What Am I Saving For?

by Elizabeth on June 15, 2011 · 12 comments

in Frugality, savings

One of my May goals was to actually put money into savings.  I used to be very good about this, but lately, I’ve noticed myself slacking off and not transferring money to my savings accounts.

Yes, I said savings accounts.  As in plural.  I have 6 saving accounts.

Before you start thinking I’m nuts, let me explain.  I use both my regular bank and ING Direct for my savings accounts.  I have the one standard savings account that came with my checking account and 5 accounts with ING. 

I LOVE ING. I cannot say that enough.  Love love love them.  One, it’s free, two, they give wicked interest (1% which is so.much.higher. than what my regular bank is giving me), three, it’s super easy to use – open up an account, transfer money, start saving and collecting interest – and, four, it’s very secure.  They ask tons of security questions and I’ve never felt like anyone has any chance of getting their hands on my information or my money.

The only downside about ING is that it can take up to two business days for your money to appear in your accounts, no matter if you are transferring from your regular bank account to ING or vice versa.  That’s bad if you need to get your hands on money quickly, but good if you have a problem with impulse spending.  Since you can’t access the money right away, it makes it harder to spend.  I’ve never had a problem getting my money when I need it, it’s just a matter of thinking ahead or paying myself back.

Interested in trying ING?  Email me at lifelovelibrarianship (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll send you a link that gets you $25 just for opening an account and depositing at least $250.  I get $10 for the referral (bonus!), but really, I just love ING so much I would recommend them even if I wasn’t getting anything for it.

Okay, so enough about how much I love ING.  Back to the original questions about why I have so many savings accounts and what exactly I am saving for.

I have the one regular savings account associated with my checking account for true emergency purposes.  Like something so urgent that I don’t have time to wait for ING to get me the money and I either can’t or don’t want to charge it.  It also serves as my overdraft protection.  (Not that I’ve ever needed that. Ahem.)  I keep a set amount of money in there and just let it sit.  It’s not collecting much interest, but if I need it, I know it’s there and it gives me a certain peace of mind.

Like I said I have 5 ING accounts.  Well, there more like sub accounts because ING gives you one customer/log in number and you can have up to 10 accounts tied to it.  Currently my five accounts are:

My Emergency Fund – I reached this savings goal at the beginning of 2011 (yay me!) and it’s the suggested 6 months of living expenses.  I had Mint.com calculate how much I need to save based on what I was currently spending and then I saved that much.  Since I’ve met the goal, the money is just sitting their collecting interest and I’m praying that I never have to use it.

House Money – This is the fund where I save for anything related to my house.  New furniture, new appliances, redecorating expenses, repairs, any thing that might come up when you own a house.  I don’t have a limit on it because I”m not anticipating needing anything for a while, nor do I know how much I’ll end up needing, but you never know and I want to be prepared without having to dip into my emergency fund.

Car Fund – I was fortunate that my parents bought me a brand new car for college graduation and it’s still in excellent shape.  However, it won’t last forever and I would like to be able to pay cash for a new car when I need it.  I started a new car fund now because I’m a slow saver and it might take me a while to save up enough for a new car.  This is also the account I’ll use when I need major car repairs.  For example, I need new tires soon and that money will come out of this account instead of my regular money or my emergency fund.

Vacation Fund – I would really like to be able to take an awesome trip one day without having to worry about money.  I have some ideas on where I want to go and how much I’ll need, but I don’t have a date in mind.  So I’m just collecting money until I figure out some more details.

Investment Fund – My dad is a financial planner and handles all of my investments.  The money I currently have invested is money he invested for me while I was growing up, but I would like to be able to add to that so I can start saving for my future.  I need more than just a few hundred dollars to really get started in investing, so I’m saving up until I have enough to actually do something with.

So that’s what I’m saving for now.  But that’s not always what I’m going to be saving for.  One day, all of those accounts will be maxed out and goals completed so I’ll need new goals.  I have a few things in mind including:

Retirement – I should be thinking about my future right?
Baby fund – I plan on having a baby by the time I’m 30 whether I’m married or not, and babies cost money.  Best to be prepared!
New house – I already own a house, but I’m not going to want to stay there forever, and I’m sure whatever I buy next will be more expensive than what I get for my house, plus all the new furniture, decorating, moving, etc will cost money, so again, best to be prepared.

So that’s my savings plan, for now anyway.  Do you have a savings plan?  What are you saving for?

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Megg June 15, 2011 at 10:01 am

Wow, a baby by 30 married or not?? That’s crazy! Babies are so expensive!
We’re saving 6 months (I think) living expenses too, which is both emergency and a baby savings account. We’re also (very slowly) saving for furniture! And also our Hawaii vacation in February!

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2 Elizabeth June 15, 2011 at 10:28 am

I really really want a baby, so I’m going to do it regardless. That gives me five years to either find a guy and get married or save up money for adoption/in vitro.

I’m jealous of your Hawaiian vacation! That’s going to be so much fun!

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3 Megg June 16, 2011 at 9:13 am

It was a wedding present from a co-worker of Geoff’s and, 2 years later, we will finally use it! It’s awesome because he gave us his timeshare (and a night on the volcano!) but obviously we have to save for all the other stuff we’re doing. But I really like the idea of paying all cash (though we’ll probably put it on the card for the rewards and then pay that off).

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4 Elizabeth June 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm

That’s going to be so fun! How generous of Geoff’s co-worker to give you that opportunity. I’m jealous. 🙂

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5 Amy June 15, 2011 at 11:32 am

And you say you’re not a risk taker. Psh, I wouldn’t have the courage to be a single parent on purpose – I think you underestimate yourself.

We have savings accounts like crazy through ING and our checking account is also through ING (LOVE it as much as we love our savings).

We’ve got an entertainment fund (sort of like your vacation fund), a savings account for the 3 kiddos, a general/emergency savings, a house fund, a mini van fund, and a water bill account because we pay our water quarterly and it’s easier to set aside money every month for it instead of trying to squeeze it in somewhere.

Our income is between approx. $4k-$4,500 a month and our bills are roughly $2300 (that’s EVERYTHING including gasoline, food, rent, insurance, etc.), so everything else gets distributed through the accounts on a regular basis. Right now, we’re really working on getting a van so it’s getting the bulk of the savings.

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6 Elizabeth June 15, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I guess I am a risk taker when it comes to certain things. 🙂 And I want a child so bad that I’m willing to take a huge risk. Children are worth every risk in the book in my opinion.

I’m glad I’m not the only one with so many savings accounts! Sounds like y’all are doing great saving money in lots of different categories. I really think that’s the best way to meet lots of goals, feel good about what you are doing with your money, and see results.

Have you picked a van, by the way?

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7 Amy June 15, 2011 at 12:18 pm

It’s between the Nissan Quest and the swagger wagon lol. Have to test drive them both still but those have the options I need/want most.

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8 Elizabeth June 15, 2011 at 3:07 pm

I like the look of both. I’ve driven the swagger wagon (lol) and besides the fact that it felt like I was driving a tank (a common feeling among first time mini van drivers I’ve heard), I really liked it.

Let me know if you find one you like!

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9 LibGirl09 June 15, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Wow, I agree the baby by 30 with/without spouse plan is kinda crazy. I hope you find that hubby in time. Single parenthood is very hard …. and even harder without another parent/partner involved. But I can understand how you feel a little bit. I’m turning 29 this year, and I’m not married yet. I thought I would be by now….and I also would have liked to have had my first child by 30. But there’s no spouse yet, and I’m in school so that’s a no-go for now. But I’m sending good luck wishes and happy thoughts your way! :o)

On a more positive note — great savings plan(s). Right now, I have two accounts….one is a general savings, I don’t have a clear purpose yet….and not a whole lot in the account yet either. The other is just holding some extra scholarship money for school until I need to pay my tuition bill.

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10 Allison L. June 20, 2011 at 1:54 am

I think that if you know what you want (like a baby in the next 5 years) & you are this prepared for it, go for it! I think it’s a great thing!
As I said previously on twitter, your savings plans fill me with shame. I wish I could be as awesome as you are … so I’m going to try!

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11 LibGirl09 June 20, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Good point Allison. Elizabeth definitely has this thought-out and is very prepared financially.

I’m also in awe (and ashamed of myself) by your financial savvy at such a “young age” Elizabeth. I learn a lot from your blog, thanks!

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12 Elizabeth June 21, 2011 at 9:21 am

I’m glad y’all have learned a little something. My parents are very financially savvy and tried to do a good job teaching me. I admit I was terrible with money until I was in grad school and paying my own bills. I never had any debt but I wasn’t careful with how I was spending or what I was buying. I overdrew my account on a regular basis and just was basically a stupid kid.

Around the time I started paying my own bills, I also discovered blogging and all the PF bloggers out there. I started reading The Frugal Girl too, and she uses ING, so I got a referral from her, and emulated her savings system which is how I ended up with multiple accounts.

Just take it slow and decide what’s important to you to save up for. After you pay off any debt and get your emergency fund out the way of course!

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