Multiple Savings Accounts to Track Goals

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What financial goals are you currently pursuing? We’ve had quite a few big goals over the past 2 years and thanks to a wealth of wisdom from Dave Ramsey and financial blogs like Derek’s, we’ve been able to reach them with gusto! Here’s what we’ve accomplished so far in the order they were checked off our goal list:

  • $30,000 student loans (Read how we paid it off in 9 months!)
  • Increase our tithe to 15% of our income
  • 6 month emergency fund
  • Increase our investing to 15% of our income
  • Second car (if needed) or current car replacement (when it dies) savings
  • Save for a 20% down payment on a home

The last goal of home savings is the only one that didn’t quite work out because we didn’t hit 20% before we closed on our current home last month. I’ll talk details about the condo another day though- you’ll have to stop by Budget for Health sometime in May if you want to see all of the before & after photos; it looks SO much better!

When we initially started saving for our goals, we tracked them in our homemade excel sheet. While we could simply add up each monthly contribution for a particular savings goal, we wanted something that made tracking our progress more simple. What we found that worked best for us was opening multiple “accounts.”

The ING Direct Orange Savings Accounts allow you to open multiple “accounts.” I put quotes around it because they’re not like normal savings accounts we think of. I liken them to multiple documents within one folder. We labeled one “Home Sweet Home” for obvious reasons, another “Emergency Fund,” and a third “Bubble Gum Blue Car” simply because Dave jokes that he’s going to surprise me with an obnoxious bubble gum blue car someday. When we log in to ING we can see all three accounts and view each one individually, statements and all. You can actually have up to 25 mini accounts if you have that many goals! We transferred a lump sum each month from our main checking account to the appropriate ING account with ease.

These accounts offer a 0.08% interest rate which is better than the 0.01% from our main checking account but we don’t even take that into account in our budget because we don’t use it for the interest rate. It’s an account that allows us to track our savings simply and get money out when we need it without penalty. When we closed on our home, we transferred the entire amount from the “Home Sweet Home” account to our main checking account and then deleted the home savings account. An additional perk being a relatively new iPhone owner, the ING app has been very easy to use as well!

Side note: I was not asked by ING to write this nor was I endorsed in any fashion. The article contains my own opinions from personal experience.

I’m curious to know- what method do you use to track/monitor progress of your financial goals?

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Money Save Money

Derek

AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

15 Comments

  1. I do the same thing. I have close to 17 accounts. I use them for savings as well as one time expenses like car insurance. I love being able to see each goal individually instead of having just one account with all of my money and having to do math to figure out how much is for what goal.
    Jon @ MoneySmartGuides recently posted..What is Dollar Cost Averaging?

  2. I have 1 checking account and one brokerage account. I might be closing the checking to go with just the brokerage to make it even easier. For me it works much better. The first thing I am doing is refinancing. Then I am appealing my taxes again to see if I can lower them once again. Last year I won so I will try again this year. After that I am going to continue to learn the ways of the 4 hour work week.
    Jai Catalano recently posted..5 Good Investment Ideas

  3. Virtual accounts are a clever way to see goals separate without the headache of having truly separate accounts! When I saw your title, I was like, “What about a virtual wallet instead?” but I see that ING’s system is much like that. Cool!
    Jenny @ Frugal Guru Guide recently posted..12 Free Gardening Kindle Books

    • You’re right, I think it is similar to virutal wallet! It helps prevent mistakes like forgetting you already accounted for a certain amount and unknowingly double counting.

  4. Great ideas! Seems like it could be a bit of a time sync, but I would imagine the apps do a good job of consolidating the data.

  5. While I don’t currently have that many savings accounts, I have done something similar in the past. Right now I have one savings account that is used for an emergency fund. Once I have my student loans paid off I will begin to save more for those larger purchases/expenses, most likely similar to what you mentioned.
    Jennifer @ Money Aches recently posted..Save Money While Helping Mother Earth

    • You’re right behind us on our goals! We just finished paying off student loans. It’s such a freeing feeling when you get to see your money work for you instead of sending it away every month!
      Jessica @ Budget for Health recently posted..Our Kitchen Makeover

  6. Thanks for the ING info, I did not know about the “multiple” accounts available. I will be checking that out. We currently using ING for our own and grandkids savings which are “real” separate accounts. In May 2014 we will be reorganizing our entire budget and this will be perfect for our future saving needs.

    • You’re welcome, Karen! I’m not sure how the checking accounts work but the Direct Orange is the savings account that allows you to open multiple. It would be very handy for keeping track of each grandkids’ savings.
      Jessica @ Budget for Health recently posted..Our Kitchen Makeover

  7. I’m getting closer to Jai than anything else.
    I may keep my current savings account with ING for our mortgage, but I am seriously considering switching to a single brokerage account for my primary checking and savings goals all wrapped into one. Although I do have separate retirement accounts of course.

    If I wanted to, I could use Quicken to setup savings goals and track how close I am to them however I think that may be over tracking (and I can be quite a “control” freak at times 🙂 ).
    Chris recently posted..Has your household lost or gained net worth?

  8. I forgot to mention there is another reason someone might want to maintain more than 1 savings account. There are a limited number of transactions allowed from a savings account (6 per month I believe), which was put in place to prevent terrorists from building up cash and transferring it quickly.
    I literally had 4 transactions out of my savings account this month already due to a first holy communion coming up and a couple other items.
    Chris recently posted..Has your household lost or gained net worth?


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