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Digit: Save Money without Stressing Over It

digit savings review

Being a personal finance blogger can be a huge perk as you get to hear about different products and services that can improve and optimize how you handle your money. Since I signed up with the MoneyStepper’s 2015 Savings Challenge, I’ve been looking for ways to stop money leaks and build some savings.

I mentioned with my first monthly review that I was trying out Digit. J Money from BudgetsAreSexy as the easiest way to save. With a toddler and a newborn, I was eager to try out them out. If you’re looking for an automated way to save, Digit can be your solution.

Keeping Your Money Safe

The first question you may have (and rightly so!) is how safe your money is with this new company. With Digit you money is FDIC insured up to a balance of $250,000.

Right now Digit supports 25,000 banks and credit unions in the United States. (If and when they go international, I’ll update you.)

Digit is Freedigit automated savings review

Digit is completely free to use. You connect your current checking account with them and they monitor your spending patterns. Based on your activity, it transfers small increments of money into your Digit account.

The smart bonus is that Digit will only withdraw that money if you have it. That means you don’t have to worry about getting over-drafted. The company even offers a guarantee if that ever happens to your account.

Digit updates you by texts so you know your balance and have complete control over your money. You can withdraw your savings 24/7 and there are no limits to how many times you can transfer back your money into checking.

The Downside

As awesome as Digit is there is one downside that I have to mention – right now there is no interest earned on your savings. While rates are exactly high, I’m not crazy with tucking away your money without getting something in return. Hopefully this will change in the near future.

I will say that if it’s a choice between saving with no interest and not saving, I’d obviously support saving. Last time I check Digit has

Thoughts on Using Digit for Saving

If you’re someone who wants to save and who wants to keep their current checking account, then Digit can be a wonderful option. Set up is a breeze and your savings is all automated. You still have complete control over your money and the service is free.

Want More Info? Visit and explore their FAQs or sign-up to open an account today!

Photo Credit: Hello Digit, Inc.

Get Out of Debt, Manage Your Money, and Create Financial Security

money chat book couples

One reason couples avoid doing something about their finances is because they’re not comfortable talking about money with one another. If that sounds like you, MoneyChat: The Book from Dorethia Conner Kelly may be the book to get you started.

In case you’re not familiar with her, Dorethia Conner Kelly, MBA is the president of Conner Financial Coaching, LLC, providing results-oriented personal finance and business coaching services. Her financial expertise has been featured in various media including Black Enterprise, U.S. News and Nerd Wallet.

She was a recent guest on the Couple Money Podcast, sharing her practical advice on the sticky situation of loaning money to family. I loved having her on the show and found her book to have that same grounded wisdom about handling money.

What’s Money Chat All About?

She’s based her book on what she had seen with many of the families she’s helped as a money coach. She’s all about changing what people say about money so their behavior follows.

The book is divided into three sections:money chat book review  Dorethia Conner

  • Getting Out of the Hole: The opening section deals with making sure you’re out of the financial fire by offering tips and advice on getting rid of debt, handling taxes, and avoiding short term fixes like payday loans.
  • Getting on Solid Ground: With high interest and risky debt no longer an issue, the next few chapters handles how you can build up a proper financial cushion for your particular situation and budgets.
  • Growing Your Money: Finally the last portion of Money Chat delves into other financial milestones and goals like investing, preparing for retirement, and saving up for your children’s college expenses.

Dorethia does a fantastic job of taking you through the process step by step. It’s a wonderfully helpful book that can help the two of you get on the same page with your finances.

If you like to hear more from her, please check her out at The Money Chat or follow her on twitter so you can join in her next conversation. I’ve always enjoyed these chats as there are some wonderful topics and people giving their two cents.

 

Moneystepper’s 2015 Savings Challenge Update #1

couple money moneystepper savings challenge

It’s February so that means it’s time to looking at how we did last month with our money. You may remember that I’ve signed up for MoneyStepper’s 2015 Savings Challenge to help us tighten up our finances.

The two main goals of the challenge are:

  • Grow Your Net Worth
  • Save % of Your Net Income

For 2015 our family will do our best to increase our net worth by 25% and have a 15% savings rate.To do this we will be saving more in the joint accounts and we will be paying off the last student loan.

January Net Worth and Savings Results

So how did we do? I’m happy to say that we started off pretty well considering everything that happened this month.

Inching Up our Net Worth

We increased our net worth 2.5% in January. I’m on my maternity leave so for the next month our income will most likely be dropping. Thankfully I buffered some work so I hope that it won’t be changing too much.

My first goal after the leave is to figure out a new work schedule. With two little ones at home, this will be a challenge.  After the dust settles and we have a better idea of how our monthly budget will be, I think you’ll be seeing some significant growth and changes by the spring time.

Focus on Savings

Our year to date saving rate was 8%. We had a huge event last month – the arrival of our baby girl. It was a much shorter labor than the first time, but the costs look about the same. We received a letter from the hospital with the charges for the labor, delivery, and recovery.

The grand total? $9,500.

The good news is that it’s not the bill, so we’ll have to wait to see what our insurance pays. Still, we will see a big chunk of our money leaving us shortly. That means we’ll be more careful with expenses in February.

To help us continue saving, I’m testing out a new way to automatically save some money – Digit. It’s free service that analyzes your personal spending and every few days, intelligently deducts small amounts from your checking into savings.

I can easily transfer the money back into checking if I need to spend it without any fees or hassles.

I’m starting off with my personal checking account to see if it works wonderful as advertised. I’ll share my results on the next update.

Thoughts on Our MoneyStepper Progress

Now you have a better idea of how things are looking from us. I’d like to hear about you and your family? How are things going so far in 2015?

Personal Finance Shout-Outs – New Baby Edition

new baby girl couple money

Just wanted to announce that we had our second daughter! It’s been an adjustment for sure, but we’re extremely grateful that family and friends have been helping us make this transition smoother.

I’ll have continue to have posts up on Couple Money and new episodes of the podcast, but the schedule will be a lighter than usual for the next few weeks. If you want to reach me during this time, the best way is through Twitter.

Couple Money Around the Web

Besides writing here, I also run the Couple Money Podcast, contribute to other sites, and occasionally do interviews. Here’s where I’ve been this past week:

Let me know what you think of the podcast or interview. If you have any tips on how to save more money while shopping online, leave it below in the comments. I’ll include it in the follow-up episode next week.

Money and More Posts I Loved This Week

One bonus of resting up is that I’ve gotten some extra time on my reading. Here are five of my favorites from this week:

I shared my picks for week; how about you? What posts or articles have you’ve enjoyed this week?

What’s the Best Way to Teach Kids About Money?

the opposite of spoiled book review

If you’re a parent looking to deepen (or just start) your conversations about money with your kids, then The Opposite of Spoiled should be your next book to pick up. It’s the latest release from NY Times columnist Ron Lieber who has extensively covered families and finances.

If you haven’t read any of his previous work some of my favorite recent columns are Letting the Kids in on the Charitable Giving Conversation, Elmo and Sesame Street Teach the Basics of Spending and Saving, and Teenagers Do Not Need Smartphones, So They Should Pay for Them

Teaching Your Kids About Money and Values

With the Opposite of Spoiled, Lieber discusses how parents teach not just the basics of finances with their children, but help them use money as a reflective of positive values such as generosity and entrepreneurship.

It can be intimidating to have your kids come up to you an ask blunt questions about money. Unprepared we may be tempted to deflect or distract, or tell them that they’re too young to understand.

Lieber shows how money can be a valuable teaching tool, one that can help children learn how to take care of themselves, their own families in the future, and their community. The Opposite of Spoiled has plenty of studies and stories from families dealing with issues that parents are faced with on a daily basis.

There are plenty of opportunities such as allowances where parents can explain why it’s important to save, how to spend money wisely, and where kids can give wisely. ron lieber opposite of spoiled review

Moving Beyond The Money Talk Into Conversations

For some parents, they may feel that talking about money is strictly about checkbooks and budget, but The Opposite of Spoiled does a fantastic job of

I appreciated Lieber’s focus on developmental milestones rather than giving hard and fast rules about when to discuss certain money topics. Let’s take for example allowances.

Do you tie to household chores or is it a gift for the kids? Lieber suggests looking at it as a teaching opportunity where you allow your kids to learn from you about the basics and have them gain practical experience on a limited scale.

He then breaks down how you can start off with a conversation about needs and wants. Young children can appreciate that there are some things, like toys, that are wants and then there are important things like food.

As they get older all of you can start thinking of wants and needs not as completely separate columns, but as a scale. Food, shelter, and the essential clothes on one end and name brand clothes, electronics, and games on the other.

Conversations can then move beyond the obvious and instead looks at where to draw the line on where a particular purchase falls.

Thoughts on The Opposite of Spoiled

I highly recommend that you check out The Opposite of Spoiled as it does a thorough job of tackling some of the trickier situations of raising a money smart kid. Lieber offers practical advice, ideas on how to start, and good deal of research so you can find the best way to teach your kids about money and more.

I’d love to hear from you – what are some of your child’s biggest money questions? How have you talked to them about your values and money?