Set yourself up for financial success with the ultimate budgeting hack, multi-account budgeting! This straightforward method entails creating separate bank accounts for your budget categories. It can be automated to take preset deposits from your paycheck into each category, so all you need to do is watch your financial goals be met and maintain your spending. Are you looking to get started? Check out our guide to getting organized with your very own multi-account budgeting system.
The first step in setting up your multi-account budget is identifying the accounts your bank offers and any potential limits on the number of accounts you can have in your name. Also, consider what account offerings may fit your needs for each budgeting category to create the ideal solution. Most banks allow for multiple accounts, and Mechanics Cooperative Bank is proud to be one of them!
Next, you want to set up an account that will be used as your primary for necessary expenses and be a place for all your money to flow to before setting up your additional accounts. Any type of Checking Account you choose to fit your banking style is suitable as a primary account for direct depositing into any of your additional accounts. The best way to determine what you will open your additional accounts for is to figure out your financial goals, or in other words, where you want money to go, are struggling to keep up financially, or significant expenses you are saving for. Everyone has different financial goals and objectives and will therefore have separate accounts with varying labels. Some common examples are as follows:
Primary Checking – Cover necessary bills and expenses
Emergency Fund – Be ready for the unknowns in life
Child/Pet Care Fund – Expenses related to pets or children
Personal Splurge Fund – Treat yourself to something nice (clothes, shoes, dinner, etc.)
Repair Fund – Prepare for a car breakdown or unexpected home project
Vacation Fund – Save up for your next vacation
The primary benefit of multi-account budgeting is organizing, and in some cases, automating your funds via direct depositing from your paycheck or primary account. In addition, you can add custom labels within your mobile or online banking platform for the ultimate organization. Another key benefit is the ability to view your financial progress in real-time by watching your account balances rise as money is deposited. Instead of wondering when you will be able to afford a vacation or a new laptop, you’ll know!
By separating these funds, you are also creating personal borders on your spending habits. For example, if you want a new laptop but only have $100 in your “Personal Splurge Account,” but have $1,500 in your “Pet Care Fund” you will visualize what you would be taking away from and where you need to cut back spending to afford that laptop in the future.
Keys to Success
The number one key to success with multi-account budgeting is maintaining control of the number of accounts you have opened. Don’t overwhelm yourself by opening one too many accounts, as the purpose of multi-account budgeting is to make reaching your financial goal easier, not more complicated. If you need more accounts within your system, you may also reconsider your existing categories to maintain a reasonable number of accounts. Opening another account is not out of the question but needs to be thought through beforehand.
Some may also shy away from opening bank accounts with potential fees, but you shouldn’t miss out on the extra benefits they may provide. The primary benefit of these accounts is higher interest rates than other free accounts, which can be beneficial for a larger amount of saving that you do not plan to access frequently, such as an emergency fund. For example, by opening an Unlimited Choice NOW Account with us, you’ll earn higher interest rates than our traditional savings or checking accounts. While setting up your accounts, keep an eye on balance requirements because, in many cases, they may be a fraction of what you planned to leave in the account.
Budgeting doesn’t have to be complicated. Your family, your budget—and your wallet—will thank you in the long run! Contact us today to get started by opening a checking account.