Personal Finance: Saving Money and Digit

I support frugal and intelligent ways to save money especially for those that have a very difficult time doing so.

Digit is a comprehensive tool for saving money for problem savers. It analyzes your expenditures and calculates how much you should contribute each month. At first glance I was quite impressed.

However, with the advent of Digit, saving money has now become a way to steal money from people and sell their personal information.

I came across an article on Yahoo! News and Digit was being explained. What was more revealing was the information it left out.

First, the stealing. How Digit works is you give Digit a certain dollar amount per month (or however you set it up) and it makes a deposit for you at one of their bank affiliates like Wells Fargo. The interest is paid to Digit NOT you. But you saved money that you would have otherwise spent, goes the logic.

Second, the selling of personal information. To maximize profits Digit (will most likely) sell your personal information to credit and advertising companies. Google’s interest in Digit sort of seals the deal with that as once Google starts investing in such a company it is only a matter of time until they acquire them entirely.

We are all too familiar with how Google makes money off of selling personal information to advertisers and their use of Carrier IQ to spy on you by logging all of your keystrokes on ALL devices as mentioned in one of my previous blogs.

It makes more sense to me to be more dedicated to saving by setting up a separate account and automatically depositing $50-$100 each month and not touching it. This is what we call DISCIPLINE.

I have done this off and on for a long while now, though, being married it is a little more difficult to do, but still I manage.

My primary check is bi-weekly. I deposit $50 every check for a total savings of $100 per month. At the end of the year I have a nice chunk of change that can either be applied to a family vacation or annual outstanding debt.

Do not misread, I am NOT debt-free…yet. It is something I continually work towards.

This method allows me to observe my bills and pay them according to either highest interest rate or easiest bill to pay off first.

Like Dave Ramsey, I prefer the snowball method…which would only work if my wife would stop charging the cards.

I take a payment to a small value card I paid off and apply it to the next larger value card and so on until I am left with the largest of cards. I’d like to pay that card off in the next three years.

The argument that you are paying more in interest over the long run is true. It does cost more, but it makes all of your debt manageable and that large card at the end of it acts sort of like a debt consolidation loan, if you will, in that all of your debt is now owed to a single creditor with one (very) large monthly payment that would otherwise have taken twice the number of years to pay off than what you are at with only the one card.

One day I will put this into a diagram. Until then Dave Ramsey has a few you can peruse.

The key is learning to do without. If you do not absolutely NEED something, don’t buy it.

The difference between needs and wants is not that hard to decipher. There is that gray area that an item could/would strongly improve your life or fiscal situation. Good! Keep that in mind…for when you can afford it.

Nobody is going to discipline you, but you, and only you.