Neil Carr
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Well, more like mild frustration. To make this RSP worthy... This is an outrage, the banks are gouging us!

Ok, now onto my question...

I'm just wondering if anyone knows of an online banking solution that's inexpensive but does the following: What I really want is one checking account and up to a dozen savings accounts all in one package. The savings accounts are essentially virtual piggy banks that have no minimum balance and I can just put in and take money out as needed. As an example, we heat our house with oil and purchasing the oil is always a large single payment. I'd like to be able to have a setup where every time we get a direct deposit from a paycheck, some of that money gets disbursed into the “heating oil” account throughout the year. Then when it's time to pay for oil we have that money put aside, it gets moved out of the savings account, into checking and then pays for the oil.

I want to be able to repeat that kind of setup with several different elements in life, but I don't want to pay a fortune in bank fees just to have these virtual piggy banks. At my current bank I'd be spending almost $500 a year for all of these accounts. Also, I shouldn't be concerned with minimum balances, because all of these accounts are designed to build up several hundred dollars and then get drained, fill again and then drain, rinse and repeat till the end of time. It's meant to be short term savings, where I dribble $5-20 a month into them until it's time to spend the money.

The whole Quicken budget thing just doesn't work for me. I don't want a general pool of money with an abstract budget laid on top. I want lots of real accounts to move money around in.

Does anyone know of anything like this with online banking?
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If you don't mind not having a B&M bank to go to, I really enjoy ING. I started a savings account with them a few years ago, and loved it. MY checking was still at a B&M, but when I deployed and took charge of our internet, I opened up a ING Checking Account, no minimum balance. I can transfer money around easily, and pay my internet bill direct. And I do believe you can have multiple accounts. I've thought about setting up a special one for "Vacation Funds" or other big ticket items.
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If I was a Bank I would set up "virtual accounts". All the money is in the same account and meets the minimum balance level, but the interface facing the consumer allows them to segment the money. Like maybe you have a base account number with a dash and a number designating the subaccount. Just logical dividers essentially. Outside the interface the sub-accounts have no meaning, they only exist to allow people to compartmentalize and budget their funds easier. The coding would be laughably easy I would think and the whole "feature" would be a cool selling point. It might actually encourage saving for some people.

Maybe somebody is already doing this and I just haven't seen it yet.
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Neil Carr
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I was looking over IGN and it does have the no minimum balance thing going for it. I guess what I was wary of with them was reading over how money goes in and out of the account. I'd still like a B&M to go to and moving money between the B&M and IGN seemed like a pain.
 
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echoota wrote:
I was looking over IGN and it does have the no minimum balance thing going for it. I guess what I was wary of with them was reading over how money goes in and out of the account. I'd still like a B&M to go to and moving money between the B&M and IGN seemed like a pain.


It's not really a pain, and you can set up recurring deposits/transfers. So if you get paid on the 1 & 15 all the time, it wouldn't be a problem. If your paychecks come and go though, or you got to factor holidays, it might get annoying. And then you have to worry about the minimums on your B&M. Their debit card though is suppose to be good at millions of ATMs with no fees or something like that. I don't remember, never used it.

I understand liking the B&M. I've had issues, and its nice to be able to walk in and discuss them with someone. But really, I wonder if its even worth it.

But I really do like ING. If you do decide to go with them, put me as the one who referred you. They give bonuses for referrals. laugh
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Not exactly what you describe, but SmartyPig meets some of those needs. I use it for what you describe. You setup Goals with a specified target amount and date when you want to reach it, as an example $500 for "Heating Oil" on Dec 12, 2012. Goals have to be opened with $25. You then tell it how often you want funds taken out of a paired account (you can use any existing checking accounts, there are no fees for the transfers). I have mine setup bi-weekly on the day after I get paid. It will calculate how much needs to be taken out each period to reach the goal by the date, but you can adjust the amount manually. The minimum is $10 per goal though. You can have any number of goals. I have things setup for my kids birthdays, Christmas savings, car tags, pet yearly exams, etc. basically anything that I have found that is a re-occuring large annual expense. You can stop funding the goals at anytime, restart, or get the money transferred back to your checking account. Everything has to clear before you can transfer out, so there could be a lag time of about a week.

They do have a thing where you can get gift cards for merchants instead of cash and get a bonus, but I never did that.
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TheChin! wrote:
If I was a Bank I would set up "virtual accounts". All the money is in the same account and meets the minimum balance level, but the interface facing the consumer allows them to segment the money. Like maybe you have a base account number with a dash and a number designating the subaccount. Just logical dividers essentially. Outside the interface the sub-accounts have no meaning, they only exist to allow people to compartmentalize and budget their funds easier. The coding would be laughably easy I would think and the whole "feature" would be a cool selling point. It might actually encourage saving for some people.

Maybe somebody is already doing this and I just haven't seen it yet.


Yeah, I'd have absolutely no problem with that. It would likely be ideal. I just haven't heard of anyone even attempting that. Instead it's a lot of nickle and dimming, plus lots of fine print.

As another example. I'd like to get an iPad 3, but I'd want to save up for it. So in my ideal world I'd just tie a "disbursement transfer" of $30 per a direct deposit into the "iPad" account. If fire and forget and then 10 months later I go and buy my iPad. Ideally I'd also be able to set a notification when a certain amount had accrued, allowing me to totally leave it off the radar until it's time.
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Hmm... SmartyPig might just pull it off. It would be great to have that service in a regular bank account, but it hits all the major notes I'm looking for.
 
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Just be aware of the $25 minimum to open a goal, $10 minimum per transfer, and week lag time to get your money out after closing.
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jmilum wrote:
Not exactly what you describe, but SmartyPig meets some of those needs. I use it for what you describe. You setup Goals with a specified target amount and date when you want to reach it, as an example $500 for "Heating Oil" on Dec 12, 2012. Goals have to be opened with $25. You then tell it how often you want funds taken out of a paired account (you can use any existing checking accounts, there are no fees for the transfers). I have mine setup bi-weekly on the day after I get paid. It will calculate how much needs to be taken out each period to reach the goal by the date, but you can adjust the amount manually. The minimum is $10 per goal though. You can have any number of goals. I have things setup for my kids birthdays, Christmas savings, car tags, pet yearly exams, etc. basically anything that I have found that is a re-occuring large annual expense. You can stop funding the goals at anytime, restart, or get the money transferred back to your checking account. Everything has to clear before you can transfer out, so there could be a lag time of about a week.

They do have a thing where you can get gift cards for merchants instead of cash and get a bonus, but I never did that.


That's pretty damn cool. Like Layaway for anything you can think of.
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https://www.pncvirtualwallet.com/main.html?s1=1&s2=0 Virtual Wallet account by PNC bank might fit your needs. The Wishlist and Reserve items let you track your progress on items your savings for. It is generally advertised for big ticket items like a TV or computer but it could certainly be used for large expense items too like heating oil or your 6 month insurance premium.

It's free no minimum balance and no restrictions on transfers from your reserve account. It's not a bunch of savings accounts like you mentioned but this could fit the bill for you.
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My local credit union would allow this - somewhat.

Direct Deposit can go into any number of accounts.

As long as I have a minimum balance across *all* my accounts (combined), I get no fees.

So, for example -- my savings account, perpetually, has $1 in it. My checking account is usually empty. I have an overdraft account (in case a check is cashed without my transferring the money) - which costs me $.02 a day in interest. All my money goes into my money market account, which has I higher interest rate (which I then transfer out to my checking account).

I could (I suppose) establish multiple checking accounts and have a certain amount of money deposited into each one. As long as my overall balance was $x or higher for the month; I have no fees.

If you're going check-to-check though, and not leaving $$$ in the bank, I would imagine they would be less likely to want to help you out in this way!

Also - remember that you only get 6 electronic transfers per month (that's a federal guideline -- no idea why), so it's usually nearly impossible to have multiple accounts each transferring monies (although, if you set up those multiple accounts as checking accounts, and you use online bill pay, that probably circumvents things).







echoota wrote:
Well, more like mild frustration. To make this RSP worthy... This is an outrage, the banks are gouging us!

Ok, now onto my question...

I'm just wondering if anyone knows of an online banking solution that's inexpensive but does the following: What I really want is one checking account and up to a dozen savings accounts all in one package. The savings accounts are essentially virtual piggy banks that have no minimum balance and I can just put in and take money out as needed. As an example, we heat our house with oil and purchasing the oil is always a large single payment. I'd like to be able to have a setup where every time we get a direct deposit from a paycheck, some of that money gets disbursed into the “heating oil” account throughout the year. Then when it's time to pay for oil we have that money put aside, it gets moved out of the savings account, into checking and then pays for the oil.

I want to be able to repeat that kind of setup with several different elements in life, but I don't want to pay a fortune in bank fees just to have these virtual piggy banks. At my current bank I'd be spending almost $500 a year for all of these accounts. Also, I shouldn't be concerned with minimum balances, because all of these accounts are designed to build up several hundred dollars and then get drained, fill again and then drain, rinse and repeat till the end of time. It's meant to be short term savings, where I dribble $5-20 a month into them until it's time to spend the money.

The whole Quicken budget thing just doesn't work for me. I don't want a general pool of money with an abstract budget laid on top. I want lots of real accounts to move money around in.

Does anyone know of anything like this with online banking?
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I do something very similar to what you want with my Credit Union. No fees and min $5 balance for savings "share" accounts.

My paycheck auto divided into 5 separate accounts based on what I wanted to go where.


So check out local credit unions.
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Lemur wrote:
Also - remember that you only get 6 electronic transfers per month (that's a federal guideline -- no idea why)

The limit applies to savings accounts only, and only across institutions (via ACH). You can transfer money between all of your accounts at the same bank with no limit. This is because a savings account is classified (unsurprisingly) as a "saving deposit" and the bank is not required to keep any of that money on hand in reserve. This is contrasted with a "transaction account" like a checking account where the bank is required to keep 10% of the balances on hand.
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Two words - Credit Union. My bet is that every savings account will have a $5 minimum, but that's it. If you can lump your transactions into pairs or something, you can minimize the "pain" that this represents (for example - pool your heating oil bill and your vacation fund.

And yeah, Quicken's budgets really do suck.

But my Credit Union charges no fees, has a minimum balance of $5 for the savings account, and provides free online bill-pay. The bill pay doesn't integrate directly with Quicken (have to visit their web site), but I can live with that. They also provide us a credit card with no annual fee and a reasonable interest rate (as such things go - around 13%) that is overdraft protection for checking. That's about all we use that card for since we get miles from the one we use as cash. The CU is a member of the Co-op network, so finding an ATM without fees isn't a problem, either.

I'll wager 10GG you can find the same at a CU near you. Screw the banks - let 'em rake someone else over the coals with stupid fees and mindless rules.
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damiangerous wrote:
The limit applies to savings accounts only, and only across institutions (via ACH). You can transfer money between all of your accounts at the same bank with no limit.


I think you have this backwards. Regulation D (the one that's in play - I know because my bank reports the number of "Reg D transfers" to me on the transfer screen) affects transfers between accounts at a single institution, not between institution. Depending on which conspiracy theory you listen to, the banks got tired of not being able to hit you with overdraft charges or people got tired of banks draining their savings accounts to cover checks and the rule was put in place.

But when I transfer funds from one institution to another, I can do it as many times as I like. When I move money from savings to checking, it's 6 transactions before I have to go visit a branch and do the transfer there (and you can do any number in person - Reg D only applies to electronic/automatic/ATM transactions).
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Credit Unions

My credit union is $20 per month cheaper than my "Major Metropolitican Bank of the Northwest Hemisphere".

It used to be $12 which I could tolerate because until I paid off my house, they waved the $12.

I've filed the form to direct deposit to the credit union. Kiss the bank goodbye.
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perfalbion wrote:
I think you have this backwards.

Yeah I think you're right.
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perfalbion wrote:
damiangerous wrote:
The limit applies to savings accounts only, and only across institutions (via ACH). You can transfer money between all of your accounts at the same bank with no limit.


I think you have this backwards. Regulation D (the one that's in play - I know because my bank reports the number of "Reg D transfers" to me on the transfer screen) affects transfers between accounts at a single institution, not between institution. Depending on which conspiracy theory you listen to, the banks got tired of not being able to hit you with overdraft charges or people got tired of banks draining their savings accounts to cover checks and the rule was put in place.

But when I transfer funds from one institution to another, I can do it as many times as I like. When I move money from savings to checking, it's 6 transactions before I have to go visit a branch and do the transfer there (and you can do any number in person - Reg D only applies to electronic/automatic/ATM transactions).



Right -- Reg D is what I'm referring to.

And, even more specifically, those transactions *don't* include ATM withdrawals -- only transfers.

But, if he set up multiple checking accounts, and deposited a little in each one each month and used online billpay from each, he probably would get around that.
 
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Thanks all, yeah, a local friend pointed me to a nearby credit union that is really flexible with accounts. Bonus is that it has it's own home heating fuel program built in where they do some collective bargaining with the local companies to lock in cheaper rates. Good stuff!
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Lemur wrote:
And, even more specifically, those transactions *don't* include ATM withdrawals -- only transfers.


This is certainly true.

Quote:
But, if he set up multiple checking accounts, and deposited a little in each one each month and used online billpay from each, he probably would get around that.


This may be true, but I don't believe Reg D allows you to dip in to a savings account for "bill pay." That turns a savings account into a transaction account. My CU will not permit you to schedule payments from savings, only from checking or a money market (accounts you would normally write checks from). So it wouldn't surprise me if you couldn't event tap a savings account directly for bill pay - the money would have to go to checking first.
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perfalbion wrote:
Lemur wrote:
And, even more specifically, those transactions *don't* include ATM withdrawals -- only transfers.


This is certainly true.

Quote:
But, if he set up multiple checking accounts, and deposited a little in each one each month and used online billpay from each, he probably would get around that.


This may be true, but I don't believe Reg D allows you to dip in to a savings account for "bill pay." That turns a savings account into a transaction account. My CU will not permit you to schedule payments from savings, only from checking or a money market (accounts you would normally write checks from). So it wouldn't surprise me if you couldn't event tap a savings account directly for bill pay - the money would have to go to checking first.



Right - that's what I was saying - have a direct deposit to the checking account (not savings) - you can absolutely do that as well (at the cost of gaining interest on the deposit (although - these days, may as well be asking, 'what interest?')).
 
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