How to Find Money for that ONE Category You Never Seem to Have Cash For Skip to Content

How to Find Money for that ONE Category You Never Seem to Have Cash For

This post may contain affiliate links. You can find the full disclosure here.

Wondering how to find money for that ONE category you never seem to have any cash leftover for? Let me show you how.

woman dressed in travel clothes and white luggage, with text overlay "how to find money to shave for what you want"

Your paycheck comes in. And let’s be honest…sometimes it barely makes a blip on the radar because of all the bills chasing after it.

  • <Check!>
  • Auto insurance. <Check!>
  • Credit card payment from spillover spending last month. <Check!>
  • Groceries for a week, maybe 1.5 weeks this time. <Check!>
  • Pumpkin spiced latte. <Check!>

And…it’s gone.

Just like Downton Abbey <*sigh*>.

Maybe next paycheck will be different, you think. Maybe next paycheck, I’ll have a little extra to set aside for insert whatever it is that you desire to save for.

Except that it doesn’t happen, again.

Okay, you think. Next month will be different! Next month I will definitely, without question, put aside at least $50 for that fund.

Well…I don’t have to tell you how that typically turns out. Your savings account balance can.

Our ONE Category We Never Seem to have Leftover Money to Fund

Last year, my ONE category I was trying to figure out how to find money for was Christmas.

All year long, I thought about how nice it would be to set aside $50/month or so to spend on holiday gifts + travel to PA to spend the holidays with family.

Yet each month slipped by, and nothing got done about it.

About mid-year, I happened to sign up for this new service that promised to send increments of savings into an account automatically, based on an algorithm that looks at my checking account and determines how much I can afford to save.

I was intrigued, if not excited by the possibilities (with a twinge of nervousness at giving up some control). So, I did it.

I didn’t check the account for three months. But when I did, WOW was I in for a Christmas miracle – $509.97 sitting in an account, all to spend on the holiday season.

Did I mention I didn’t have to lift a finger (after signing up for Digit) to make this happen?

It was cool.

SO cool, in fact, that I continued it all this year. Instead of designating it to my “one category” of holiday spending, I decided that travel had become the ONE category that we want, want, want, but never seem to set money aside to get.

After letting this little guy do its automated work over the past 11 months, I can happily say we’ve accumulated $1,352.86!

That’s not retirement-savings-turned-travel-savings, and it’s not money I’ll have to transfer out of our emergency fund into our travel fund…that’s money free-and-clear that I can use towards an awesome trip for our family.

Without Digit automatically taking little withdrawals here and there throughout the months – $11.92 here, $27.96 there – then that money might otherwise just have been spent.

So, What Exactly is Digit?

Saving makes money accumulate, and this tool is your ticket to doing it without even having to think about it.

Let me tell you more about this savings app (more like savings Godsend!).

  • You sign up for an account. It’s free for 100 days, then just $2.99/month thereafter. Plus, you earn a small percentage of interest on your money (1%) after saving with Digit for 3 months. Not bad considering most bank savings account interest rates are hovering around 0.75%.
  • Connect your Checking Account with them (they have 128-bit bank-level security + they do not store your bank login information).
  • Digit analyzes your spending needs automatically using some sort of fancy schmancy algorithm…then they determine how much you can save. They do this every day.
  • They start to deduct small, odd-amounts of money from your account, such as $8.68, and $26.44. With their no-overdraft guarantee, you don’t have to worry about them making your account go into overdraft and being stiffed with a bank fee. And if you’re unhappy with the amounts being taken out, you can text them commands like “save less”, or “save more”.
  • Funds are stored in a Digit savings account, which is FDIC insured up to $250,000, just like at a normal bank.

I use texting to communicate with Digit – yes, we have quite the relationship. I tell them to “pause” from saving every so often if I know we need a little extra cash for the month. Then I ask them for our balance from time to time to check in on all the savings loveliness. And when I’m ready to spend the money for its purpose? I simply text them to withdraw to checking, and it hits our account in one business day.

How useful is that?

Hint: Yes, I’ve had to dig out a few dollars from our digit.co account on two occasions to cover larger spending than normal over the last 1.5 years. So, it’s been super useful to be able to tap the money within 1 business day.  

What’s Your ONE Category You Can't Figure Out How to Find Money For?

I’ve let you know our “ONE Category” from both 2016 (holiday spending on gifts) and 2017 (travel). These categories are both super-important to our quality of life, but at the same time super-low on our savings priority list for one reason or another.

Now it’s your turn: what’s your ONE category at this time?

This is the category that always seems to get pushed down to the bottom of your savings priority. Because while it’s Numero Uno in your Quality-of-Life priorities, it’s the last in the Physical-Survival-Category where things like the mortgage, rent, and auto insurance are more important.

This is the thing that you put, half-heartedly, on your New Year’s Resolution mental list because you secretly don’t believe it’s ever going to happen.

But hey, a girl can dream, right?

How about this year, you stop dreaming, and start doing something about it with this tool! I’m super happy I gave it a shot.

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Amanda L. Grossman is a Certified Financial Education Instructor, Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Frugal Confessions. Over the last 10 years, her money work helping people with how to save money and how to manage money has been featured in Kiplinger, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, LifeHacker, Woman's World, Woman's Day, ABC 13 Houston, Keybank, and more. Read more here.

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