(Closed) How do you organize your money for different financial goals?

posted 7 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
849 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I don’t have any advice or knowledge to impart because I also just have one checking and savings account lol. But I figured I’d bump this up for you 🙂

Post # 4
Member
2890 posts
Sugar bee

I have multiple (like, 8 or 10) saving accounts. I also have a detailed budget on PDF. Whenever I receive my paycheck, I follow what’s written on the budget I’ve made and send X amount of money into different accounts. I can do all this through Internet, 10 minutes and it’s all done. 

Regarding types of saving accounts, I only use to basics because interest rates are so low that it’s not even worth complicating my life by having accounts in different banks. If I’m lucky I’ll get 46 $ after 3 year in a saving account. o_O

Post # 5
Member
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I use ING direct for my savings goals, because it’s a bit more difficult to access your money, so it controls my impulses to spend! (Takes about 1-2 business days to transfer to your main bank account). It’s all done online too so it’s super easy to set up/manage. I use different accounts for different gaosl – vacation, house, emergency fund etc. Each account has a “savings calculator” too, which allows you to see when you will reach your goal based on contribution amounts, frequencies, etc. It’s a great bank! I also find the interest rate is higher than any local, in-person bank.

Post # 6
Member
123 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

This may get long…

Retirement and health savings accounts: If you’re both working, I would start at your respective employers and see what they offer.  Way too much to get into in a post, but you’re going to want to take advantage of any benefits that they offer, like retirement matches, etc.  Also, at least in the US the rule of thumb is that you should have your yearly salary saved in retirement by 30 or 35.

Savings and debt repayment: For us, it’s easier to focus intensely on a few goals at a time rather than everything at once.  And we’re both very focused on debt repayment over savings for the time being because it fits our lifestyle.  (Under 30, with high school debt and happily renting in an urban area – no real home ownership plans in sight).

Initially, we sat down and figure out our monthly budget for fuel, food, and entertainment, because those are our only weekly expenses.  Our paychecks go into a brick and mortar (local, as oppsed to online) bank, and each month the first thing that we do is make all of our payments for the month (rent, car, insurance).  Then, we figure otu whatever we have in excess of the fuel/food/fun budget above, and decide what to do with it.  We either pay down our debt (student loans, for us) or decide to split it between loans and something we’re saving up for.  Our special savings accounts “targeted accounts” are at an online bank because their interest rates our better.  And we set up new accounts (it’s really easy) for each specific goal- new car, vacation, house downpayment, etc.  

Make sense?  I’m a personal finance nerd, so feel free to message me if you want more info

Post # 7
Member
18628 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

If you haven’t set a budget, that is your first prority.  You need to know what bills that you have to pay monthly before you are going to be able to decide how much to put into savings for each goal that you would like to meet.  I have read that it is best to have 1 long term (retirement), 1 mid term (10-ish years) and 1-2 short term goals at a time.

If your companies have matching on retirement accounts, you should contribute up to the matched amount.  If you have more retirement savings after that, open up a Roth IRA with Fidelity.  They have a lot of options for funds and free help to let you know which ones to invest in.

For the rest of your savings goals, I would suggest Smartypig.  You have just one account but multiple “goals” within the account so that you can log in and see everything seperated out.

If you have a high deductible savings plan for your insurance, you can get a HSA.  The healthcare company will most likely set this account up for you.  If you have a lot of medical expenses planned for the next year, you could open up a FSA but you have to spend this money within a year.  Your organization will probably let you know who to set this up with as well.

Post # 8
Member
9541 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I split up my money quite a bit. All long term savings/retirement is invested either through my work 403(b) or through another investment company. I also invest a good amount into my health savings account which is great because I never have to pay taxes, so long as the money is used for a healthcare expense, and while I don’t have a lot of health expenses, but at some point I’ll have a kid or get sick or just get old.

For more short term money, I have 2 savings accounts and 2 (now 3) checking accounts. Traditionally I have had 1 savings account for an emergency fund and another savings account specifically for vacations. Then one checking account for essentials (rent, utilities gas, groceries, etc) and another checking account for fun stuff (going out to dinner, movies, clothes, etc.). We also put all our wedding gift money into a third checking account which we will use for “date nights” as long as the money holds out.

Post # 9
Member
2868 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Ours is relatively simple, as we are just working on building up savings, not saving for specific things. Our main savings are in an investment account at Charles Schwab, invested in mutual funds. If you choose them well, the can make you a lot of money. DH has a 401K with fidelity through his work, and they match the contributions that are withdrawn automatically from his paycheck, so it is growing relatively quickly. The rest of our money is in our checking accounts. That is all budgeted out each month, and any extra I put in a different category of my budget as savings, but it remains as a cushion in my checking account until it gets to be enough to purchase another mutual fund at Schwab. I have a savings account but don’t bother using it because the interest rate is so low. This works for us for now, as we are young and have no desire to purchase a house, etc. 

Post # 10
Member
885 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

@ladybrick:  1 saving and 1 checking. Whenever we have children we will have IRAs and hopefully put 500/month into the college fund.  The way we do it is we have an emergency fund, and anything above that is used for whatever project is first in our priority list (house remodels by project, travels…etc) We have never had an issue keeping organized.  

Post # 11
Member
2036 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
@NauticalDisaster:  +1

Mulitple checking accounts is helpful for me.  Before I get paid, I put 7% of money into a 401k, then the company matches it.  I also put money in a HSA.

I have 3 total checking accounts.  1)  Main checking account and fun money  2)  Emergency savings  3) Wedding/House savings account.

It’s helpful for me to try and put 10% into emerg. savings, 5% into wedding/house.  When I get my paycheck, 401k and HSA are already gone.  I then make sure I’ve deducted all my bills, then do the math and save the %s of the fun money left.  After I’ve paid my bills and saved money, the rest of the money is to spend how I please (including food).  

ETA:  I’m not engaged yet.  SO and I talk about marriage, it’s going to happen, but until I’m engaged I’m not aggressively saving for that.  Once I get engaged I will have to reassess my goals Cool

Post # 12
Member
9950 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

When I was married the first time…

We had money in different categories…

Household Accounts (for paying day to day monthly expenses) – Savings Account (things we were saving up for) – Emergency Fund – and Personal Accounts (for our own individual Spending Money)

We also had a Savings Plan for the Kids Education (fabulous idea, and I highly recommend)

As well as our Investments… three types:

RRSPs (like 401s in the USA)

Stocks

GICs / Bonds

The GICs or Bonds (depending on who was offering the best rates) were bought usually with a purpose in mind… be it something short term or long term… sometimes the money got rolled over into another longterm investment when it matured.

Generally all of these worked out well for us…

Lol, that was until we got a Divorce… then My Ex decided that ALL THE MONEY we had stowed away was HIS… and ran off with a good portion of it (hid it offshore)

I learned a valuable lesson the hardway from that experience…

DO NOT USE THE 50/50 or PERCENTAGE METHOD in your Marriage !!  Because ultimately the lower wage earner suffers too much

Make things far more fair & equal from the beginning.

I am now a HUGE Proponent of combining everything… ala what I saw on Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s show “Till Debt Do Us Part”… there is something to be said for the concept of marriage including finances that says… “All that I am and all that I have, I give to thee” (is OURS)

A man cannot run off with the bulk of the income he brings into the home, if right from the get go it is divided up equally, and not by percentages !!

So that is what I believe in now, what I call here on WBee the ALL Method (or A to L) you can read more about that concept here = http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/how-do-you-handle-everyday-finances-as-a-couple#axzz2hXf73xsn

My Reply begins at # 3

Hope this helps,

 

 

Post # 13
Member
10635 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

View original reply
@This Time Round:  How do you account for attribution rules doing it that way?

Post # 14
Member
9950 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

To

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@AB Bride:  not 100% sure I understand…

A to L method:

A + B = C – D – E = F / 2 = (G & H)

A = Your Income

B = His Income

C = Total

D = Fixed Living Expenses (Mortgage, Utilities, Insurance, Food etc)

E = Joint Savings (an amount you both agree upon for something like a vacation, home repairs, boat, whatever fits your fancy)

F = Sub Total

G & H = 2 Equal amounts

And then G & H are further divided… but done so individually

I & J = Equal Amounts you each agree to put into your Long Term Savings (ie Retirement)

K & L = Is Equal Amounts you both have for Spending as you like

So… Our RRSP contributions would come out of our Income EQUALLY at I & J

— — —

Now if you are talking about topping up a Spouce’s RRSP (Higher Income earner as a method to Tax Savings), then naturally that would be something that a couple would have to be worked out in some other way in the long term… same at the backend when it comes to sourcing income from an RRSP… altho I would think that would be easier, as it would be now going into the Income Column.

*For the record, when my Ex & I split, the issue wasn’t so much with what was held in his various Pension programs… as all that stuff is clearly well maintained by paperwork and filed with Revenue Canada etc.

What caused an issue, was the “extra money” that he had at the end of the percentage method that he was investing on his own, without a strong papertrail (ie I wasn’t entirely aware of upfront).  So monies that he had in Stocks, Bonds, Investments, GICs, OTHER Bank Accounts etc.

Because we had used the Percentage Method of paying for things our whole marriage, I naturally ended up at the end of the process with less disposible money to spend and to invest.  My Pension plans / Investment Portfolio paled in comparisson.  Altho the law says I was entitled to my half of these things. 

In the 5 Years from our Seperation to ultimate Divorce… he had a lot of time to “manage” that money to his benefit, and make it “disappear”

The Court System requires each Party to volunteer financial info.  It can also petition paperwork… but altho that sounds easy, it isn’t.  Especially so when you as a spouse don’t have a clue where to begin to look !!

The RRSPs were as I say easy to track down, much of the other stuff, never were… despite the fact that he outwardly told me, “Good luck with that… you’ll never see a dime of that stuff, as you’ll never find it”

And he was right…

That was until he was sick / died … then most of it showed up… and I could have petitioned the court to reopen our Divorce Settlement.

BUT by then I was past worrying about “fighting for it” (10+ years of this stuff being front & centre in your life is more than enough… it really takes its toll on you)… and by then I was with Mr TTR and long past that “horrible place in my life”.  And as the inheritance was going to go to our kids, I wasn’t about to fight them over it (that would have been tacky & tasteless). 

In time, I trust they’ll come to realize the type of man their Dad really was… but I figure it ain’t mine to tell them / burst their bubble.  He was always a good father, just not a nice person or spouse.

But then alcoholics can be like that.

 

Post # 15
Member
10635 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

View original reply
@This Time Round:  Investments have to be taxed in the name of the person who earned the money for the principle, or a loan can be given to a spouse for investment purposes.  Often it’s best to assume all the spending money comes from the higher income earner, while investments (assuming they earn enough) all come from the lower income earner’s money.

Post # 16
Member
6114 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Well we don’t want kids and we already have a house, so we are saving for a) retirement, b) general savings, and c) a car for me some day.  We first and foremost contribute to the retirement savings above any other savings.  After we’ve “paid ourselves” then we just let our remaining leftover income accumulate in our checking.  We could choose to move a sum of $1000 everytime it wracks up (as long as we are above our cushion amount), and put that $1000 towards a savings account.  But right now we just leave it where it is.  Basically in short, we do not parse out our savings (unless it’s retirement).

 

As far as which “bank,” we use TIAA-CREF as the investment company because we both work for a university and our 401a is already set up with that.  Then we can open additional retirement accounts through TIAA-CREF, so we opened several more (such as Roth IRAs and more).  Vangard or Fildelity are companies that you can do on your own and are reputable.

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