Digit and Acorn, look to help you start saving by analyzing your purchases and remitting money to a savings or investment account. But how do they differ and how do they compare to simply setting up automatic fund transfers at a bank?
The intended result is that you use one of these savings apps for a while -- without actually thinking about it -- and end up with sizable savings that you would not have built up on your own. While I am an advocate of using technology, like savings apps to help save you more money, I still prefer to automate my finances without the help of an app. I schedule recurring fund transfers for the day after every pay period -- money goes from my Chase checking account into my Ally Bank money market account before I really have a chance to realize it was there. Big banks, like Chase, call it a repeating transfer series and will allow you to link to your non-Chase savings account, or "external account" -- in my case it's my Ally Bank account.