I talked with Mr. A the other morning about using his INGDirect account to hold our budgeted savings. He asked why would I want to use ING rather than our regular savings, and he also wondered since they are only available online, what are their interest rates. He said if they don’t have the overhead of a brick and mortar building, they should be able to make up for it in the interest rates.
I took a look this afternoon. Mr. A has an account at INGDirect. I opened it to make the $25 for opening the account back in March 2008. That account shows that the interest rate dropped in October 2008 to 2.75%. It is now at 1.30%.
I had a hard time deciphering the interest we’re getting from Wells Fargo, so I finally called and asked. It’s much less than 1%. It’s .15%.
Right now we have around $1800 set aside for future obligations, including estimated taxes, auto insurance, tires, AAA, and website hosting. Obviously this amount fluctuates, since we are adding or removing amounts each month.
I told Mr. A the reason I have been thinking about using INGDirect for our budgeted savings is because we can set up sub-accounts, and then it would be easier to keep the amounts separate. I mean, I can continue as I have been and keep track in a spreadsheet. But I read on a blog somewhere recently that it is a lot nicer to have the money separated. I told Mr. A I don’t know of any other bank that allows these sub-accounts.
Mr. A was also concerned about what would happen is “something” happened and we couldn’t access our money from an Internet account. I told him I thought we would have as much trouble getting our money from our brick and mortar bank if “something” happened.
I told him I *do* like banking with our brick and mortar bank, simply because we can go in and take care of problems in person. For example, I have Mr. A’s unsecured credit card set up to withdraw automatically. I like to check online and see that the payments were made on all auto-payments, just to ease my mind. A card might expire, or be rejected for whatever reason.
Speaking of problems, several months ago I’d logged into Mr. A’s account, well, I tried to log in and I’d forgotten which of his passwords I’d used, and I locked myself out of his account. Mr. A really doesn’t like dealing with all this banking stuff, so it’s phenomenally easier to just walk into the bank, producing identification, and giving his permission for me to resolve the issue, than trying to make a phone call.
Mr. A also brought up what would happen if something happened to me and I couldn’t access the bank information? That’s a good question. I had intended to create, and keep updated an “Alien Abduction Manual” as Mrs. Micah discussed on her blog back in April 2008. Indeed, I do have the thing started, but I really need to update it! Perhaps this will be a good resolution for the coming New Year.
I was recently at INGDirect, trying to figure out how to get that $50 for Mr. A if we invested in Sharebuilder. I learned at that time that we can’t have a joint account, unless I have my own account with INGDirect, so I will need to open an account before I get started with the sub-savings accounts. I had one a few years ago, but closed it because I wasn’t using it, so I’m not eligible for the bonus.
I couldn’t quite figure out Sharebuilder, but I did open a Sharebuilder account for Mr. A. I thought we had to buy a stock for $4, but now I’m at a loss of how to proceed. Is it four dollars a month? Are there fees? I just couldn’t tell. I will probably lose out on the “bonus” since I don’t know what to do next.
Anyone know of a good post to guide me on using Sharebuilder? Or maybe you know, please share in the comments. Thanks!