Unless you’re planning to hitchhike, Couchsurf, forage, and dumpster dive exclusively on your next trip, you need some money for travel. If you’re a regular reader of this blog then you probably like to shop at markets, ride the train, and splurge on a few nice restaurant meals. That takes cash.
I know a zillion possible ways to earn and save money, but my favorite is Digit because I just don’t have to think about it. It’s totally set it and forget it.
How Digit Works
Just link Digit to your checking account and the Digit app does the rest.
It tracks your spending and then moves small amounts of money to savings that you won’t notice. The most Digit has ever pulled into my savings account in one go is $50. (But you can set a transaction maximum if you’re worried.)
Usually, Digit pulls between $1 and $20 at a time. If I buy more than one coffee out at a cafe in a single day I can pretty much count on Digit to know I’m feeling flush with cash and pull a little something into savings. If I make a large purchase, Digit is probably going to save $20 or more. It’s the same if I make a large deposit into my checking account.
On the other hand, if you’re feeling particularly skint, you can pause savings any time. You just tell Digit how many days you’d like to pause saving and the day before it “unpauses” you’ll get a text double-checking that you’re ready for Digit to start saving for you again.
It’s easy to communicate with Digit on your smartphone. Digit texts your checking account balance daily (though mine is usually a day behind which is annoying) and sends regular updates on how much you’ve saved each month. You can request your balance anytime and move money back to checking anytime.
Digit Emojis/Multiple Savings Goals
Once you have one account with Digit, it’s easy to ask Digit to save money for you to reach different goals. You can have as many different goals as you wish. Right now, I have two: my default Digit account and a goal for a big trip. I like to think of these separate goals/accounts as buckets and that’s how I’ll refer to them from now on.
The default Digit savings bucket is the Rainy Day Fund. You’ll always have that one no matter how many other goals you set. Since I don’t keep my Emergency Fund in Digit, I don’t use this as my Rainy Day Fund. I use it as my extra cash for travel fund. I just ignore this one completely and let Digit put a little bit of money inside that I don’t need. Then, about a week before I leave for a trip I check to see what’s in it. If I’ve been traveling a lot, sometimes there’s only $10, but if it’s been a while since I’ve been on a trip there might be a few hundred in it. Whatever is there, I give myself permission to withdraw it and use it for any extra treats I want on my next trip.
Right now, I only have one other Digit bucket. I’ve set a goal of saving a certain amount of money by a certain date for a solo trip that I’m planning. I’m not ready to reveal the trip yet, so that’s why I’m not giving you any more specific details. From now on, all of the details are pretend for example purposes.
To set up a new bucket, just text Digit ‘New Goal’ and follow the prompts. You’ll have to assign your goal an emoji (like the airplane) and the following details:
New Goal Name: Solo Trip to Europe
Savings Goal: $3,000
Save By Date: August 1, 2017
Digit will then monitor your spending in your checking account and save money for you so that you hit that goal. You’ll get regular texts about whether or not you’re on track to meet your goal on time. And you can check your balance at any time by sending your chosen emoji and the word balance. It’s so simple that I check it most days just because I’m excited to see my progress!
For my current goal, Digit saved me $183 in the first week. I only would have saved $50 without Digit. Even though I’ve been using Digit for well over a year, I’m still impressed with the fast progress. Especially because I don’t miss a penny of that money.
My Favorite Feature
Without a doubt the thing that keeps me using this app is that it saves money for me. It’s money that I wouldn’t necessarily save but definitely can save because I don’t miss it when Digit pulls it out of my checking account. I think it’s just genius. I hit my savings goals faster than I ever have before because I both manually move money into Digit and let Digit save for me.
If you want to try it too, head over here to download and setup Digit. I highly recommend it!
What’s your FAVORITE way to save money for travel? Let me know in the comments below!