As of Monday, I have officially been using app Digit for two years. Digit was one of the first savings apps I tried, and has played a key role in my journey to financial freedom. During this time I’ve kept it on my phone, only occasionally withdrawing from it for financial emergencies.
So, what is Digit?
Digit is an automated savings app. It uses an algorithm to learn your spending patterns and then saves according to how much it believes you can afford. The app also learns the schedule of your bill payments in order to prevent withdrawing money during a time you may need it. This feature is different from other savings apps like Qapital and Acorns, which use specific rules (round ups, weekly deposits, guilty pleasure, etc.) to trigger the savings.
- It works. I’ve saved well over $2000 using this app. This may not appear to be a large amount, but during these past two years I’ve withdrawn money for emergencies, stopped leaving money in my main funding account and paused the app for months at a time all together. I’ve also set a maximum daily savings limit of $5 so that the app cannot withdraw more than $5 from my checking account per day.
- The algorithm has not failed me yet. There have been multiple times when I logged into the app and saw a message saying it was unable to save for me due to upcoming bills, even if I had hundreds of dollars in my checking account. When my account is low, the app makes sure to only take a little amount at a time, a few times per week. This makes it much easier to endure. In my opinion, it’s the equivalent to an occasional bag of chips or extra fast food meal per week.
- Multiple Goals: I also enjoy the fact that you can save towards multiple goals at a time. This was a great feature around Christmas time because it allowed me the save for my emergency fund while simultaneously saving for presents. With multiple goals, you have the option of putting more “savings effort” towards a specific goal through the boost feature. Example: $10, 3 goals and one with boost turned on. $5 may get put towards the one with boost, while $2.50 each will go towards the other two.
- Digit also recently released a new credit card payoff feature. This feature allows users to choose to save money to put towards extra credit card payments. The app stores the money and sends it to your credit card company once a month. I’ve tried it with my Capital One card and had no problems. I didn’t think it was anything special, but I didn’t think it was a bad feature. I believe users can get the exact same effect by creating a goal for debt payoff, and periodically making extra payments. I can however see how this may be beneficial for someone who does not want to manually do it.
- Transfers: I’m not sure if this is because of my bank, or because of Digit, but transfers are almost always completed the day of for me. One of the things that originally turned me off from Qapital was the fact that transfers took around five days to complete. Digit on the other hand hits my bank account within 24 hours. This is great because it allows the money to leave in small increments (which is the main appeal of the app), as opposed to withdrawing large amounts at once. It also makes my money easy to access in the event they I need it quickly.
- When I originally signed up for the app in 2017, Digit was completely free. However, recently they’ve implemented a $2.99 monthly subscription fee. Although I understand why the creators did it from a business standpoint, having to pay a fee to save money seems counterproductive. Digit does offer a 1% savings “boost” every quarter — which can offset the cost for some, though they would need to keep at least $3600 in their Digit account. I much rather periodically transfer my money into a high-yield savings account, so I just treat the app like a subscription service. Even with the fee, it is still worth it to me. I’ve saved way more money than I would’ve on my own.
- Digit does not offer phone support. Users can message the support team via chat and email, but not talk to them over the phone. I have never experienced a problem with messaging their customer service, though I can see how this could be an issue for people who prefer phone support.
- Earlier I discussed how much I love the algorithm- which I do, but sometimes it can get a little too aggressive. Because it saves money based on your funding account, large windfalls of money can throw it off. For example, if you deposit a $1000 check in an account that usually has a balance of $300, Digit’s algorithm may withdraw $20 in one day as opposed to the usual $3 or $4. One of the easiest ways to get around this is to set a daily maximum save limit. I have mine currently set at $5, meaning Digit cannot save more than $5 a day from my funding account.
Overall, I’m happy with the app. I’m always looking for ways to automate my savings and Digit has easily become my second favorite way to do this. It has helped me save a total of $4000 in two years, which is well worth the monthly fee.