Best place for short-term savings?

I have a checking account and two savings accounts linked to YNAB (I have not linked my 401K), and in the interest of consolidating my accounts in the spirit of YNAB, I'll certainly consolidate the two savings accounts. But is there any value to having a savings account at all, or should I consider putting that money all into my single checking account? If it matters, this is money I anticipate using between 1 and 3 years from now (for, eg., purchasing a car, saving for a kid).


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  • My primary account is a savings account. There’s very little value to me in a checking account; I have it primarily to access cash. 

  • The benefit is free money (additional interest). The downside is you have to consider cash-flow (shifting money between accounts), because the budget doesn't care which account money is located.

    If you don't have a lot of cash, the interest you'd receive probably isn't worth the hassle since higher-rate accounts are not great (about $1.60 per $1k balance per month is one of the best available rates right now). It's going to be a personal call whether your time is worth the interest received.

  • I would only keep the savings accounts if the interest is worth it.  I use Ally savings accounts for my long term goals bc I want my 1.7% interest.  

    If you want to know about the various ways of setting up your savings in YNAB, this video explains it well IMO.


      • Habanero Salsa
      • Second generation user
      • Aquamarine_Pony.8
      • 7 mths ago
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      PhysicsGal I also use Ally. Everything goes on a credit card and the cards are paid directly from Ally. I recommend it. If I could get an ATM card for it, I wouldn't even have a checking account.

  • thanks all, this is helpful

  • Hi Eucalyptus forest !

    I keep most of my money in my checking account - it offers a higher interest rate than most savings accounts (up to a certain amount). Depending on the amount you want to keep in your bank, it's possible a checking account could be more beneficial. Above the amount I receive the higher interest rate for keeping in the checking account, I use a savings account.

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