For the many of you that entered the workforce during the recession, budgeting has become a way of life.
In fact, according to a 2020 survey, millennials are more comfortable creating a budget than any other generation.
This is partly thanks to modern budgeting platforms like Douugh, which lets you spend, save and invest in one easy-to-use, automated app.
In this post, you’ll learn all about how Douugh works and what it has to offer. Keep reading to figure out if Douugh is the right budgeting app for you.
What is Douugh?
Douugh is an Australian fintech company that was founded by Andy Taylor in 2016. It’s based out of Sydney and houses its North American headquarters in New York City.
Douugh’s money management app is an all-in-one platform that’s equal parts digital bank account and personal finance planner.
It is driven by AI tools that help put your finances on autopilot so you can focus on the things that matter most.
To give you a better idea of what Douugh is all about, let’s take a look at its banking and budgeting features.
Douugh is an entirely mobile-based platform, so you’ll bank, budget, and keep tabs on your account through its banking app.
The Douugh app is available on iOS and Android devices, and it has a 3.9-star rating in both the App Store and the Google Play Store.
In several ways, Douugh operates like a typical digital checking account. It comes with a physical debit card and a virtual card, access to fee-free MoneyPass ATMs, and mobile banking access.
The budgeting features of Douugh come alive when you organize your money into what it calls Jars, which work in a similar way to the Envelope Method.
Within your Spend account, you’ll have a Spending Jar and a Bills Jar, and Douugh’s AI technology automatically divides each paycheck between the two to keep you organized.
Your Spend Jar is the money you use for everyday expenses — think groceries, eating out, and shopping. Douugh tracks your spending habits and lets you know how much you have left to spend each month with Smart Alerts.
Your Bills Jar is a handy resource to plan ahead for all of your bills and subscriptions. By putting money for these expenses aside ahead of time, you won’t have to worry about missing a payment or pulling from your savings to cover one.
Douugh also helps you put money aside for the short and long term with its Savings Jar. Just like with your Bills Jar, Douugh will automatically take a percentage of each paycheck and allocate it toward your savings goals.
Within your Savings Jar, you have a Rainy Day Jar, which serves as an emergency fund, and Stash Jars for short-term goals. You can set a target goal for each jar, and Douugh will help you understand how much you need to contribute each month.
Unfortunately, Douugh doesn’t offer an interest rate or APY with its Savings Jar. Instead, Douugh encourages users to allocate funds to their Portfolio Jar (more on that soon).
With this in mind, think of Douugh’s savings platform as a tool to build good savings habits rather than a chance to grow money that you already have.
Douugh’s investment platform offers expert-managed, diversified portfolios to help you sustainably grow your savings over the long term. There are no brokerage or management fees, and you can easily allocate cash to your investment portfolio every month.
Here’s how it works: Determine how much of your paycheck you want to invest and how aggressive of an approach you want to take. Douugh then takes that money and invests it into a portfolio of diversified, sustainable ETFs.
You can open as many Portfolio Jars as you want and tailor each one to a specific savings goal, like buying a house or planning a honeymoon.
Douugh focuses on investing in companies that are both financially and ethically sound, which means your money won’t be tied up in fossil fuels, tobacco, or weapons.
Douugh is also working on integrating crypto investing into its platform, so you can expect to see that as a new feature in the near future.
Automation is at the heart of everything that Douugh does. The company also talks a lot about improving its customers’ financial health.
The app’s algorithms let you know how much you have to spend and how to maximize your savings and investments. The app also aims to alleviate reliance on credit card spending and debt.
By automatically divvying up your paycheck each time it comes through, you’ll have a clear picture of how much you have and what you can afford to spend.
Douugh’s Autopilot feature is optional, so you can choose to turn it off if you prefer. However, automated money management is the main value add of the app.
Douugh is a low-cost and mostly free platform, but there are still some fees that you need to be aware of.
Here’s the full picture of Douugh’s fees:
Financial Fitness Membership Fee
Douugh charges a monthly fee of $4.99, which is waived for your first 28 days. Unfortunately, there’s no way around this charge, so it’s important to evaluate whether or not Douugh’s platform works well for you during the trial period.
Douugh is part of the MoneyPass ATM network, so users have access to more than 37,000 fee-free ATMs. If you go out of network for a withdrawal, there’s a $2.50 fee, and Douugh does not reimburse for any of these ATM charges.
Foreign Transaction Fees
If you plan to use your Douugh Mastercard abroad, be advised that there’s a $3 flat fee for international ATM usage, plus 3% of the total transaction amount.
The same 3% transaction fee applies to any international debit purchases. (This is why it always pays to use a good travel rewards credit card).
Ready to get started? Download the Douugh App.
Then, simply enter your personal contact information, Social Security number, and information for funding your account.
Douugh only uses your SSN to verify your identity, so opening an account will not affect your credit score.
Douugh doesn’t currently offer a sign-up bonus for new members, though it has in the past and could down the road.
As always, I will keep you in the loop as soon as a new bonus becomes available.
The only current offer at the moment is a 28-day free trial, meaning that you don’t have to pay for the $4.99 membership fee during your first month.
This isn’t exactly a life-changing amount, but at least you’ll get to take the platform for a test drive before you commit.
Douugh uses state-of-the-art security measures like bank-level encryption, secure data storage, and AI-powered fraud monitoring to protect your account.
You can enable biometric authentication for app access, and you can easily lock and unlock your debit card within the app. You’ll also automatically receive an alert if something suspicious happens.
Most importantly, deposits up to $250,000 are protected by FDIC insurance through Douugh’s partnership with Choice Financial Group.
The FAQ section on Douugh’s website should help you sort out most common issues. Douugh also offers a community forum, so you can glean tips from other customers.
Douugh doesn’t have a customer service phone number, but you can contact them via email Monday through Friday from 9 am to 6 pm Eastern Time.
Pros & Cons
- Automated investing and budgeting tools
- Multiple savings jars are available
- AI-powered financial guidance
- 28-day free trial
- No APY
- Unavoidable monthly fee
- No phone support
- App functionality could be better
Alternatives to Douugh
Chime is a leading neobank that specializes in basic, high-yield online accounts.
It doesn’t have the same emphasis on budgeting tools as Douugh, but it could be a better fit for people who are already comfortable sticking to a plan and want to grow their savings with a high APY.
Qube Money, like Douugh, functions as both a bank account and budgeting platform.
Qube Money employs the Envelope Method, which encourages organizing all of your expenses into different Qubes.
The app comes with a debit card, and you’ll only be able to access the funds that you have in your spending Qube. This way, you won’t touch funds that you’ve set aside for bills and savings.
Mint is the most popular budgeting app available. It’s free to use, and it links with all of your accounts and credit cards to provide an overall financial picture.
With Mint, you can easily stay focused on your financial goals and keep your spending in check with custom budgets and alerts.
Is Douugh app legit?
Yes, Douugh is a legit money management app and bank account wherein you can safely spend and save your cash.
What bank does Douugh use?
Douugh is a technology company that partners with Choice Financial Group, a traditional bank that’s FDIC-insured.
How does Douugh make money?
Douugh earns revenue through its membership fee and card interchange fees, which are the fees collected by debit card networks and paid out to the financial institution issuing them.
Who owns Douugh?
Douugh is a publicly traded company on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: DOU). Its investment advisory services are owned by Douugh Wealth LLC and its brokerage services are provided by DriveWealth LLC.
Lastly, Douugh’s banking services are made possible by Choice Financial Group.
Is Douugh Right For You?
Budgeting can be a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be.
If you struggle with creating a budget and sticking to it, apps like Douugh can take some of the legwork out while helping you realize why you’re falling short.
With automated tools and AI insights, you can focus on achieving your spending targets and keeping your savings on track. Plus, its easy-to-use investing platform can get your money working for you.
The biggest downsides of Douugh are the monthly fee and the fact that it doesn’t pay interest with an APY. With these factors in mind, Douugh feels like a good fit for those who are looking to build good financial habits, rather than those who are already there.
If you think Douugh is going to help you save more dough, it might be time to sign up for the free trial. Just make sure to cancel your account within the first 28 days if you feel like it won’t be worth the ongoing $4.99 monthly fee.
Thanks for reading, and remember: Any finance app or service that you use should help your savings grow rather than chip away at it.