Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Round up, my way or add $1 checking

A few months ago, I signed up for one of those checking accounts that moves money from checking to savings every time you use your debit card. Sounds simple enough, it's forced savings. What could go wrong?

Well, I've always been one to track my spending. In college, I balanced my checkbook (out of self-defense) so that I knew how much money I had. This was in the days before debit cards, so I only wrote checks or used the ATM, but I never overdrew my account. Even if it was only $1.67, I knew how much I had.

Now in theory, I could still track my account, just by adding $1 to every purchase or writing down two transactions every time I did one. That's a good theory, but I can't seem to make that work either. Sometimes, the bank doesn't take out $1 (I'm still not sure why) and sometimes they wait several days to take out the $1. So my balance never matches what the bank says.

And as for the forced savings, it's my own money that I'm saving. If I wanted to put money in savings, I could move it myself. It's not like the interest rate on savings is all that much about the rate on checking. So what's the big deal?

Anyone else using these types of accounts? Good, bad or indifferent?

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