Digital Tips Finance – collect rent via ACH without a headache

TL;DR: We became landlords (again) shortly before leaving the US to nomad around South America for 8+ months in 2022. I foundĀ Avail, by to process ACH rent payments. It’s free for the tenant and $5/mo/unit for the landlord. If you use my referral link to sign up, we both get 10 months free.

Before my wife and I left the United States to travel as nomads around South America, we had to figure out what to do with our house in Austin. We didn’t want to sell it, but we also didn’t want it to sit empty while we were gone. That’s when we decided to become landlords and rent it out.

We had it on the market for a few weeks, first furnished, then unfurnished, until we found a family to enjoy our place as much as we did.

One of the things we had to do was find a way to handle the rent payments. We didn’t want to deal with checks, as they can be a hassle to work with, especially as we are traveling. Instead, we decided to look for a way to process ACH (Automated Clearing House) rent payments.

After some research, we found an early stage startup that seemed like it would be a good fit for us. They handled the ACH payments and made it easy for us to keep track of everything from afar. However, unfortunately, this startup folded after a few months, and we had to find another solution.

That’s when we discovered Avail. We tested their services for a few months, and we were really impressed with how easy they made it for us to manage the rent payments and communicate with our tenants. It’s free for the tenant to use, and it only costs $5 per month per unit for the landlord.

We’ve been using Avail since September, and it has been a lifesaver. It has made it easy for us to keep track of the rent payments and communicate with our tenants, even though we’re not in the country.

Overall, becoming landlords has been a great experience for us and using Avail has taken the guesswork out of the rental payment process.

P.S. the photo is of the actual house.


Own the lottery with Yotta – a place where people can save and win

This is not investment advice, and as part of the Yotta account, both the new user and I earn 100 tickets with my referral link (or the code TITUS2) once the new user deposits at least $25, for 1 ticket.

A few weeks ago, I discovered a new type of savings account. Savings are usually boring, and I’m glad more and more fintechs are now focusing on making the FDIC insured account more cool. Compounding interest is great, but when it only yields 0.6% per year, it takes a looooong time to make real money. For example, if you deposit $100 in a high yield savings account, currently at 0.6%, and leave it there for 20 years, you’ll have $112. If the inflation rate is higher than 0.6%, then you’ll have lost money in real terms. Not the best deal.

I wrote about Save a few weeks ago, where they invest your interest to make higher returns in the stock market, while keeping the principal safe.

Pay and Win VS Save and Win

Now it’s time to talk about a different type of behavior – a negative risk-seeker, commonly known as the gambler. I’m talking about the people who buy lottery tickets as a regular habit. The ones who play the slot machines in Vegas. The ones who play backjack, roulette or poker with the hope of getting rich, while also getting those tasty dopamine hits every time there’s a game move.

Let’s focus just on the lotto players. The average American spends about $1,000 / year in lottery tickets that have an average win rate of 1 in several hundreds of millions of entries. They are more likely to get struck by lightning than to win anything at lotto. But they get their dopamine every time there’s a drawing, in exchange for that $80ish every month.

What if you could keep those $80 and still get the same dopamine hit?

I found Yotta, through a Youtube real-estate influencer, and I started looking into it. The startup is a YCombinator graduate, fresh on the market.

They combine an FDIC insured savings account with a guaranteed rate of 0.2% and a weekly lottery with prizes of up to $10M. For every $25 you deposit, you get a ticket with 7 numbers – 6 regular and a Yotta number. Every day, they reveal one number, at 6pm PT. Each Sunday afternoon, you can see how much you have won, all in the app. Simple and fun.

Two Phones
This is how their mobile app looks like.

The app easily connects to bank accounts through a service called Plaid, now part of Visa, so super-secure. While you can put in whatever you like, due to financial regulations, you can only deposit a maximum of $10,000 / day and can withdraw a maximum of $40,000 per month. And remember, FDIC only insures accounts of up to $250,000, so putting in more is riskier.

How does it work?

Technically, Yotta makes more on your money than the 0.2% that it’s committed to pay out on a regular basis. The rest of the profits they make from holding your money in risk-free assets they distribute through the lottery system – via actual cash or a Tesla Model 3.

If you calculate your odds of winning today, by playing consistently, and without too much network growth, you could be looking at yields of over 1.8% per year at worst, over 3% per year at best.

So, from my perspective, anyone who plays scratch cards, lottery tickets and any other form of small-value gambling should definitely try out the Yotta app and put that $80 per month money to work for them, instead of spending it.

Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash