Updated on March 21, 2009
Savings Trackers and How to Set Up Your Automatic Savings Account
If you’ll notice my sidebar, I just put up two savings trackers. Being an entrepreneur, cash flows aren’t as predictable as the salaried. There are days when inflows are so delayed, I literally don’t have cash to spend so I have to use my credit card for groceries just to get by. My emergency fund has since been depleted since I started this “entrepreneurial life” but, like Uncle Felix says, I will not give in.
Savings Trackers for Motivation
Like I said, I have 2 trackers for my goals. Hope showing them off will keep me motivated and out of the movie houses.
1) P45,000 (~USD 1,000) for a deposit on a lease on a condo. I know I’m not ready to buy just yet. Rent vs. buy is a whole other debate. I really think moving out and living by yourself is necessary for you to grow and truly be independent. I always thought of myself as independent, being the eldest of 3 girls, but I don’t think I was as ready for my first job as I would’ve liked.
2) P20,000 (~USD 450) for 1 month living expenses. 1/3 of the emergency fund I have to rebuild. Will deposit into a 30-day time deposit when I accomplish this and roll over. After this, save another P20,000 for a 60-day TD, then another P20,000 for a 90-day TD.
How to Set Up Your Automatic Savings Account
Just deposited my “salary” today before the 1:30 PM local check clearing time. When I logged into BPI Express Online, I only just discovered their BPI Direct – Save-Up Account. Similar to HSBC’s AutoSaver Account. I used to have a monthly recurring funds transfer from my main BPI savings account to my BPI Family savings account as automatic savings– didn’t really work out. I’d pull out my 2nd ATM anyway for “emergencies”.
Employees have the option of setting up automatic savings with their cooperatives (coop), just like Ella and Dexter. In her case, there’s a minimum contribution of P200 (~USD 5) every payday. Some caveats though, like no withdrawal while your funds are below P100,000.
The Fine Print
BPI Direct Save-Up is an interest-earning Peso savings account… linked to a Peso SA/CA with ATM card. Interest is at 1% for P1,000 to P400,000 and 2% above P400k! 1% is higher than their stingy 0.625% for the Express Teller Savings or 0.875% on the Platinum 2-in-1 Savings. I’ll take whatever interest I can get, but it’s just cents, right?
Reference: Terms of BPI Direct Save-Up
What’s good is that there’s no initial deposit. You set up a recurring funds transfer from your main account/payroll account/source account. Minimum recurring transfer of P250, whereas HSBC Autosaver requires P1,000. But there’s a required ADB of P1,000 in Month 4.
But remember: No deposits to or withdrawals from the Direct Save-Up account over-the-counter. So when I hit my goals, I have to transfer it online back into my ATM account. It’s really just a “HOLDING” or temporary account until I transfer the money to a TD or mutual fund.
Oh, Yay, Life Insurance
Opening the account entitles me to free Life Insurance from Ayala Life. I doubt that’s going to be much. I won’t keep much in the account anyway, I’m just appointing it as a way to keep some of the money away from my reach via my ATM card. If my ADB is P10,000, the maximum benefit is P50,000. Um, sure, thanks.
Weekly Transfers – Could this possibly work?
The auto-savings account doesn’t have an ATM. I have to be logged on to transfer money from the auto-savings to my “source/ATM account”, so there’s at least some deterrence from my withdrawing it prematurely.
Here’s a video I created to guide you through the sign-up process. You might want to turn down the volume — I’m indoors but the mic manages to capture street sounds.
I used to do it monthly, now let’s try weekly, to go along with the “tingi” mindset. Some accomplishment without feeling as if I “deprived” myself of so much in one fell swoop. This is worth another try. Unlike Paid Twice, I don’t have an aversion to automation. I have automatic calendar reminders for everything, thanks to GTD. But auto-debit arrangements from my credit card, I’m not too keen on that, except for donations to UNICEF and phone bill payments where amounts don’t change.
Update: BPI finally stopped timing out on my 4th attempt to sign up for the BPI Direct Save-Up account.
They’re supposed to mail an “Info Card” with the new account number. I really pray I manage to maintain this auto-savings plan.