This week’s App of the Week isn’t just for smartphone owners. If you can text, you can use Digit to intelligently put aside money for you.
With many financial advisors suggesting to have around $1,000 put away for emergencies, saving can seem daunting. But Digit saves just what you can afford, automatically, slowly squirreling away a nice cash stockpile for a rainy day, or maybe just a summer road trip.
Digit is an FDIC-insured service that analyzes your checking account for withdrawals and deposits to determine exactly how much you can afford to save, and it does it all over text message. Sign up through their website once, and you don’t have to worry about installing apps or bookmarking account pages, you just need one phone number.
By granting Digit access to your bank account, it’ll know you get paid every other Friday and that you auto-pay your cable and electric bills on the first of every month. Using that data, it looks to see if you have a few bucks left over before payday that you likely won’t even notice, then puts that money away. And if you’ve got a recurring bill coming up and your account is getting low, Digit won’t touch your money in case it’ll cause an overdraft.
Every weekday morning around 9 a.m., I get a text from Digit telling me my checking account balance. With a quick text back, I can see my last three transactions or my Digit account balance. Every Friday, I get my Digit account balance and a summary of Digit’s recent savings withdrawals, which range from $3 to $30 for me.
If I want to withdraw $100 from Digit, I just text “Withdraw 100” and Digit confirms it before placing the money back in my checking account. Or if I get a birthday check from my grandpa that I want to save, I can text Digit “Save 50,” and $50 is put into my Digit account. I can even change settings with a text, telling Digit to text me less often or get a list of all possible commands.
For those afraid of hackers stealing from their accounts, you should know that there’s almost no way for them to get your money. While most interactions are done through text, if you want to switch bank accounts linked with Digit you have to log into the website, secured with 128-bit encryption. That means the most that a phone thief can do is transfer some money to or from your checking account.
Digit is free to users, but it has one big downside over a standard savings account: you don’t earn interest on your savings. However, earlier this month the company added Digit Plus to the free service, giving users back 5 cents for every 100 dollars saved for three months. Users can also use Digit as more of a savings catcher, letting it spot money that could be saved and transferring that money to higher-yield accounts once it’s saved.
If you’re looking to build up your savings, check out Digit. Not only does it find money you won’t really miss, it also forgoes all that confusing terminology and clunky apps associated with a normal bank account for a simple, streamlined service that’ll get you saving in no time.