We Warckens don’t believe in keeping all our eggs in one basket. These are the companies we use to keep and make money, and to help organize our finances. And by ‘we’ I mean ‘me’, ‘Jamie’. We also both contribute to our employer-sponsored retirement plans, of course.
American Express Personal Savings – Savings account. Current APY 1.15%. This was Greg’s first high-yield savings account and now we keep it for an easy way to keep our eggs separated, and use it for our gift/give fund. It’s easy to use and has a competitive interest rate.
*Biolife Plasma – Ah, the ultimate ‘poor people’ way to make money. We get a lot of eye rolls and head shakes when we talk about donating, but it’s an great way to make and save some extra dough, so roll and shake all you want. Currently the BioLife in Broken Arrow, OK is offering $30 for your first weekly donation, $40 for your second weekly donation, and $50 for your second weekly donation after three monthly donations. That’s $350 a month for helping others, and $700 a month for couples. We use the money earned from plasma for our entertainment- going out to eat, baseball games, etc- because we don’t like to budget for those luxuries. We’d love to recommend you, so if you’d kindly give one of our names, and say we’re from the Broken Arrow, OK location, that would be totally awesome. p.s. I absolutely hate needles and nearly black out from flu shots, but I have no trouble giving plasma. If in doubt you know what I say: There’s only one way to find out.
*Capital One 360 – Primary checking, savings, money market accounts. Current APY 0.20%, 0.75%, 1.20% respectively. These accounts make up the backbone of the conservative Warcken finances. We use the checking account for direct deposits and our monthly budget, the savings for our annual budget, and the money market for next year’s budget and investments. We love the high rates and the ease of transferring money between these and outside accounts, plus they offer free withdrawals from Allpoint ATMs.
Google Drive – I use these spreadsheets for everything- the budget, my exercise routine, financial goals- and I love being able to access and edit them from my phone as well as the computer. We never use cash so it’s easy to manually track all our spending by entering everything into a spreadsheet, and categorizing said spending so I know just what we spend every month on gas, groceries, travel, etc.
Mint – I don’t personally care for the budgeting feature of Mint, but I use this to quickly assess our situation, and to see if any credit cards have balances that need paid off. I like being able to see all our accounts at once.
Upromise GoalSaver – Savings account. Current APY 0.85%. This is our travel savings account. The site is almost elementary in its simplicity, and because of its ability to save passively it might be a good bet for a beginner high-yield savings account. We use this account in conjunction with my Upromise account for automatic deposits from cash back earned. In addition to automatic deposits, Upromise will match 10% of the earnings transferred from my Upromise account into your Upromise GoalSaver account during each anniversary year. Since I automatically transfer at least $10 into our GoalSaver account every month, we are also awarded an extra $10 every year, and if at the time of our third account anniversary we have at least $5,000 in there they’ll give us an extra $100. Easy. Savings. Any cash back we earn from other portals is also deposited into this account.
USAA – Checking and savings accounts, my Roth IRA, auto and renters insurance. 0.01% and 0.05%, respectively. We each have a checking account we use for our allowances, and we keep the savings open just for extra allowance money. I’ve had my Roth with USAA over a decade and have always had a great relationship with the bank. Their insurance is consistently the cheapest, they offer free financial advisors, and free ATM withdrawals.
Vanguard – Greg’s Roth IRA, index funds. It seems every financial advisor on the planet loves to recommend Vanguard for their low-cost investing opportunities. Those low fees allow more money to stay in our accounts, rather than in some fund manager’s pocket, and over time can compound into mega dough. Their site is easy to use, and I’ve always had a positive experience when dealing with customer service. We use these accounts to save for both real and early retirement.
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