Since last summer I've been recommending two different “savings apps” to Financial Best Life readers – Digit and Qapital. I like and use them both, but I got some news yesterday that Digit is moving to a subscription model and wanted to update my readers ASAP since I take my affiliate relationships very seriously, and you guys LOVE these app recommendations (also here) and I would never want you to feel like you're getting “duped.” So here's how Qapital vs. Digit breaks down.
So here's what happening with Digit and steps you can take to decide which one is right for you.
More About Digit
Digit and Qapital work in much the same way, they analyze your spending habits to squirrel away micro amounts of cash you won't even miss to help you save better. Digit has a few more features that make it more of an integrated financial app, such as texting you each morning your checking account balance and letting you know of any big transactions on your account.
Previously, Digit was free for users. Now after a 100 day trial period, users will have to pay $2.99 per month to continue using the services. If the average user saves between $80-$170 per month with Digit (the most I've saved is close to $70 dollars), then $2.99 per month equals about 3% of what you save. This is pretty steep for a money management service, and also a huge bummer when you're used to getting something for free.
Read the full Forbes article about the switch. Their reasoning is noble, and I get it. But I just like to use free apps.
What I Like About Qapital
Qapital is similar to Digit, but they don't text you updates about your checking account, and instead, you can set rules based on your spending habits. So, they were taking significant (think over $10 chunks) out of my checking account because of the rules I had set up; the 52 week rule (where they take out $1 per week on week 1, $2 on week 2 etc.) and the round up rule where every one of my purchases gets rounded up to the nearest dollar.
There's also other rules, like the “guilty pleasure” rule where you have to “pay yourself” a certain amount if you indulge in takeout (or whatever your poison is – eating out is mine for sure!)
They have overdraft protection, so it never really set my account back, but during my 2017 no spend challenge those little savings chunks felt noticeable. Still, each month I put away over $100 using Qapital, which I use to save up for my travels. It came in handy on my most recent trip to Miami, which was way more expensive than I'd budgeted for and so I was able to dip into my Qapital “travel fund” and cover those expenses in cash.
Qapital vs. Digit – the Clear “Winner” When it Comes to Saving Apps
So, it's free, which of course is an added benefit. But Qapital also has advanced features like social sharing (so you can save with your friends) and integrations with IFTTT – so you can truly customize your goals and supercharge your savings.
Even though I write about finance, I still struggle with saving, particularly on a solopreneurs irregular income, so free apps like Qapital help make it easy for me to sneak away savings so I can indulge in what I love guilt free.
Interested? Here's how Qapital works:
Download the app and set a savings goal: let's imagine a backpacking trip through Europe, or downpayment on a couple's first home.
Create rules that trigger automatic transfers, such as charging yourself for guilty pleasures, taking the 52 week challenge with a Qapital twist, or rounding-up to the nearest dollar on all of your debit transactions. For example:
Order takeout: $5 toward trip to Spain (guilty pleasure rule)
Morning coffee run: $0.50 toward new GoPro (debit card rounds to nearest dollar)
Watch how quickly those dollars add up, just by doing what you normally do!
Use #DreamHome on Instagram: $20 toward down payment on house
Reach 10,000 steps on Fitbit: $10 toward yoga retreat
Don't forget to reach out about your $10!
P.S. Since I don't want to recommend anything as a “free product” when it isn't, I'll be working to take down any verbiage about Digit on my website and in my emails. It's still a great app and if you found it through a recommendation here and love it and are willing to pay for it – I'd love to hear from you via email. With the launch of BBA next week it may take me some time to change everything out, but I am working on it. Thanks for reading!