Tip Yourself: A different take on saving

This week I started using an app called Tip Yourself which allows you to have your own personal tip jar (aka savings account). You can tip yourself for doing something or, like I am doing, put money you saved from sales and coupons. You’ll see in the pictures that I have literally just started.

The app itself is rather simple. You can have multiple “tip jars” to funnel money into. For example, I have one jar that is going towards helping save money to pay down debt, and one to build up an opportunity fund. On the Jar screen, you select what jar you want to put money into, and select the amount and it will transfer money into a savings account with National Bank of Kansas City or NBKC. So your money is backed by the FDIC, however your funds in the jars do not gain interest. Tip Yourself makes their money off of the interest your funds generate. Which If you are like me and are bad at saving money, you can agree that losing the 1-2% of gain is worth the convenience of not having to go into your bank account and transfer funds for every little thing you want to tip yourself for. Besides not getting the interest, they have no fees. But they do have a pro membership option.

Tip yourself main screen

The entry level member can only have 2 tip jars with no bells and whistles. The pro version allows you up to 10 jars, automated tips, a hidden money jar, and challenges within their community. Pro costs $9.99/year. Pro may be worth it if you don’t have automatic investments or savings set up. I already have automatic investments set for every week through Vanguard, Prosper, and my HSA. The money is far enough removed from my local credit union, that I don’t fear spending the money as soon as I see how much I’ve saved. Which leads me to the hidden tip jar. The hidden jar allows you to tip the jar like normal, but it won’t show you the amount saved up in it until you hit your goal. I can see this being helpful if you are the kind of person that spends money the second you see it. From what I understand, you set a goal for the hidden jar and it will notify you once you reach your goal.

My first jar which I call my “Being Healthy” jar, allows me to reward myself for healthy choices. Every meal that I eat that is healthy, or prepared by yours truly, I send $1 to this jar. Every time I go to the gym, I tip $1. I have been trying to get myself to go at least once a day and if I go twice that’s $2/day. I’m also going to start giving myself $1 for every tenth of a pound lost. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to do if I regain weight on a bad week. Maybe I’ll make it $2 per 0.1 pounds if I have to re-lose the weight as an incentive to keep it off. Who knows. I’m trying to use this as positive reinforcement for my better habits. The funds from this will go to help pay down debt. Depending on how well everything goes for me weight wise, This fund will run up about $1,500/year just from hitting the gym twice a day and eating 2 healthy meals (I don’t eat breakfast). To make numbers easier (I’m 204.2 lbs as I write this) I’m 200 lbs now and my goal is to drop 30 lbs to 170. So if I reach my goal, I can add $300 to that total for the year.

The second jar I have is the opportunity fund. The rules I have set up is that for every show day I get per diem, $5 will go into the jar, and every show day that I don’t get per diem, I will put in $2. (for those not in the know, per diem is an allowance or reimbursement for every day you are off site or travelling for work. Every day I do a show that isn’t in the city we are based out of, I get per diem.) On top of that, any time I see on a receipt that I have saved money, from sales, coupons, or things like Target Circle, I’ll add that to my tip jar. I don’t usually shop sales So I go grocery shopping and do my target runs expecting full price. So I won’t miss that money anyways. I’ve noticed that I usually take a trip to the grocery store once a week and the receipts average $5 in savings. With all of that feeding the tip jar, I should average about $1,000/year just from my show days and grocery shopping. this doesn’t include Target runs, or other shopping.

Tip yourself has a social media aspect built into their system. Seeing as I don’t have any friends who use this app, I am having a hard time seeing the point of the social aspect. You can see posts of random people who have their privacy settings set to public. When you tip yourself, it gives you the option to make a comment about why you tipped yourself. You can toggle between seeing the public feed and a feed of people you are following. They also have a Facebook group you can join to compare savings strategies, offer support, and generally brag about how much you tip yourself.

If I’m successful in maintaining my good habits, I should be able to set aside about $2,800 in the next year just through the app. It doesn’t seem like a lot for those super savers out there, but as a way to start the good habit of saving money and reinforcing good behaviors, this is a fantastic way to kill two birds with one stone. I will check in probably in a couple months to see if I am still a fan. The one thing I wish you could do in the apps is set up daily or weekly reminders to tip. On a show day for me, I tend to forget about my phone until the day is over and then play catch up with everything and some of the daily things like checking my email, hockey scores, and social media. But if the day is an 18 hour day, I don’t even worry about checking my phone. So having a notification to remind me to spend the 2 seconds to review my day and tip myself would be great.

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