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 Post subject: How many saving accounts do you have?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:41 pm 

Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:12 am
Posts: 27
The wife and I created our budget a couple months ago and have been tracking all of our savings & expenses. One idea we threw around is opening up savings or mma for the different expense/emergency categories. How many savings accounts do you have? How do you organize or keep track of budges for emergency and variable expenses (car maint, medical, etc.)?


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 Post subject: Re: How many saving accounts do you have?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:32 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:59 pm
Posts: 62
Location: San Diego, CA
3 savings accounts

1. General savings
2. New car fund
3. Vacation and travel fund

As well as some bond mutual funds I think of as savings.

For me, I probably should have 5 savings accounts

1. Start a business fund
2. House fund
3. New car fund
4. Vacation fund
5. Emergency fund

but I don't


Last edited by tdelamater on Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How many saving accounts do you have?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:48 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:59 pm
Posts: 62
Location: San Diego, CA
oops, didn't answer the second question:

akim1220 wrote:
How do you organize or keep track of budges for emergency and variable expenses (car maint, medical, etc.)?


For emergencies, I have a sinking fund category in my budget called "unexpected". I budget 80 (used to be 100) a month and that rolls over month-to-month. At the end of the year I re-balance the account moving some into savings (if few unexpected events happen). I've had a number of "unexpected" expenses of over $500 but have yet to need to touch any savings. The whole idea is to "expect the unexpected".

For car maintenance, medical, and other variable expenses I do a similar technique. I used my historical spending in these categories and average it out on a monthly basis. Then I roll over any unused portion to the next month and re-balance at the end of the year. You just have to keep these monthly amounts up to date as your circumstances change.

This takes a good history of spending to get right. Before we had the history to do this, my wife and I would sit down at the beginning of each month and go through each category and list out all the expenses for the month we could foresee. We were wrong a lot of the time. Soon we were rarely wrong, then it got common place enough we implemented the strategy above. This took about 2 years.


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 Post subject: Re: How many saving accounts do you have?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:00 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 810
depends. Savings are spread across 6 or so banks/entities (some are credit unions which make you have a savings account and we only keep about $500 or so). Another is an online HSBC that I couldn't figure out how to close and have been too lazy to do so over the last couple of years and it has a couple hundred bucks or so in it. The rest are broken up over many accounts within the same bank, issue of gubimint bonds and multiple index funds which represent part of our emergency fund. 7 if you count the places within my property I have squirreled away a couple grand in small bills in case of natural disaster/takeover by pirates/"khmer rouge" type take over (in the case of the latter, we'd have lots of TP!). 8 if you want to count our ammunition stock pile.

We don't hold separate accounts for a new car, e fund, travel etc. We hold well over 1.5 years worth of expenses in cash and if we need a car, we can spare the change. All cash gets put into stock index funds. vacation is paid for out of cash flow, which means we invest less for a month or two. most car and household type emergencies can be handled out of normal monthly inflow (again, with contributing less to the investments).

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"If you only have 1 year to live, move to Penn...as it will seem like an eternity."


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 Post subject: Re: How many saving accounts do you have?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:37 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 255
Just two. I have one liquid account that I keep $1000 for immediate emergencies. One ING account for longer-term savings. When I'm feeling ambitious, I divide my savings in an excel sheet, but honestly, I just use the money as needed and maintain a minimum amount. Maintaining $1000 is the only untouchable number.

When I have unexpected expensive car repairs and such, it comes out of the $1000 fund, and then I move money from the longer term account too keep it topped off at $1000.


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 Post subject: Re: How many saving accounts do you have?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 1114
We have one bank with one checking and ten savings accounts. There is no maintenance fee associated with them. We like to divide out the money and specify what the funds are for: E-Fund, car repairs, medical expenses, vacation, etc. Everything goes through the checking account.

We track our expenses by retaining every receipt and entering the data into an excel spreadsheet. We verify the data through the bank website, credit card website, and mint.com. I enter the receipts into a general ledger every few days or minimum once a week. We track all of our savings accounts, credit cards (paid off every month), gift cards, and expenses through the Excel spreadsheet. ;)

Edit: To correct we have ten not nine savings accounts.

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Last edited by Eagle on Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How many saving accounts do you have?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:47 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:34 pm
Posts: 531
The hubby and I have two savings accounts. The first is for our house. We take all of our monthly house expenses (mortgage, property tax, homeowner's insurance, association fees, maintenance fees), divide by 2, and deposit that amount into this savings account with each paycheck. Then, each of the bills is automatically scheduled to come out of this savings as they are due.

The second savings account is for, well, everything else. Mainly it serves as our emergency fund and our tuition fund for the hubby's school. The last two emergencies we funded were an unexpected tax bill ($900 due to a calculation error - ugh) and a new kitchen faucet when the old one broke. We had discussed making a third savings account for the hubby's tuition, but since he's on the GI Bill, we get reimbursed fairly quickly for what we spend, so we thought it wasn't worth the effort.

As for organizing and planning for variable expenses...honestly, we kinda SWAG it. We do make sure we have enough money in there to cover all of our deductibles, plus we add a set amount each month that feels comfortable to us.


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 Post subject: Re: How many saving accounts do you have?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:03 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 1148
Location: Illinois
3, but only two are used, and one is just the money market fund at my brokerage where some money sits until I decide where to put it. The third is paying less interest than my checking account at the same bank, so it has a $0 balance at this time. I've just never gotten around to closing it.

I don't have a very detailed budget. One savings account is my emergency fund, and I when an annual expense like car insurance comes up, I usually just reduce the amount I am putting in to my investments that month to pay for it.


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 Post subject: Re: How many saving accounts do you have?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:50 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:10 pm
Posts: 11
I have two. One is my emergency fund that I will never touch unless I lose my job or I suffer a major injury. (I rent and I don't have a car so I don't foresee any other major incidents that I couldn't handle with my other savings account/monthly cash flow)

The other is kind of a "slush fund" type account. I throw my extra money in there each month but right now most of it doesn't have a purpose. I'm only 23, so I figure it can just sit there until I want to make a downpayment on a house or buy a car. But I can also use some of it if I want to go on vacation, replace my computer (which needs to happen), etc.

Not sure if that is the best way to separate my money, but I just don't want the hassle of having 10 different savings accounts. I hardly touch any of my money anyway, it's just there if I need it.


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 Post subject: Re: How many saving accounts do you have?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:25 pm 

Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 3:36 pm
Posts: 120
I had only one till recently. I now have five.

1) House
2) Vacation
3) Emergency Fund
4) Electronics
5) Older USAA account, which holds some emergency fund for instant access to allow the above to transfer over two days.

I have been thinking of adding another ING account for my car, however I am most likely buying a house soon, which will clean out the "house" fund and at that point i will create the account and split the auto pay that is currently going to the house.

For unexpected costs have a EF that contains 3-6 months of expenses, which also should be high enough to cover major repairs (AC going out, major car issues, ect.)

For routine costs like car maintenance or house work, i would have a savings account that has X amount go to it each pay check (or monthly) and then if it ever gets over X amount (lets say a year's worth of maintenance) then you could stop payments to it till half the money has depleted and then go back to contributing to it.

Before I moved my savings around I had just one huge account, and although I did have a spreadsheet with my budgets, I really just thought of it as my "house" account, and didn't really look as it being 4-6 things in one.

Also to help track your budgets and build your EF budget, if you haven't looked at Mint its a simple free tool. It doesn't give the insight that some like, but I like it for seeing all my accounts in one place, watching trends, and the budget tools, although simplistic, are easy to setup and also will help you get a rough ball park on some things (example, it has a emergency fund calculator, although pretty simplistic.)


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 Post subject: Re: How many saving accounts do you have?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:19 pm 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 134
I have two. One is a "hands-off" account that holds my emergency fund and down payment savings. Anything over X is for the down payment of my next house and otherwise will not be touched unless it's an emergency.

The other is my general savings. I have a spreadsheet that lists what I have allocated to each savings goal and what the final goal is. Under that is the total allocated, the total in the account (comes from another page of the spreadsheet that's updated weekly) and finally what hasn't been allocated. It's actually pretty simple to manage, a lot easier (for me) than having several small bank accounts.


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 Post subject: Re: How many saving accounts do you have?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:51 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:08 am
Posts: 35
I have two "real" savings accounts, one is for wife and myself, the other is for our 6yr old (I put his savings and his invest money in there so he can at least get a little interest). We also have two FHSA accounts (Australia specific) that can ONLY be used toward the purchase of a new house, the gov pitches in an extra 17% of what you contributed that year (your contribution maxes out at $5k or so), hard to pass up free money! We're not sure if we'll ever buy a house here, but there is an out...if you decide NOT to buy a house, you can roll it into your super (retirement account).

In an emergency, we could tap the principle of our Roth IRA accounts, though that would be a last resort only (i.e., we aren't counting on using that money to pay for an unexpected car repair).

Day to day, we mainly just keep a buffer in our checking/cheque accounts.


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 Post subject: Re: How many saving accounts do you have?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:21 am 

Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:12 am
Posts: 27
Thanks for all the info. I am going to go ahead and go with my plan of opening savings accounts for each variable expense. I like to have things seperated and this way I won't be tempted to use the money if I had it all in one lump sum.


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 Post subject: Re: How many saving accounts do you have?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:13 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Posts: 160
Location: Texas
I have 6 savings accounts.

1) Account at same bank as primary checking - acts as emergency back-up, minimal balance
2) Escrow acct
3) Emergency Fund
4) IRA holding acct
5) Baby acct
6) Other goals - furniture, vacation, car


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 Post subject: Re: How many saving accounts do you have?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:36 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:47 am
Posts: 172
Location: FL
I have 5 savings accounts, some of them change as goals are completed, etc. but currently they are:

Emergency Savings
Car Fund
Real Estate Fund
Roth Fund
Interest Fund (I transfer my monthly interest into this account cause I'm a freak and like my other account balances to be whole numbers, $2,000 etc..)


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