So recently I attended a Financial Coaching Experience taught by Joseph Sangl, it was in this class that I learned of these FREE online savings accounts that are very user friendly and COMPLETELY FREE! The account the I opened is with ING Orange savings. There is no minimum balance required, just a balance of some sort (if it be $1 or $10,000). The annual interest rate on this account you earn is 0.8%!, this is about 4x's the amount earned at any local bank. Also, you can get $25 deposited when you open your new savings account just by being referred by someone. AND, if you refer someone you will get $10! This is not too shabby! There are a lot of banks out there that will deposit money into your account if you open a checking, this is NOT a checking, this is a savings, a savings that earns a decent interest. There is NO monthly maintenance fee, and NO fee for withdrawing your money. You can directly link your checking account to your new ING savings so you can directly transfer money to your checking if needed, and you can set up auto transfers from your checking to your savings if you want to set up a forced savings plan (recommended). I personally opened multiple savings accounts, here are a few examples of what I labeled "Vacation Fund", "Christmas Fund", "Know Upcoming Expenses". I budget a predetermined amount every month for these accounts so when these big ticket items come due I am not scrambling to come up with money. (example: $1200 for Christmas divided by 26 pay checks = $46.15 per pay goes into this savings account...remember you are also earning INTEREST!)
For example, if you open a savings account with ING, and say that you use your tax return to fully fund your emergency fund $2500, lets say your are referred. You automatically have a balance of $2525.00 with the added bonus...If you don't touch it for 1 year, your new balance at the end of that year will be $2545.20...that's $45.20 for just having a safety net! after two years your balance will be $2565.56...that's $65.56! all paid to you from ING, FREE MONEY!, just for having your safety net with them!
Just so you are know, I had three savings accounts at a local bank, and they told me there was no minimum balance, no fees, just a free savings....well, I found out this was not true. I was charged $5 fees here and there for not maintaining a minimum balance of at least $50, this occured when I would withdraw the money I saved for certain events such as Christmas. Another $5 fee when I would transfer money back and forth from account to account....this was CRAZY, I was paying them to save my money there! Not to mention the interest on this savings account was 0.05%, that is 1/16th the amount I am earning at ING.
Note: I personally missed out on the $25 bonus for opening this ING savings account because I was not referred, however I wanted to let everyone know so they didn't miss out. I found out about these bonuses by doing my research on this ING savings account to ensure they truly had NO fees. If you are interested in opening an ING savings account, and would like a bonus of $25 just for opening, email me and I will refer you...a win-win for both of us (you get $25, and I get $10).