I have said it before, but I love ING Direct and I have the accounts to prove it. I have an Electric Orange Checking Account, ING Direct Savings, and an Orange Mortgage all through ING. Here are 5 reasons I like their products:
- Their web interface is a joy to use and they are constantly improving it
- Customer service has been great
- All the accounts play nicely and instantly together
- Very good interest on savings and checking balances
- Simple and straightforward. ING doesn’t like to play games with fees or complexity.
Both paychecks are direct deposited into our checking account where it starts earning a solid interest immediately. I pay bills as necessary out of the checking account using free bill pay or their free online paper check writing. The only transferring I do during the month is for The Rockette’s incoming checks where I transfer 40% into a ‘Taxes’ savings account and transfer the rest into our house down payment fund or whatever savings goal is at the top of the list. We try hard to live and pay all of our expenses and even do some saving out of my salary so that we have flexibility regarding jobs and money if and when we need it. At the end of the month I will not only pay the few bills I have due, but I will also transfer our agreed upon amounts into their appropriate savings cubby hole.
It is these cubby holes that endears this system to my soul, since I love it when everything has a nice neat home. ING Direct lets you create as many savings accounts as you want with the just the click of a few buttons. I currently have 14 savings account.
How come so many? Let me list a few of the accounts so you can get a flavor for what I am doing.
- Emergency Fund
- Taxes 2008
- Property Taxes
- Auto Insurance
- Auto Maintenance
- Replacement Car Fund
- House Down Payment
- Frank’s Stash (Birthday money and such)
- Entrepreneur Income/Expenses
- Replacement TV Fund
I think the category titles speak for themselves, but let’s take a closer look at a few accounts to see how it all works. For Property Taxes, each month I transfer ~$250 from checking into that account. Every third month instead of transferring in, I transfer the money back to checking and pay the quarterly bill. Simple, clean, easy to manage, and I also get a free $10 of interest for working it that way. Same setup for Auto Insurance. I transfer 1/12 of the cost(~$90) each month and then once a year I transfer out and pay the bill. I earn interest and avoid any service charges for monthly payments. I think you get the drift. I am willing to answer any questions about certain accounts or the system if there are any.
Benefits of the system
Here are the key points that I love about the system.
- Everything is there in one spot, easy to access, easy to see. This makes things like preparation for the monthly budget meeting a snap because all I have to do is print the accounts page and you can see where all our money is.
- It is simple. No weird gyrations to get extra interest or avoid fees. It takes almost no energy or thought once the system is set up. Financial auto pilot is a great feeling since it frees you to think about answering the bigger questions about money and life.
- Transfers are instant between all accounts. No lost interest or account instability while the payments transfer.
- It fits my personality. I brings a calmness to my finances…well it is probably the no debt except the mortgage and a fully funded emergency fund that gives me the peace, but the system does connect with how I like to do and see things. Finance is personal and this system won’t work for everybody, but your system should definitely align with who you are and how you like to do things.
That’s how The Happy Rock is working his money right now. How about you? Any questions? Any glaring holes in my system or areas for improvement?
*Note – ING does offer a free $25 for opening a savings or checking account with minimum $250 deposit on referalls. I would also get a free $10, if I refer you. Contact Me if you would like to recieve the offer.