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:
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!