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?
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.