Friday, April 6, 2012

Capital One 360 targeted savings


 ING Direct officially became Capital One 360 in February 2013.  The transition was extremely smooth and did not affect any features that ING Direct offered.  Interest rates stayed the same.  The web page user interface has mostly stayed the same, only with new colors and a new Capital One 360 logo.  The orange ball has been replaced with a red “360” Capital One ball.   The main improvement is that Capital One also has multiple branch banks, which ING Direct did not used to have, since it was an online only banking system. The main distinction branch banking and online banking is that Capital One 360 is more focused on online banking.
I’ve previously written about having multiple savings accounts for multiple goals.

If you haven’t set this up, I want to remind you that this is really the best way to save for your goals.

I’m a big fan of Capital One 360 (Previously ING Direct) Savings.  Capital One 360 makes it extremely easy to open individual savings accounts with different nicknames for each account. You can give any account any nickname of your choosing.
These savings accounts have no minimum opening deposit necessary, no account maintenance fees, and no minimum account balance.  The Capital One 360 savings account has one of the higher interest rates available.  It’s really a no brainer to open multiple savings accounts here.

Separating your savings goals will give your savings inspiration and direction.  It will allow you to save up for luxury items that you want, and then buy them without worrying about whether or not you can afford to pay off your credit card balance later.

Financially savvy people buy things that they can afford after they save up for their goals.  They use their credit cards to make such purchases to get extra rewards, then they pay off their account balance in full each statement.

Financially naïve people make purchases they can’t afford with their credit card on borrowed money, and then get suckered into paying high interest fees and getting trapped in debt.

What are some big bills / expenses that you don’t get every month but you know are going to come up sometime in the future? 
  • Auto repairs and maintenance 
  • Car insurance premiums
  • Health care bills
  • Vehicle registration
  • Christmas, wedding, and birthday gifts
  • Property Tax
  • Home repairs
  • etc, etc
Instead of getting shocked and scrambling for money when you receive these bills, try actively saving for these expenses in advance.

Take my most recent example:  I just paid off a property tax bill installment of $3,318.74:

In the past, receiving a bill this large would have really caused me a great deal of panic.  $3,318.74 is kind of a lot of money.  First, I did not used to plan out my finances months in advance.  I would never save for the future and these bills would always seem to come unexpectedly.  Second, I used to only have one savings account to hold all of my money.  This can really give one a false sense of having more money than they really have.  In the past, these type of big bills would really clean out my savings.

I was already prepared to receive such a large bill this time.  I have been saving up small amounts ($554) for the last few months and I did not hesitate or freak out in coming up with the money to pay off this bill. This is one example of how targeted savings will keep you financially fit.

Here's another example:  

I opened another savings account last week. I just recently got engaged and now have a separate savings account called my Wedding fund.  We both know that our wedding will be a large financial expense, and we are prepared to save up for this together.  With every paycheck I receive, I automatically save 20% into my different savings accounts.  Have you setup your budget?  Where is your paycheck money going?

If you haven’t set up targeted savings accounts for your savings goals yet, I recommend setting aside just 5 (FIVE) minutes this week to get it done.  

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