I’m one of those people who likes to save for things. I like to save for new appliances, car care items (yes, those performance tires are expensive) and fun money for vacations, etc.
If I had the patience I would be en envelope stuffer – an envelope for this and one for that and stuff some twenties in it every week. I am not though and it just doesn’t feel right to have the money sitting in the house doing nothing. I have suggested to my credit union that they should let you divide your savings accounts into separate folders, so to speak. All I got from that was a suggestion to use the holiday fund account. I don’t want that though, I want my money all in one account, but kept in different little buckets.
My whines have been answered though, not by the credit union, but by this cool online site called SmartyPig (www.smartypig.com). I get to create a savings goal for my little piggy bank and it decides how much I need to save every month to reach the goal. I can have as many little piggy banks as I want and I can see them filling up and how far they have to go. Of course, what really swung it for me was that they offer 3.25% apy on the savings! Emigrant and ING online savings aren’t close to that these days.
They are FDIC insured too, for those of you more cautious types (me!) and everything is done electronically – you can even access your money whenever you want. Such a simple idea, but so effective. Now I have my little piggies for the car tires, the pet expenses, the vacation and the fun money.
I think you can also set it up so that you can let it be public – not done that but, maybe it would be nice to have that for a kid and let the relatives contribute to it for Xmas and birthdays. Don’t really want people to see how big my vacation account is before I decide where I want to go on vacation!
There are a lot of online financial tools now available – mostly for free. I have used Mint.com to track expenditures and Wasabe.com to check my checking account purchases. I used to mainly use Emigrant and ING for online savings, but since their rates are junk right now (it’s the economy, stupid) I don’t do much with them.
The Scottish building society (like a credit union) The Dunfermline just crashed. Kind of sad to see these old institutions die because of bad decisions, but new ones will take there place. Iceland had a complete meltdown financially and a lot of UK councils appear to have lost money because of it. The old adage of not keeping all your eggs in one basket would seem to be one that should be a standard refrain for everyone these days. Stuffing the money under the mattress doesn’t make sense, but neither does keeping everything you own in one place.
Maybe if more people take advantage of SmartPig accounts then everyone can get back to learning how to save money. My mother taught me about that at a young age – wasn’t particularly appreciative of it at the time, but it did sink in. She told me how she bought a new jacket for me when I was about 4 and got it on the never-never – pay 20p a week for 5000 weeks and it is paid off. Course, I had the thing ripped to shreds well before the 20th week! I think about that sometimes when I see people buying these big plasma TVs – have they really got the money for it or are they paying a ludicrously small amount every month for it?
Ah well, I may not have a big plasma, but my 5 year old 32″ CRT is doing just fine, thank you very much!