Note: This post includes referral links. I never refer services I haven’t tested myself and my reviews always contain honest feedback based on my own experiences.
Saving money is a never-ending quest, especially for those bitten with wanderlust.
Let’s face it — even the most frugal traveler needs to spend some money.
Readers frequently ask me how to save money for a trip, or even how to make a more dramatic switch to a lifestyle of travel (something we’re still in the process of figuring out ourselves). It’s one of the most common questions out there, and the internet is rife with creative techniques for generating more income.
Today I want to talk about my new favorite technique: passive saving through Digit.
What is passive saving?
Put simply, passive saving is the re-allocation and saving of money that’s already there. You’ve earned it, it’s in the bank account, now you just need to find a way to make sure it is saved and not spent.
Ever since I quit my full-time job and moved to Los Angeles I’ve made some major mindset shifts about money. Working full-time on my own business means that all the impetus to make money is on me. Sometimes it flows, sometimes it doesn’t.
I’ve learned that having a bit of savings goes a long way during the dry periods — but, like many people, socking money into savings can sometimes be a bit of a challenge.
Back when I had a regular 9-5 it was easy for me to throw an extra $100 per paycheck into my travel fund. Now it’s not quite so simple. What’s a travel-obsessed girl to do?
Totally simplistic in its execution, Digit is a service that connects to your checking account and helps you save money.
Here’s how it works:
1. Open a Digit account and link it to your existing checking account.
2. Digit monitors your spending habits and determines how much money you could potentially save.
3. Based on your spending habits, Digit’s algorithm begins pulling small quantities of money from your checking account and into your Digit account.
It’s that simple. And Digit keeps you in the loop with regular text message updates. The idea is that it pulls money in such small amounts compared to your usual spending that you won’t notice it missing — but over time it adds up to big savings.
You can pull your money out of Digit and put it back into your primary checking account at anytime, but the service does reward you for keeping your money with them for longer periods of time.
It’s also possible to determine how aggressively Digit saves for you. If you aren’t building up your savings as fast as you would like you can tell the algorithm to be more proactive.
How to Save Money for a Trip Using Digit
The money that goes into my Digit savings account is set aside for one of two specific purposes:
1. Pay off debt
You can use the money however you’d like, but these are my two biggest priorities. Since the money in my Digit account is money I didn’t really notice going away, it makes it easier to allocate it to something besides my day-to-day expenses. I can push it towards big debt (student loans) or big travel without changing my normal spending habits at all.
My Experience with Digit
I first signed up for Digit in September, right around the same time I left my full-time, 9-5 job. Jumping into a life where I was responsible for every nickel and dime was terrifying, and I was searching for any shortcut that would make my dollar stretch further.
In that time, I’ve kept Digit on the most passive, least aggressive level of savings. So far, I’ve saved about $100 USD. That might not seem like a lot over the course of three months, but when you consider that it is money saved while literally not lifting a finger or changing my habits, it’s not too shabby.
Tara is giving the service a try, too, and she chose a more aggressive level of savings. She’s only had it for a month and she’s also saved around $100.
Think about that for a minute. Without doing a single thing, we’ve saved enough for a really nice meal, a couple of nights at an Airbnb, or even some cheap airfare.
After signing up for Digit we did nothing. Nada. Zilch. The money was always there, it’s just been repurposed.
So, the next time you want to know how to save money for a trip, consider making the money you already have work harder for you. While you probably won’t get rich using Digit, it’s a dead simple way to allocate money for your next trip.
You can sign up for Digit through my referral link, or if you have any questions about the service, feel free to leave a comment.