Earlier this year, I found $3,600.
Not too shabby, eh?
The story of how I found it is kind of fun, and it’s not every day you get to say “I found $3,600.”
My spouse and I have almost entirely combined finances. I still have some accounts at another bank, though, for a few different reasons.
The Big Credit Card Bill
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After Christmas, we had a pretty hefty credit card bill. It had a few different things on it, including a brand new mattress. My spouse takes care of most of our cash flow management. Things were looking a bit tight, timing wise, and we wanted to make sure we had a larger buffer in the chequing account, in case anything came up that we weren’t expecting.
My spouse called me and asked a pretty innocuous question, “Do you have any money you could transfer to the chequing account, so we have a buffer?”
I didn’t know if I did or not.
You see, money that is siphoned away, bit by bit, you really don’t notice disappearing. Then, all of a sudden, it can add up to quite a chunk of change.
That’s what happened to me. I logged in to my other bank account and the balance practically jumped off the page. I called my spouse back right away.
“I’ve been hiding money from you! I’m stashing it away so I can run off on a trip without you.” I joked.
“But seriously, I have $3,600 over there!”
You see, my health benefit reimbursements still get deposited to that account, from back when it was my primary bank account. We always try to utilize our benefits as best we can, when they are about to expire at the end of the year. This past year, that included a few massages, and a new pair of prescription sunglasses for my spouse, all in December.
It also includes a slow trickle of physio, chiropractor and massage receipts throughout the year. Most of the time, it’s $15-60 at a time, so I never bother moving the money back to my regular account.
This time, one of the main reasons the visa bill was so large, was because of those reimbursable expenditures. Prescription biking sunglasses are not cheap, my friends. They’re pretty darn fancy, and pricey, and we wouldn’t have them if they weren’t covered by just-about-to-expire benefit money.
Needless to say, after I transferred that $3,600 back over, everything was golden!
How You Can Hide Money on Yourself
The whole experience is a great lesson in socking away small amounts, and having them add up to big ones. If you don’t have refundable benefits that you can siphon off to another account, you’re still in luck. There’s an awesome new program called Digit and it does just that.
It rounds up your transactions, to the nearest dollar, or five dollars, or ten dollars, and puts the difference in another account. You spend money just like normal on your debit card, and it puts a little bit away, every time. It analyzes your transactions and skims a little bit off of a bunch of them, in an amount that you won’t notice.
Let’s say you make four debit transactions per week and round up to the nearest $5 increment. So when you spend $8.79, Digit rounds it up to $10 and puts the $1.11 into your Digit savings account. It sends the little bits over to the account where they can accumulate. It’s even FDC insured.
To cash out, all you have to do is send them a text and the money will be transferred back to your main account. I have to write myself a cheque or send myself an eTransfer (which costs a dollar!). So clearly, Digit wins!
Oh ya – and Digit is free. They don’t pay any deposit interest on the money that you keep with them, as that’s where they make their money. This way, they can offer you the service for free! If what you have there adds up to a solid amount, simply transfer it to an account or investment that does pay you. #winning
Have you ever inadvertently hidden money on yourself? Have you checked out Digit yet?