College Financial 101: Hello Digit!

College is a great place to fine tune academic and time management skills. College is also a great place to begin focusing on improving budgeting skills. Whether your parents are paying for your tuition or you are taking loans and paying for school yourself, learning how to manage and save money is important.

I am always looking for new ways to save money, and I scour Pinterest for savings tools and plans. In one of my searches I stumbled upon a product called Hello Digit, a phone app that will save money for you automatically. I thought: Well that sounds interesting: a company that can save money for me without me having to calculate how much I could save without accidentally removing funds needed to go to a bill. I was a little put off though because it was a random phone app that was linked to my bank account. I will admit that I had “scam” flashing in my head for a while.

I did more research on the company and here’s what I found out:

  • Hello Digit is based in Japan
  • Hello Digit is a mobile app (with a no frills website) that links to your checking account. You have access to transactions, savings history, etc. on the app and website
  • Both app and website keep track of your savings and tell you how much you have earn.
  • Hello Digit uses an algorithm scans your checking funds to see how much money it can remove without you missing it
  • Hello Digit will take out small amounts every few days such as: $4.68, $5.07, $1.41
  • Hello Digit is free and makes its money by keeping the interest your savings earns. This is a particularly important point for you: Hello Digit is NOT an interest bearing savings account. You will not earn anything with your money, you will set it aside. At a certain point, I believe Hello Digit does give you back some interest but you have to have a certain amount of funds in the account for a specified number of days. It’s best to just think of Digit as a setting-aside savings account though.
  • Hello Digit sends you daily text messages alerts with information about your checking account bank balance as well as information whenever it takes money out of your checking account and puts it into your Hello Digit account.
  • Using a series of simple commands, you can ask Hello Digit to update you on your balance, save more, save less, withdraw funds, etc. The commands are included in the text feed so all you have to do is select one of the actions. You can also manually text Hello Digit.

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I liked what I discovered, so I decided to give it a try.

The app was a breeze to download and the website was very straightforward. I started saving right away. I was still a little skeptical so I did a withdrawal after a few transactions to make sure I could get my money back. I did. The money was back in my checking account within a day or two.

I started using Hello Digit in late December of 2016 and by today, February 7, 2017 (less than two months later) I have saved $124.13.

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Now, this may not sound huge, but when you consider that this is money you didn’t realize you had available, it’s not bad. $100 is $100. You can set goals and save money towards them, for example, you could use Hello Digit to save money for each semesters books  or for Spring Break, or a new computer…whatever you want.

The no-brainer savings aspect of Hello Digit is awesome. I can save money everyday without even thinking about it. However, I wouldn’t just leave things with Hello Digit. As I mentioned about, Hello Digit is not an interest bearing savings account: you won’t earn anything on top of your funds. Because of this, I highly suggest you set up an interest bearing savings account at another bank (Ally, Discover, Capital One, etc.) and deposit the funds Hello Digit sets aside for you so that you can watch it grow.

My general plan has been: at the end of the month I will remove the money Hello Digit sets aside an put it into my interest bearing savings account. I also regularly save money every month but I see Hello Digit as a giving my savings a little extra bump.

To set up your own Hello Digit account, here is my personal Hello Digit link https://digit.co/r/pGqMBDgW6m?wn (This is an affiliate link. Please see my disclosure policy). Use the link, check the product out, and decide whether Hello Digit is the right savings app for you.

Have a great day!

A.Rx

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