Welcome to day number one of the Secure Your Savings and Find Peace in the New Year series! Are you excited? I hope so, because I sure am. We’re going to change the way you see money and bills this month. And this change is going to rock your entire year.
I’m passionate about finding ways to fund your sinking fund so you can get ahead. No more worry about extra bills rolling in at just the wrong time. Learn more about what this challenge is here.
I’m going to assume you’ve already chosen your goal and printed your thermometer. Now let’s tackle the next step. Where is this money going to go?
You can keep this simple or make it more complicated. Avoid technology at all costs or completely automate it. Choose what best matches your life.
Why You Need an Extra Checking Account
You could choose to put this money in an envelope under your mattress. But my suggestion is to open a separate checking or savings account. Preferably at a different bank from your daily checking account.
The idea is to allow this money to build without stealing from it the next time you see a bargain on elf shoes. The sale might be the best bargain you’ve ever seen. It’s tempting to buy enough elf shoes to cover all your elf shoe needs for the next couple of years. But resist the urge. Once you have this money built up, you’ll be free to spend other windfalls stocking up on elf shoes. I promise.
What Kind of Account?
If your goal is to pull together an emergency fund, choose a good savings account. While you do want this money away from your daily routine, you’ll need to be able to access it in an emergency.
For sinking funds, I prefer a good checking account. Be sure they don’t charge monthly fees.
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Option One: For the “Type A” Person
Personally, we use an online bank. I like Capital One 360, because we can have a checking account for our sinking fund, but we also can open multiple savings accounts. So if I wanted to open one savings account for every sinking fund category, I could do that. Dumping money from a savings account to checking is as simple as a few clicks. It’s done immediately, so I can access that money to pay bills right away.
Option Two: For the “Get Some Money” Person
Using the above method won’t make you much money. You’ll earn a very small amount of interest, but it won’t hit the $17 mark (unless you’re socking away a good chunk of money).
The way to make this into a money maker is to look for a bank offering a bonus. January is a great time to find these. Many banks will give you $100 or more to open an account with them.
Be sure to read the fine print. Many of these accounts are only “free” (without monthly fees) if you sign up for direct deposit. You won’t need to deposit your entire paycheck into this account, but it may be worth a nice bonus for you to file the paperwork to deposit a portion of your paycheck into this new account.
Option Three: For the “Keep It Simple” Person
If you’d like to earn a bit more interest on your account, don’t want to fool with fees, and like to shop local, a credit union might be right for you. Look around your area or ask friends for suggestions.
Credit unions are nice for their simplicity. Many of them offer a better interest rate on your money than traditional banks. And your money is close to you. Just make sure you don’t take advantage of that feature at the next elf shoe sale.
One More Thing
Are you a serial bank account opener? It’s possible you’ve got money lying in an account that you’ve forgotten all about! Be sure to check out Unclaimed.org for any money that might be waiting for you to come back and claim it.
Choose your best option and get started today!
We want this account up and running so we can fill it up. So jump on it right away!
P.S. If elf shoes are that important to you, don’t forget to add that category to your sinking funds. Wink, wink.
Which option fits you the best?