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One of our goals this year is to contribute regularly to our savings account to bring it up to previous levels we've had as we've dipped into ours this past year.
If you remember we had quite a busy year – bought the family car, paid for some medical bills, and cover the recent trip we took.
We'll be automating our deposits to keep things easy to manage.
How Online Banks Can Boost Your Savings
Optimizing your savings is actually a big deal when it comes to finances.
Depending on your goals as a couple, choosing the right bank or credit union for your money can help you reach goals like buying a house, going on vacation, or starting a baby fund much sooner than on your own.
It doesn't have to be complicated, in fact, once you find a good spot to stash your cash, you can go about your life as your money grows in savings.
When I first started blogging about personal finance years ago, online banking was uncommon for many couples.
Keeping your money with banks that had no local branches was considered risky.
Now, though, more and more couples are looking at online banks as part of their financial system. With different options available, it is easier to find the banking option that is best for you right from your own home.
Why We Use Ally Bank
One place that we have used for our savings is Ally Bank.
You've probably seen their commercials talking about people sense and having an Ally for your money.
While Ally bank may seem like the newest player on the block, it has decades of banking experience under its former name GMAC Bank.
They are very competitive when it comes to getting better rates and services with their savings.
If you two are looking at getting the most for your hard-earned savings, Ally has a couple of options for you.
High Yield Online Savings
Ally Bank has an online savings account that has been offering one of the highest interest rates over the last couple of years.
On top of that, Ally has no minimum balance requirement and no monthly maintenance fees which is a nice difference from when we had our savings at Bank of America.
Not only were we literally earning pennies for interest, but we had to deal with fees that were eating away at our balance. It was a lose-lose situation for us at the time, but it did motivate us to move our money to a better option.
It is FDIC insured (up to $250,000) so your money is safe just as it would be with an FDIC insured brick and mortar bank.
You can deposit your money easily with an online transfer from your current bank account, wiring the money in, or even mailing the deposit.
We use online transfers and have found it to be a piece of cake.
For those who use Quicken to track their finances, Ally works seamlessly with it and you don't have to worry about getting a fee from them.
Even though Ally is based online, they provide 24/7 customer service and you can even see the wait time for their phone representatives on their website.
Another feature that can be extremely handy for some couples is that Ally give you the ability to create sub-savings accounts which can be an incredible help with keeping with your goals.
You are less tempted to spend money from your savings if it's been earmarked for the house down payment.
Finally I like that interest is compounded daily with Ally Bank and that money is added to your balance every month.
I love it when our hard-earned money is earning money on its own.
Ally's High Yield CDs
While I'd much rather have my money in savings for easy access, there are those who prefer to use CD (certificate of deposits) ladders to increase their returns while still allowing them to get their money quickly.
With CDs, you are planning on not accessing your money for a limited time and getting higher interest rates in return. Ally especially has a high yield CD account that can earn you their best rates (12 months or longer).
As with their online savings account, Ally Bank has no minimum deposit requirement and no monthly maintenance fees.
Not having those pesky fees means that you money grows faster.
Another bonus is that the interest is compounded daily. These accounts are also FDIC insured so you can have some peace of mind. Certificate of deposits are a low-risk investment and can be handy for savings goals a few years down the line like a house down payment.
Besides their high yield CDs, you can also choose a Raise Your Rate CD and No Penalty CD should you prefer those options.
Thoughts on Saving More
Whatever your banking choice, please make sure it suits YOUR needs. Have your money to grow hassle free while you two take on other financial goals together.
I'd love to hear from you about your plans for this year. What are you saving up for in 2013? How much are you trying to save?