Saving for multiple goals

colebugAugust 14, 2006

Currently I am working on financial planning for my family. There are several intermediate-range goals that I would like to save money towards such as a car, some property and an upcoming remodeling. I would like to keep three running totals so I can plan to put, for example, $200/mo away for the car, $500 away for the property and $100 away for the remodel. That way when we reach the goal amount, we take action on that item.

How do others track savings for multiple goals? Multiple bank accounts? Can quicken do something like this? Other ideas?


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Unless you get the bank accounts for free (and even then...), separate accounts really aren't that useful. Quicken and programs like it can track that just fine. So could a piece of paper on which you keep your running total of what you have in each "fund" while it resides in a common savings/investment account (which likely will be cheaper to maintain that a bunch of smaller accounts anyway). Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 7:07AM
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Use paper, Quicken or a spreadsheet program such as Excel

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 1:41PM
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My husband and I have three separate savings accounts at ING Direct. We have the prudent reserve account, the travel savings account for vacations, and an account we just opened to save for a new (preowned) car that he'll need in another year or so.

Each account has a name (we chose the names, like "car account"). It is easy to check the accounts online with a single log-on. One page shows all three accounts by name with the amount in each -- giving instant information on how far along we are for each savings goal.

So while others do well with Quicken, Excel, or paper, we really like having the three separate accounts.

Pick the system that will work best for you. And keep on saving!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 5:12PM
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I use ING also, and like being able to have the separate accounts.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 6:24PM
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We have separate accounts as well.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 11:15PM
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Sometimes the interest rate goes up when you maintain a specific minimum balance. Make sure you don't miss out on that by having multiple accounts.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 7:41AM
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I bank at a small (2 branches) local savings and loan. DH banks at a different bank. A little off topic, but yes, we do keep our money separate (and because of it, have never, in over 30 years of marriage, ever had a single argument about money!)

I have several accounts. They're all free at my bank, anyway. 3 money market accts that I can write checks on--one for household bills, one is some of my savings so they're accessible if I need them (wrote the check for my new car on that account), and one is joint with my DD--orginally was for her college bills. Now, it's more of a convenience, if she needs to borrow money or if there would be an emergency. Also have several passbooks (one is some inheritance $$$ that we put aside; one is my pension fund that I took out when I was riffed from a teaching job, one is general savings). And I have several CD's for longterm savings. I like to have a bunch of those, of different lengths, that come due at different times of the year. I also have money that I've won (I've had a bit of luck with recipe contesting). I never spend winnings, and keep them totally separate from everything else.

My point is, you can set up your banking however you choose. If you want separate passbooks (or money market accounts) for each goal, by all means tell the bank that's what you want. If they give you a hard time, maybe you're not banking at the right place. I personally like to keep things organized in separate accounts--nothing makes seeing exactly what you have for each goal easier, IMO.

But really, what's right for me, or someone else isn't nearly as important as what's right for you. Take some time, and figure out what kind of system will work best for you and your family, then set it up that way. No one answer is right for everyone. And remember, most times, if you want to make changes in your investments down the road, you should be able to do so, so you don't have to have the exact right answer this minute. Set up what you think will work, then as you need to, re-evaluate and make adjustments. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 3:12PM
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