How to Save Money Fast, Pay off Debt, and Travel More
The Question I Get the Most: How Do You Afford to Travel So Much?
This question shows up in my Instagram DMs a LOT.
Well, that’s a complex question, because there isn’t a simple answer. HOWEVER, there is ONE thing that helps me with ZERO EFFORT: digit.
I would be lying if I said that digit alone has allowed me to travel more than I used to, or perhaps even more than the average person. I am self-employed. Some of my social boutique work can be done while traveling (specifically takeover live sales or album sales from our website). I have a travel and style blog, obviously. I sometimes partner with brands that give me travel products, reducing my overall costs.
All of the hard work I put into my businesses, coupled with a more flexible schedule, allows for travel to be a part of my life. But what about the ‘in between’. The extra money that still comes out of pocket when I travel? I don’t me $20 here or there for snacks. I mean hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars. For that there is digit.
Digit is the app that helps me save money to travel without thinking about it.
If you are trying to save money fast, pay off debt, maybe pay off credit cards, start a travel fund, or just travel MORE, you’re going to want to get digit, and get it fast.
What is digit?
Digit saves money for you automatically (after you link your bank account) using an algorithm to find ‘extra money’ you won’t notice being saved.
According to their website:
There are 4 main things that influence Digit’s savings algorithm:
- Checking account balance
- Upcoming income (paychecks or predicted irregular income)
- Upcoming bills
- Recent spending
Every weekday Digit uses these 4 inputs to try and find a small amount of money it knows you don’t need for upcoming spending, and more importantly won’t feel based on how you’ve recently been spending money.
The funds in your Digit Account are held at FDIC insured banks for your benefit and are insured up to a balance of $250,000.
My Digit Experience
I have been using digit since the summer of 2015. I was newly engaged, had just purchased a home with my fiance, and was planning a wedding for the following year that we would be paying for. I was also still in school (getting my degree in international business from UNLV) and working full time. Digit was pretty new, and I am AWFUL at saving money, so it sounded like a perfect match.
I was hooked immediately.
After 30 days I had saved $92.63
After 60 days I had saved $370.73
After 90 days I had saved $666.19
After 1 year I had saved $3688.32
Around this time I withdrew $3000 to help pay for wedding expenses.
THREE. THOUSAND. DOLLARS.
I don’t know about you, but for somebody who was still in school for most of that time, and working full time, and planning a wedding…Saving $3k without trying (or noticing!) was A WIN.
I’ve been diehard ever since.
How I Use Digit Now: Saving Money to Travel
The wedding is over, and I’m not currently in the process of buying a home. I still use digit religiously. Why? Well, for a lot of reasons, but travel is pretty high up there.
I recently went to Stockholm and Paris. The trip itself was to visit friends and attend a wedding. I used airline miles to get an incredible deal on a business class flight to Paris. Looking back through my digit savings log, I was able to see that I also withdrew $500 for my trip.
Nowadays, since I travel pretty regularly, I just let digit do its thing in the background, and then when I start planning a trip, or if I want to have a little extra spending cushion while I’m away, I withdraw. I truly don’t notice that the saving is happening, so it’s easy to accumulate money quickly for me.
How Much Does digit Cost?
While digit is free for your first 30 days, there is a $2.99 monthly fee after that. When you sign up using a referral link (like this one) you get $5 in your account for free. So this offsets the monthly fee for almost the first two months. There are also savings bonuses available when you keep your digit funds in savings for certain periods of time.
There is NEVER any fee to withdraw your funds to your banks when you are ready to use them. You can make unlimited withdrawals of any amount.
For me, there is simply NO WAY that I have ever found that is so effective in terms of short term savings goals. Even for $2.99 a month, assuming no savings bonuses, I average WELL over $100 a month in savings. I would not be able to do that on my own, so the small fee is worth it for me. Obviously, to make this even more of a value, I would suggest really maximizing the digit algorithm and get it to save as much as possible.
Can I Customize digit?
Yes. You can pause, boost, save more, save less, basically anything you want. You can now also create goals and digit will prioritize savings to get you there as quickly as possible. So, if you are looking to save money to travel, you can create a specific goal within digit to help you get there!
All of the communication can be done through text message, which makes it really easy.
Alternatives to digit
There are a ton of apps/services out there that will help you save money to travel (or for any other goal you have). I have not tried every single one of them, and if you have one that is helping you and you are getting to travel as a result, you go glen coco! However, I have tried MANY. Some of the ‘better’ ones have been Acorns and Long Game. However, I still don’t like them as much as digit, plain and simple.
The reason is simple: I notice they are taking my money.
Whatever magical genius powers were put to use to design the digit algorithm, they know what they are doing. I literally NEVER NOTICE ITS WORKING. That’s the goal for me because I have proven to myself time and again that it is the most sustainable way (for me personally) to stick with something.