Tickler Funds are one of my favorite budget hacks. Don’t ask me who named it — it has nothing to do with tickling! Some people also call them “Sinking Funds”. The concept is so simple:
Christmas costs $600 and comes once a year. So you save $50 a month for Christmas, instead of trying to front the whole cost in December (ouch). You can use it for anything that is an irregular expense you have.
- Car insurance if you pay every 6 months instead of monthly.
- Homeschool supplies that you buy at the beginning of the school year.
- Gifts for birthdays & Christmas.
- Setting aside money for ministry/charitable giving.
You can also use it to save for bigger items that you need to replace. A lot of businesses do this — like if they know they will need to replace the awning at their storefront every 5 years, they save 1/5th the cost of the awning in their sinking fund each year.
But even without a business, it is helpful for larger items as well:
- Saving for a new car every 5 years — set aside a car payment and then pay cash for your new car (EARN interest instead of paying it!)
- Saving for kids’ college
- Saving for home repairs, remodeling, or additions
- Paying medical bills for the next baby
I’ve been using CapitalOne 360 since way back in 2008. Back then, it was called ING Direct, but it was bought out at some point along the way. Nothing has changed really, except the name.
Why am I plugging this specific bank?
They are an online-only bank, which means they don’t have a local branch for me to visit. Honestly, that’s fine with me! We have two banks (this one and USAA), and both of them are online. I have no need to visit a local branch. I get my cash out of any local ATM, and if I have a check to deposit (which is rare, but happens occasionally), then I can do it through the mobile app on my phone.
But the best part?
The interest! Because they don’t have to operate branches all over the place, they have much lower overhead than regular banks — so they can pass the savings on to us! And seriously, their interest rates are unparalleled. When I first started my accounts with ING, the interest rate was a hundred times the rate that I had been getting at Bank of America at the time.
Right now, my interest rate is .75% (interest rates are low now, but they have been as high as 4.5%!)
According to bankrate.com, these are the rates at other banks right now:
So CapitalOne 360 is seven times the national average!
Another reason I love them is that I have unlimited free accounts. Okay, so it’s not totally unlimited. You can have 3 checking accounts + 25 savings accounts. But I don’t know anybody who would need more than 28 accounts! That’s plenty to have one for each of your savings needs!!
These are the ones we currently have:
The Automatic Savings Plan
So you can set up how much to set aside each month and it automatically goes into that account. Presto, chango, less work for mom-o!
My Savings Goals
So you can set goals and watch the fun bar graph go up as you start to achieve them! Because HOW FUN ARE CHARTS?!
You’ll love the bank and want to start telling your friends — and they’ll pay you $20 each for every friend who signs up (and opens an account with $250+).
*but DO take note that all the interest & bonuses will be reported to you on a 1099-INT at the end of the year for taxes!*
Whether you decide to go through CapitalOne 360, another bank, or use a different savings method — implementing a Tickler Fund system for larger purchases is a HUGE sanity-saver! I hope it blesses you as it has me!
The links in this post are my referral links — because I’d be stupid to NOT use them, right? Don’t worry, I only wrote this because I totally love this bank and I wanted to tell you all about it, and the referral links were just an afterthought — not the intention of the post!