Nate and Danielle answer a listener question about savings and how to manage a savings account with money set aside for multiple future expenditures. The various opinions are reviewed along with suggestions on what to do with longer-term savings.
Nate also makes a re-visit to cord-cutting and discusses OTA and listener suggestions for getting it to work properly.
“I just recently started listening. I want to start a budget with my wife and I. My main question that I struggle with every time I try to do a budget is… How do you separate savings? If you have $500 dollars in car savings, $1000 saved for a new heater, $40,000 saved for a house….and so on. How do you separate these savings without opening 16 different savings accounts? To me being able to separate the savings is so helpful. The other option is to simply have all the money in one account and keep track of it in an excel sheet If you guys have any tips for managing the savings it would be so helpful Thanks! And keep up the awesome content! “
There’s really only two main options, different accounts or use a spreadsheet.
We choose to track it on a spreadsheet and keep it in one account, but it’s just preference. One variation on this could be to separate by broader categories – house account, crash fund account, and small purchases account (e.g. cars and heater).
I would be wary of having too many savings goals at once, it’ll be harder to focus and it’ll feel like progress is going much slower. This will also help you prioritize your wants as you start hardcore saving.
There are several online savings accounts out there that actually help you separate savings more easily – they allow you to categorize an account into sub-accounts. Check your current bank to see if they already have a method of doing this. If not, search around, Nerd Wallet reviews several:
- Alliant High-Rate Savings (see full review)
- Ally Online Savings Account (see full review)
- Barclays Online Savings Account (see full review)
- Capital One 360 Savings (see full review)
- Discover Online Savings (see full review)
- Synchrony High-Yield Savings Account (see full review)
If you struggle with wanting to pull from your savings on items that it’s not meant for (or prematurely), you could consider a CD – it’s a higher interest rate than a savings account and you can lock it down for a period of time. For instance, if you’re saving for a house and you know you aren’t going to buy for another 2 years, set up a CD for that time so you know you won’t touch it and you can earn a bit extra.
I would also suggest making savings automatic – set it up so money is taken straight out of your checking at a specific time each month.
I heard your podcast stating you had some technical issues. I did send one message following your cord-cutting episode that you may not have received. I too, cut the cord and ended up using an OTA antenna. You mentioned you tried an antenna but did not get good results from it. Just curious, what antenna did you try and where did you put it? I mounted one on a pole attached to my chimney, so it is pretty inconspicuous. It pulls in about 25 channels from antennas that are about 30 miles from me. TV Fool is a great resource for determining what stations you should be able to receive at your address. Another great resource for comparing streaming services is suppose.tv.
We have only tried the antenna from inside the highest level of our home and on each side of it. Great idea to mount it to the chimney. I’ve done some basic research into this and it may work for us. I just need the weather to get nicer before I trek up the chimney with a ladder. We live part-way down a hill and have tall trees right next to the house. People in our area are able to pull channels from Baltimore and DC, but we just didn’t have much luck.
I do want to try again at some point.