Tags Posts tagged with "Savings"

Savings

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ING LogoMy account doesn’t list it in the “posted transactions” area just yet but right up top it lists the Current Annual Percentage Yield as 1.65%.

That’s another drop of 0.2 percent in just the past two weeks.

That, well, sucks.

And I’m not just talking about the drop… I’m talking about the rate in general.

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My Break is OverRemember that list I put together when I decided to stop my automatic savings plan?

I claimed that I was “taking a break” from saving.

Yeah, it was less than a week ago.

In short, I stopped my weekly transfer into savings because my checking account was feeling drained.

That, and I also wanted to:

  1. Pay my latest auto insurance premium in full.
  2. Erase the remaining credit card balance from the baby furniture purchase back in January.
  3. Be financially irresponsible and feed my addiction one last time before the smurfling is born.
  4. Pad my checking account balance to $5000.

So here I am, less than a week later and I’ve already accomplished the first three items.

Insurance is paid, credit card balance is zero, and there are 5 new jerseys in my collection.

The crazy part is that my checking account balance doesn’t look too bad even after all of that! (This is due in part to my State Tax Refund coming in this week.)

So maybe I won’t be off the saving wagon for as long as I’d originally thought?

I think that all I really needed to do was break from the monotonous routine for a few days…

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Now that I’ve finally reached my goal of $10k in savings (two months later than I’d hoped), I’m going to ease back on the throttle a bit and concentrate more on getting my checking account balance to a level that I’m a lot more comfortable with.

For the past few months, I’ve been transferring roughly $400 in to savings each week!

That’s freakin’ crazy.

Sure, I’ve seen my savings balance grow at an impressive clip but, at the same time, I’ve been cutting it real close in my checking account.

Too close for comfort, actually.

And, now… I want to get comfy.

So, with the money that I’m no longer throwing towards savings:

  1. I’m going to pay my latest auto insurance premium in full.
  2. I’m going to erase the remaining credit card balance (around $750) on the baby furniture.
  3. I’m going to be financially irresponsible and feed my addiction one last time before the smurfling is born.
  4. I’m going to pad my checking account balance to $5000.

That last one will likely take a few months.

And then, of course, when $5000 is the new $0, I’ll resume “feeding the pig” at my crazy high rate.

So I’m not *really* backing out, just, well, re-grouping, I guess?

And with the terrible rate that I’m earning in savings currently, well, this seemed like the perfect time to make this move.

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I'm in the money...  I'm in the money...Okay, enough with all of the negativity, you know, like getting screwed on my taxes, insurance companies attempting to stiff their customers, and ING lowering their rate

In short, I’ve added another automatic savings transfer to my very successful “weekly” schedule.

Every Wednesday, I’ll be transferring $15 from my checking account to my ING savings account currently earning a dismal 2.178 percent.

Fifteen bucks doesn’t sound like much. It’s not.

It works out to $780 per year or $65 per month. Those numbers are a little more respectable, I guess, but they’re still not real impressive totals.

They’re not meant to be.

I don’t even miss those $15. Not for a second.

I mean, if I weren’t so diligent about keeping track of my checking balance, I’m not sure I’d even notice it missing — that’s how small an amount it is.

But…that small amount increases, slightly, what I’ve already been dropping into savings each weekand that’s the point.

Now that I’ve now settled into my current income and expenses, I’ve found that an additional fifteen bucks each week can definitely be spared without any impact on my day-to-day routine.

Basically, I’m slowly working my way up to my maximum savings threshold, you know, the point where I can no longer afford to “save” any more.

I’m not there yet, but I’m getting closer.

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ING LionMan, they did it again…

I understand the reasoning, but that doesn’t mean that I have to like it. And this latest one, yesterday, was a biggie.

Interest Rate Change to 2.178% (2.20% APY)

Ouch.

Just two weeks ago the rate dropped to 2.374% (2.40% APY) from the 2.472 (2.50% APY) that it had dropped to just 3 weeks earlier

And to think, it was just one year ago that I was complaining that the rate had dropped to 3.590% (3.65% APY). I’d take that in a second now!

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Jar of Loose ChangeNearly every time I’m at the grocery store, I see at least one person with a jar of pennies at the Coinstar machine. I’d say that it’s almost as popular as the adjacent RedBox machine.

More often than not, it’s just a kid with a look on their face as if they’re about to win some huge jackpot or something — it’s like they’re under the assumption that the change in the jar is worthless compared to the little receipt that the machine spits out after a minute or two of jingle-jangling.

I have a problem with that.

The change in their jar is NOT worthless.

In fact, it’s worth more than the little piece of paper that the CoinStar machine spits out.

Seems that few realize this.

CoinStar takes a cut.

It’s like trading in your money for less than face value…

Who would do that?

Further, who would stand in line to do that?

(I’m aware that you can get an Amazon gift card or whatever for full face value but, no matter what you say, that’s not cold hard cash.)

So here’s what I can’t understand… Why don’t banks have their own self-serve CoinStar type machines as a convenience for their customers?

You know, machines that DON’T take a percentage off the top…

Obviously the days of rolling coins are over — I remember walking up to tellers in the past with a bunch of rolled change and the look you’d receive, well, let’s just say they weren’t exactly happy to see me.

The last time I tried this (at, cough!, Bank of America, cough!), I was told that, though I was a “preferred” customer, there would be a fee involved — even though I’d sorted, counted, and rolled the coins myself.

Needless to say, I walked back out with all of my change.

Money is supposed to be money, right?

I mean, since when is there a US-to-US currency exchange rate?

So what’s the hold-up with the face-value machines?

Banks? Are you listening?

If CoinStar can base an entire company around this service, the banks can certainly offer it as well…as a convenience to gain new customers. The machines would pay for themselves, well, in a matter of minutes.

I’m sure there are banks out there that already offer this service but, really, it should be as standard as free checking…

Reviewing My ProgressWell, 2008 is all but over so how’d you do?

I did pretty well on my goals for 2008. I mean, I certainly can’t complain.

In order of completion, I managed to increase my 401k contributions to 15% of my income, I eliminated all of my credit card debt, I paid down enough principle on my mortgage to have PMI removed (though it never actually happened), and I paid off all of my auto loans.

That’s a pretty decent set of achievements and I’m proud of every single one of them!

But there were a couple more goals on my list…

One, that I considered lofty, was to have $10k in savings.

Here, on the last day of the year, I’m finding myself in a bit of a grey area. I don’t feel that I accomplished the goal but by a technicality (my paycheck was deposited today instead of tomorrow because of the holiday), I actually have $10k at my disposal.

Just saying that blows my mind but, honestly, it doesn’t feel real.

And it isn’t all in my savings account right this minute, but it could be, so that goal was pseudo accomplished as well.

The final goal was to increase my passive income. That was a wishy-washy goal from the get-go and though my “side income” decreased by over $13k this past year, I managed to increase my 100% passive income… by just $63 over the entire year.

Hey, it’s better than nothing, right? It’s not like I “worked” for it…

So, with that, I can’t say that I accomplished all of my goals, but I think I took care of the big ones.

Hopefully 2009 goes even better — though my goals for the coming year are far less specific.

Can You Dig It?

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