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With fall around the corner and the Financial Blogger Conference over, it’s time to review how we’re doing with our finances this year. 

Overall we’re doing pretty well, keeping up with our goals for 2012. The first two are over, leaving us with paying down the student loan.

That has been going fine this year. The last two months were slower to accommodate work trip expenses, but things are picking up again this month. I’ll continue updating our progress on this site.

Now I want to talk about something related to our financial goals that will be given some more attention-getting our freedom fund done.

It’s more of a long term goal, but it’s something that is a part of our family’s overall goals.

What’s a Freedom Fund?

Before I discuss how we set up the savings account, I want to define what we mean when we say freedom fund.

When I first wrote about it awhile back I mentioned that we’d like to have some money set aside to smooth an employment transition should my husband choose to become self-employed.

It’s also to help us reach our other financial goals while respecting each other’s money styles.

First off, let me say that even though my husband and I are on the same page when it comes to goals, how we get there can be a different matter.

My husband is a fantastic saver. I like to optimize and get things done right away. Usually those two go hand in hand, but sometimes we disagree on what to do.

Let’s take the student loan, if it were completely up to me, I would do it a bit like Dave Ramsey and use almost all of our savings (except for 2 months of expenses) and pay a huge chunk towards our student loan. I would absolutely love to see that balance be knocked down a few pegs.

My husband, on the other hand, is a bit more conservative. Paying the student is great as long as he has $x amount in the bank as the safety net.

I think $x amount is a bit much, but for me it’s about both of us having peace of mind when our head rests on the pillow at night.

With the freedom fund, we can create a hybrid approach. We can tuck away money in the account, letting it grow.

Every couple of months, if we haven’t had an unexpected event happen we’ll transfer a portion of that money to the student loan. We have a safety net and we get the student loan paid down.

Having a plan we just needed a bank that could work for us on this special project.

Gaining an Ally for Our Savings

When I was in Denver last week one of my goals was to learn more about the financial services, products, and people that are out there. As you heard me mention in my weekly review, I got to work with Ally Bank on a fun social contest.

I got to meet some members of the team and chat with them about their services. So to keep off our project, we’ve opened an account with Ally Bank just for the freedom fund.

Besides having a competitive interest rate, they also offer the essentials that we need for saving:

  • Covered by FDIC
  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • $0 required minimum balance

Yes, I know the interest rates are pretty low right now in this economic environment, but Ally has one of the best. It’ll allow us to grow our money just a bit faster and help us to reach our goal sooner.

It’ll also be a great way for me to get a customer side view of Ally’s service. I’d love for this account to be a success.

I’ll keep you updated on how everything goes. If you’re interested in opening a savings account with Ally bank, click here to get started.

Thoughts on Building a Freedom Fund

I’d love to hear from you about your short and long term savings plans. What goals do you have as a couple?

Do you two have to compromise on your financial plans to make both happy? How do you do it?

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

6 comments add your comment

  1. I’m lucky that my girlfriend and I have very similar financial goals. We keep each other in check though because I hate spending money and she spends a bit more than I would. It is a good balance.

    I like what you’re doing with your freedom fund. My girlfriend and I will be paying down her loans together once we get married but until then she is aggressively attacking them!

  2. It’s all about compromise when you’re working with someone else. We’re in big time debt-paydown mode right now – trying to wipe out about $100K of debt in 24 months. After that, we’d love to use those dollars to save up and do some serious travel… and then after that start trying to figure out if we’re going to have kids or not.

  3. I just wrote up a post on saving with I-Bonds. If you can do without the money for a year, it’s a good way to go. Interest is inflation protected and it’s earning 2.2 percent right now. I have a couple of savings going into I-Bonds at the moment.