Organizing savings goals
November 16, 2011 8:58 AM   Subscribe

Looking for an online savings account or an elegant non-spreadsheet method to track my savings goals.

I have several separate expenses I'd like to save for. I'm curious if there's an online savings account or a method you use that allows for the neat, visual division of these different expenses.

For example, say I have $2000 to put in my savings account each month. Say I divide this $2000 like this (don't focus on the numbers I'm using - just giving you an idea of what I'm thinking):

-emergency savings - $1250
-pet emergencies - $250
-new household items -$250
-misc items -$250

Beyond opening a separate savings account for each goal (and without opening CDs), do you know of an online banking account that allows you to "divide" your funds in this manner, even if it's just visually instead of actually? Do you have a method you use, beyond a simple spreadsheet, that works for you?

I'll keep track on my own personal spreadsheet, but I would love some nicely-designed site or cool method I haven't though of that that allows me to see how much I've saved towards each goal.

Mint does this, I know. That might be my solution. However, I'm looking for:

a) An online savings account that has a feature like this built in or
b) Your personal organizational tactics/hacks to keep your goals separate.

(Caveat: This is just for savings, only. I have my retirement and other expenses taken care of.)

Thanks, MeFites!
posted by Laura Macbeth to Work & Money (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: As a note, I have no trouble actually keeping these separate goals organized - I'm extremely type-A. I'm just looking to up the cool factor of organizing these goals. I'm the type of person who gets overly excited over colored highlighters, so you can imagine.
posted by Laura Macbeth at 9:00 AM on November 16, 2011

Best answer: I use ING Direct, and while it doesn't allow me to have subaccounts (AFAIK) it does allow me to have as many savings accounts as I like, and to rename them whenever I like - so, for example, I can take my "new phone" account, and rename it to "xmas money" once I have my new phone.
posted by needlegrrl at 9:27 AM on November 16, 2011

I believe the pnc virtual wallet has a lot of these features, but can't say I've used it personally.
posted by jourman2 at 9:38 AM on November 16, 2011

Best answer: Not online, but an elegant piece of software:YNAB

It's just a really nicely designed piece of budgeting and accounting software. To do what you're describing, you'd just make each of those types of savings a budget line or "category." Each month you'd budget whatever amount to that category, and whatever part of it you don't spend (by assigning purchases to the same category) gets carried over to the next month. This is not a kludge or improvisation; what you're describing is exactly what the software is intended to do.
posted by jon1270 at 9:59 AM on November 16, 2011

Seconding ING as allowing you to divide your savings account into as many named accounts as you want.
posted by doctord at 12:10 PM on November 16, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, all. I ended up using ING - it does exactly what I want! I'm also going to check out a free trial of YNAB - that looks like the elegant portion of the solution I was looking for.
posted by Laura Macbeth at 2:01 PM on November 16, 2011

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