Christmas is a little over six months away, have you started saving? Here’s the easiest way to do it!

As you might recall from past posts, I am a HUGE fan on ING Direct.  ING is an online bank that allows you to set up unlimited, automated free savings accounts.  By utilizing their free services, we were able to go from having very little savings to paying for over half of our new home in cash!  The best part?  We didn’t have to change any of our spending habits.

ING Direct has now switched to Capital ONE 360, but still offers the same great services.

I have several separate accounts set up, and have a weekly set amount to be deposited into each one.  In addition to large ones, such as general savings, retirement, and emergency, I also have smaller ones set up.  These include things like auto repair, property taxes, vacations, and holidays.  I select the amount of money I would like deposited each week and link it directly to my checking account.

If you would like to have Christmas cash without worrying about living paycheck to paycheck, now is the best time to start your account.  There are approximately 26 weeks left in the shopping season, and here is the breakdown of what you can potentially save if you deposit weekly:

  • $5 = $130
  • $10 = $260
  • $15 = $390
  • $20 = $520
  • $25 = $650

The best part is that it’s still easily accessible if you need it before then!

What are you waiting for?  Sign up for a FREE Capital ONE 360 savings account today!  I promise, you’ll thank me later.

Back to School Savings | How I’ve Saved over $4,000

My husband and son have the fastest growing, thickest hair I’ve ever seen!  When my son was little, it seemed that we were spending $30 a month on haircuts for the both of them.  One night my husband came home with a pair of clippers and said “You’re going to learn to do this.”  I was terrified.  I can’t even make a ponytail look good!  He said, “I wear a hat, you can’t mess it up that badly.”

I’ll admit, the first few probably weren’t the greatest, but they weren’t terrible, either.  I’ve gotten much faster over time, going from an hour haircut to a 5 minute one.  There are times when I’m too busy or the boys just want to go to the barber shop, and honestly, the cuts don’t look any better than what I give.

We buy a new set of clippers about every two years- but their hair was really, really, hard on them. 

Want to know how much money this has saved us?

  • 12 years of haircuts at $30 per month: $4,320
  • 6 pairs of clippers at $30 each: $180
  • Total Savings: $4,140

Insane, huh?  Over FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS!

Of course, this number varies for everyone.  You may not have to get hair cut every month or pay $15 each for haircuts.  You may also have more boys with thicker hair than I do.

Want to give it a shot?  Amazon has some Wahl Clipping sets (one is even color coded) for under $20!  These retail for around $40.

How Anyone Can Afford to Start a Savings Account | And a Challenge for You!

A reader sent me a link to this article at CNN Money this morning, regarding the startling number of Americans that do not have adequate (or any) savings account.  Here is my favorite quote from the article:

"The biggest barrier to saving is not being in the habit of saving," he said. "By establishing that habit, even if an unplanned expense comes up and wipes out what you’ve accumulated, you’re only one paycheck away from restarting the saving process."

We used to have a really difficult time saving any money.  It wasn’t because we didn’t have a little extra, it was because it was not easy to save with our bank.  They didn’t offer any automatic savings programs.  In order to put money into the savings account, I had to go to the bank itself to do it.  I don’t like going to the bank, and when I did, it always slipped my mind.

When I started looking into additional banks, I ran across ING Direct.  I was leery of using an online bank, but they are one of the highest rated AND offered much higher interest. 

With ING Direct, you can set up as many savings accounts as you’d like- for FREE! I quickly set up accounts labeled: Christmas, General Savings, Home Down Payment, Emergency, and one for each of the kids.  I decided a small amount of money that we could put forward each week and set up the automatic transfers.  I can transfer money between the accounts at no charge.

A couple of weeks after the cash started coming out, I realized that I didn’t notice it was missing!  I can still get it out if I choose, but when I see the sum of all accounts, I don’t want to spend any of it.

Here’s how easy it is to set up an account:

 

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After saving for just over two years, we used our ING Savings Account to pay for nearly HALF of our house in cash.  I honestly think that we never could have done it if we hadn’t started using ING Direct as our savings account.

Here’s my challenge to you:  Pick something you REALLY want to save for.  Set up an ING Direct savings account and start putting a small bit aside for it.  You can set one of these up with as little as $1 a month (but that’s going to take a while to add up!).  This can be something as small as a new pair of shoes or as big as a house!

Once you sign up, leave a comment below telling us what you’re saving for!  One lucky winner will receive a $10 contribution to their savings!