Since we are now the parents of two adorable little girlies, I’ve decided recently to get an early start on saving for when they get married. On the one hand it seems much too early to think about having to part with either one of them. But the sad (happy) days will probably come. One of our friends who got married soon after college had a father who took an approach I liked. He had saved a certain amount. He then gave it to his daughter and allowed her to use it how she wanted. They could spend it all on the wedding or do a less expensive wedding and use what was left over for a honeymoon, a down payment on a house, etc… I like that approach.
I started out saving $15 each month per girl. However, Kayla recently potty (poddy?) trained and has basically stopped wearing diapers. That’s saving me so much money that I thought I could afford to change her monthly contribution to $25. I’ll do the same with Madeline when she’s out of diapers.
Now, if you have cute daughters you need to save money for…or just want to save money in general…here’s a tip for you. Don’t use a savings account at a local bank. The interest rates are really low and won’t earn you much in the long run. The place I would strongly suggest is called Ing Direct.
They are on online bank that is very reliable and has great customer service. They are fully FDIC insured, just like a regular bank. The difference is that their savings rate are significantly higher than the average bank. For example, the interest rate on my current savings account with our local bank is .25%. The rate on my Ing Direct accounts is 4.35%. So for example, let’s say I’m going to save $20/month for 20 years. That’s a total investment of $6000.
Invested in my local bank over the 20 years, I would have just $6151.87 at the end of the 20 years. Invested for the same time with Ing Direct, I would have $9539.02. That’s quite a huge difference. Now, you can certainly find higher rates of return from other investments, like the stock market, but there is always the risk that your investment will lose value. The Ing Direct savings accounts are fully guaranteed. Also, they are linked to an existing checking account that you have. That’s how you get money into your Ing Account. You just deposit it in your checking account and and then transfer it to Ing Direct using their website. You can also set up automatic deductions, like I do, if you want a transfer to made on a regular basis.
I’ve referred a few people over the years to Ing. Jen and I have been using them for savings for about four years now. My parents and a couple other friends use it as well. Another cool thing is that if an existing customer refers you, and you open an account with at least $250, Ing automatically adds $25 to your account for free. The person who referred you gets $10 also. So if you’re interested in opening a savings account and would like to make it a better investment, just email me and I’ll send you a referral link. My email address is aaron (at) kerrspot (dot) com.