So I was driving around the other day when my right rear tire blew out, resulting in the purchase of 2 new tires (the other rear one had a low amount of tread). This got me thinking about how I wish I had some money set aside specifically for car repairs. Yes, I had money set aside, but in a sort of multi-purpose slush fund type deal, which got me thinking about individual savings accounts.
I had heard good things about Ally’s online savings accounts from a few friends, and found this post about Online Savings Accounts over at Moolanomy, so I decided to open one up, name it ‘Car Maintenance’, and transfer a certain amount of money a month into it solely for car repairs. In fact, once it was all set up it took me less than 3 minutes to schedule recurring monthly deposits, with weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, two months, quarterly, four months, and twice a year options.
No minimum balance is required and there’s no type of fee for opening an account, nor any monthly fees. This being a federally-backed, FDIC-insured savings account means you’re limited to 6 withdraws per statement cycle, which is no problem considering what I’m using the account for. For every withdraw over 6, a $10 fee is imposed.
The process was very simple and straightforward. I went to www.ally.com, clicked on the ‘open account’ button on the left-hand side, clicked the ‘new customer’ button, and filled out my information. I was able to specify right away the amount of money I wanted transferred over from my checking account, and that was that.
The only other thing I had to do was verify my checking account. Ally does this by depositing amounts less than a dollar in your checking account within a few days, and then requiring the account holder to provide those exact amounts to Ally, thus proving that you own the account. Or that you at least have access to it. There is also a postal method of verifying your account.
The main reason for me opening an online savings account was really only to keep it separate from my checking account. The bank I’m with doesn’t allow multiple accounts or the dividing up and segregating of a single account. The interest rate is a nice bonus, at 1.57%. Not the absolute highest rate you can find on the internet, but my goal wasn’t really to find the highest rate.
I found the entire process and the website itself refreshingly uncluttered and to-the-point. In fact, I’m already considering opening more accounts with specific purposes and setting up monthly transfers. To me it seems to provide a certain peace of mind, being able to look at one account, knowing every dime in there goes to one thing.
I’ll post some updates after owning the account for a while letting you all know of any other discoveries or issues with Ally.