Increasing my Savings via Itty Bitty Tiny Little Baby Steps - Part 2
Alright, so I did my homework. It turns out that although we were all underwhelmed, .65% right now is pretty sweet. There are some places that will give you all of 1%, but is it worth an extra .35% to do the paperwork to have an account with another bank, get the statements, track that, transfer money back and forth from bank to bank….nah. Personally, I don’t think so. I’m just going to try to keep less in that account so that I’m not losing money to inflation.
That might be a little too “risky” for some people. Let me say first of all, that if I get hit by a bus, I have options. In my case, I do have a long term disability policy (this issue is TBD in another post). That kicks in after 90 days of disability, so if something truly catastrophic happens, I’ve only got to have enough in my cash on hand and credit cards to cover those 90 days. Realistically, I don’t think I’ll get fired, both because I don’t suck and because I’m a government employee, so I’m also not super concerned about that. And then, I do have a super-high line of credit with several credit card companies, and keep in mind that nowadays, there is very little that can’t be paid with plastic, so that is an emergency fund of sorts. There are some other blogs that advise you to open a line of credit with your bank for emergencies. I kind of like that idea, but again, the paperwork thing. I did some legwork and found out my credit union offers that option (and you do not have to be a homeowner, although they have HELOCs too), so I will eventually do some research on that. If I can get a nice fat line of credit, I will probably take my money market account down to the bare minimum to get my .65%, which is $2500 (or maybe get rid of it entirely…too many damned accounts), and right now I have closer to $6000 in it.
One final thought: Roth IRAs. Although you never want to, you can also withdraw the money you invested from those at any time, no questions asked. Of course that’s not ideal, which is why it’s my final thought, but if you have a huge Roth IRA stash, you also have your own personal emergency line of credit there. I don’t recall how much I contributed vs. how much is interest at this point, but I think there’s probably at least another $5k I could access there. So that’s my plan.
Now, if you really REALLY want to keep cash on hand in a higher-yield savings account, I would probably recommend a Upromise Goalsaver. Backing up a step, you can compare account yields here, at Bankrate. At least as of the date of this writing in the first quarter of 2017, there is NOTHING above 1.25%, and that’s with a company I’ve never heard much about, with a 10k minimum balance. Most of the other ones around 1% are with reputable companies you may already have accounts with, so those are options. Back to Upromise – you may already have an account with them as well if you had any Sallie Mae student loans. I totally signed up for Upromise, got their credit card, had my mom register hers, and milked the FUCK out of it. I got about $900 in student loan payments made for my efforts. The one loan I had left with them is being paid off next month though. That made me think that I should probably shut down that credit card…I will, but in the meantime I got a different one with them (with better terms for me; more on credit cards in another post) because you can use your Upromise card to fund those student loan repayments I mentioned, or the proceeds can get deposited into a Goalsaver account, so here we go on that…
I didn’t do Goalsaver, again, because I love my credit union, have a savings account, don’t feel the need to keep cash around….blah blah blah, I’m sure your proverbial ears are bleeding from listening to me talk about that already. BUT, so you know, Goalsaver can be pretty awesome as far as I can tell. Here’s a link to Goalsaver itself, which is marked as a savings account for college, but actually, if you read the fine print, it can also be just a plain ol’ savings account. There’s a lot of fine print to read, but essentially, it give you a .85% APY. There are also various bonuses you can earn for having automatic deposits to the account, saving over a certain amount per year, etc. AND, here’s the sweet part, there's a 10% bonus Upromise match. So if you want to have the minimum of 10 transfers a year, keep a $5,000 balance, etc. ad nauseum, then yes, you likely can earn a pretty sweet APY on your savings in that one between all those bonuses and the fact you’re also getting extra percentages from your Upromise stuff.
So, sidenote: I get nothing for linking y’all to Upromise. I seem to remember in the past that they would send me a little refer-a-friend link and promise to give me something if anyone joined, but I just skimmed their site, and unless you want to contact me and have me send you a private e-mail, I got nothing. Even if I did send you a private e-mail, I don’t think there’s a bonus or anything for me right now. If that changes and I become a biased source, I’ll let you know J