 Comments

Use Digit and Automation to Trick Yourself into Saving Money

For the past year, my monthly expenses have been inconsistent, precarious, terrifying.

The cost of diagnosing a chronic illness (that did not want to be diagnosed), managing the flare-ups with medications not covered by insurance, and maintaining ongoing treatment?

Not a cheap process, as it turns out.

And did I mention I live the second most expensive city in the US?

Plus, I’m admittedly not great at managing money or sticking to the budgets I make.

But hey – I will not take blame for those first two things I mentioned.

I had to move here if I wanted my life to be like on my favorite TV shows, obviously. Jeez.

Embarrassingly, I would have come way too close to going broke by now without using automation to trick myself into saving money.

That’s right, I trick myself into saving money.

How, you ask?

A friend I like to text all the time, named Digit*.

*Note: This post contains affiliate links, because saving money isn’t as good as making money 😉 So when you sign up – completely free – I get a little bonus. ?

What is Digit?

Use to automate your savings

Digit is an SMS-based app that helps you save money without thinking about it (although they do have iPhone and Android apps now).

Everything – balance updates, making transfers, updating preferences, etc. – everything can be done via text. (I love it – I never realized how much I prefer this over apps!)

There are two main features of Digit: automated savings and automated updates.

Automate your savings

By connecting it to your bank/checking account, it automatically makes frequent transfers of smallish amounts into what’s basically a holding savings account. And you control the “aggressiveness,” like with similar automated money tools.

Even better, Digit studies your spending and income habits and history and combines it with your aggressiveness preferences to determine the transfer amounts and exact days.

So it’s wayyy smarter than you.

It won’t take out more than you can afford to lose (even though you don’t really lose it), and there’s a no-overdraft guarantee. There’s also a savings bonus every three months, based on your average savings account balance. It’s just awesome.

Then you can text Digit to transfer the money back to your connected account whenever you’d like. It just might take a day or two to show up, like with any external transfer.

Digit's SMS interface and web dashboard let you automate your savings and keep things simple

Get account updates

You can also basically use Digit as a specialized personal assistant for your checking account. One that you don’t even need to see in person, you just communicate via text.

Just text Digit to view your:

  • Digit savings balance
  • Checking account balance
  • View recent checking transactions

You can also tell it to “save more” or less to adjust the savings aggressiveness, set savings minimums and maximums, and a ton more.

Again, via text – not going to the bank or even logging into an app or website.

All the lazy gals say “heyyy.”

Here’s where you can check out all of Digit’s commands.

It also occasionally texts you funny gifs that make you feel good about yourself. So it’s a really great, kiss-ass personal assistant. 😉


How to Use Digit to Save Money for Your Business

So Digit connects to personal bank accounts.

So I didn’t have it connected to a business account. But I’m still small-time and just have a separate personal account for my freelancer finances instead of a business account, so I actually could if I wanted to. Chances are, you could too.

Basically, it’s a personal finance tool and that works fine for me.

Fantastic, in fact.

So far, Digit has made 157 transfers for me, saving over $4,500 total.

The average savings transfer is $29.

For the most part, I let the savings pile up and occasionally transfer some back to be put in my actual savings account with my main bank.

But there are also certain time periods where I do use my Digit account to save for specific items. Here are the ways I’ve used my Digit savings so far:

1. Building a rainy day fund

Probably the most obvious use for your Digit account is as a rainy day fund.

If you just let the money pile up and don’t have a specific purpose for it, it’s freed up for emergencies, spontaneous purchases or outings, and stuff like that.

With Digit connected to my main personal account, I’ve been able to transfer over small amounts to help cover prescriptions, co-pays, and other unpredictable expenses that got more expensive than usual one month or another.

My boyfriend and I also went on a spontaneous trip to San Diego for New Year’s, and my Digit savings covered my half of the trip.

2. Save for quarterly tax estimates

I actually did switch my Digit over to integrate with my freelancing bank account for a short period earlier this year. For the sole purpose of paying my quarterly tax estimate.

Since I kind of knew how much it would be, and can adjust the savings to what I’d like, I tweaked it for a few weeks until the amount I had saved by June 15 was almost exactly how much I needed to pay.

3. Save up for a big purchase

The original reasons I signed up for Digit was because I needed a new laptop super badly, but after expenses every month, I still didn’t have that big sum available at one time.

No, I didn’t need an Apple model, but I dammit, I wanted one. I wasn’t going back to a PC. So month after month, I hoped my MacBook Pro survived – and had some pretty close calls.

Then I signed up for Digit and cranked the aggression up as high as I could possibly afford to.

Within four months, I had a new MacBook Air that works fast, doesn’t crash, and doesn’t leave me slightly hunched every Friday after a week of lugging it around the city.

Can you hear my sigh of relief?

Save up on the down low

The best part (in my book) about Digit is how completely passive it is.

There have seriously been times where I was like, “crap, I’m out of money,” forgetting about my savings until my daily balance update from Digit.

You also get tons of control, and like so many solopreneurs, I am a horrible control freak.

To put your more of your finances on autopilot, download this cheat sheet of other apps that automate money stuff.

Use Digit and Automation to Trick Yourself into Saving Money - Plus a Free Cheat Sheep of Other Apps to Automate Your Business Finances

For more ways to become a more productive solopreneur, check out these tips.