6 savings accounts that make it easy to save for different purposes



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Saving for different expenses can make it easier to manage your money rather than keeping all of your savings in one place. There are several savings accounts that allow you to save for separate purposes and to name each one, such as “Emergency Savings” or “Auto Fund”.

With most of the banks on this list, all you have to do is open a savings account. Then you can name individual goals in the account. (Ally calls these “savings buckets,” which is a helpful metaphor.)

Take a look at these savings accounts and figure out which one is right for you.

1. Ally High Yield Savings

Annual percentage return (APY)

0.50% APY

  • Advantages and disadvantages

  • Details


  • Benefits
    • High APY
    • No minimum opening deposit
    • No monthly service fees
    • Savings compartments help you save for different purposes
    • Surprise savings transfers help you save extra money in your checking account
    The inconvenients
    • No physical branch location
    • No way to deposit money
    • Create separate savings compartments in a savings account
    • Log into your Ally checking account and sign up for surprise savings transfers to have extra money transferred to savings three times a week
    • Interest compounded daily, paid monthly
    • FDIC insured

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    2. Improvement cash reserve

    Annual percentage return (APY)

    0.30% APY

  • Advantages and disadvantages

  • Details


  • Benefits
    • Competitive APY
    • No minimum opening deposit
    • No monthly service fees
    • No transaction limit
    • FDIC insured up to $ 1 million
    • Create savings goals
    • The “two-way swipe” transfers extra money from the check to the cash reserve to help you save
    The inconvenients
    • No physical branch location
    • Mobile check deposit is limited to certain customers
    • You can only deposit up to $ 1,500 in paper checks per day
    • No way to deposit money
    • By logging into a Betterment Checking Account (FDIC member), you can set up ‘two-way swipe’, which helps you save automatically, earn more interest, and set up overdraft protection.
    • You can use mobile check deposit if a) you’ve been a Betterment customer for at least 30 days, and b) received at least $ 500 in direct deposits in the past month.
    • Interest compounded daily, paid monthly
    • FDIC insured by partner banks

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    3. Savings on the performance of Capital One 360

    Annual percentage return (APY)

    0.40% APY

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  • Advantages and disadvantages

  • Details


  • Benefits
    • Competitive APY
    • No opening deposit or minimum account balance
    • No monthly service fees
    • Easy to save for various purposes
    • 24/7 live chat
    The inconvenients
    • Limited physical branch locations
    • Limited customer service phone hours
    • Over 470 branches in CT, DC, DE, LA, MD, NJ, NY, TX and VA
    • Interest compounded daily, paid monthly
    • FDIC insured

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    4. Federal Navy Stock Savings

    Annual percentage return (APY)

    0.25% APY

  • Advantages and disadvantages

  • Details


  • Benefits
    • Minimum opening deposit of $ 5
    • Competitive APY
    • No monthly service fees
    • Name your account so that you can open multiple accounts for separate purposes
    The inconvenients
    • Dividends compounded monthly and not daily
    • Join the Navy Federal Credit Union as an active military member, military veteran, Department of Defense employee / retiree, or family member of any of the above groups
    • 247 branches around the world, including on some military bases
    • Interest compounded monthly, paid monthly
    • You will pay $ 3 / quarter if you have no other Federal Navy accounts, AND your balance is less than $ 50 AND your account has been inactive for 12 months
    • Federally insured by NCUA

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    To note: It’s the only account on our list that doesn’t allow you to set separate goals in one account. You will need to create multiple savings accounts and name each one. But since Navy Federal doesn’t charge a monthly service fee, there’s no real downside to doing it this way.

    5. Sallie Mae’s SmartyPig Account

    Annual percentage return (APY)

    0.45% to 0.70% APY

  • Advantages and disadvantages

  • Details


  • Benefits
    • High APY
    • Save for separate goals
    • No minimum opening deposit
    • No monthly service fees
    The inconvenients
    • APY decreases as your balance increases
    • No way to deposit money
    • Must transfer funds to an external bank account to access the money
    • The rate decreases when your balance reaches $ 2,500.01, $ 10,000.01 and $ 50,000.01
    • Interest compounded daily, paid monthly
    • FDIC insured

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    6. Wealthfront Cash Account

    Annual percentage return (APY)

    0.10% APY

  • Advantages and disadvantages

  • Details


  • Benefits
    • Can be used both as a savings account and as a checking account
    • $ 1 opening deposit
    • No monthly service fees
    • FDIC insured for $ 1 million
    • Get paid 2 days in advance
    • Access to a debit card
    • Mobile check deposit
    • Automatically transfer additional money into investments with Autopilot
    • Save for separate goals in one account
    The inconvenients
    • No physical branch location
    • To deposit money, pay a fee at a green point
    • Off-network ATM fee of $ 2.50
    • FDIC insured for $ 1 million
    • 19,000 free ATMs
    • Autopilot feature allows you to set the maximum account balance and automatically transfers money to investments if you exceed the maximum balance by more than $ 100
    • Interest compounded daily, paid monthly

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    There is no right or wrong answer. It depends on how many purchases you want to save for.

    Keep in mind that the Navy Federal Credit Union Stock Savings Account is the only account on our list that requires you to create a separate account for each goal. The others allow you to name goals in a single savings account.

    Here are some savings goals you could achieve with these accounts:

    So why not just keep all of your savings in one account and withdraw money when you need it? You can do this, but there are some advantages to having separate pots for each savings goal:

    • Easily track your progress. With a savings account, you can see that you have $ 15,000 in savings. But with separate goals, you can see that you have $ 10,000 in an emergency fund, $ 3,000 saved for a car, and $ 1,000 set aside for that big trip next month. If you need $ 5,000 to buy a car and $ 1,500 for the trip, you now have a better understanding of how much more you need to save.
    • Save more. Once you have a better idea of ​​how close you are to reaching each savings goal, you may feel motivated to save more so that you can reach a certain amount. Transfer verification money or set recurring automatic transfers to meet your goals.
    • Reduce the temptation. Keeping all of your savings in one place makes it easy to spend money wrong. For example, maybe you were planning to use your savings both to buy a car and to take a big trip next month. You go on vacation, but when you get back you realize that you don’t have enough money left to buy the car. Setting separate goals can help you remember not to touch the money you want to invest in the car.

    All of these savings accounts are useful tools for saving for different purposes. Take a look at their other features – interest rates, minimum opening deposits, money deposit options – to decide which one is right for you.

    About the Author

    Laura Grace Tarpley is Editor-in-Chief at Personal Finance Insider and covers banking journals and guides. She is also a certified personal finance educator (CEPF). In her five years of covering personal finance, she has written extensively on how to save.



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