Saturday, July 12, 2008

Way2Save - Crappy Name, Good Service

Like most people I opened my first savings account at the same bank as my parents. They went with Wachovia because it was near home. Beyond remembering to get their savings account stamped with updated interest (on a DOT MATRIX printer no less!) they didn't think of it much.

I, on the other hand, was mystified by the entire banking process.

That sense of mathematical magic died in eigth grade when our teacher deviated from the math text to explain savings, credit, cds, interest rates and other banking terms. Suddenly I was calculating how much interest my parents were going to receive monthly on their savings account and compare it to other, more profitable accounts.

My parents were not amused.

Old habits die hard and although I no longer keep a traditional savings account at a brick and mortar bank (Emigrant Direct for me!) I have a few cds, standard checking and my roth through Wachovia. Today I became an even larger Wachovia whore by opening a Way2Save account.

In most respects the Way2Save account is like a regular savings account with nicer interest (5% with a 5% first year bonus). It allows withdrawals and up to an automated $100 transferred in monthly. Every time you use their debit card to make a purchase one additional dollar will be moved from checking to Way2Save.

$1 didn't sound like much until I started playing with the on-line calculator. Over a twelve month period I will have depositted $1200 in the account and made $92 in interest on that. Unimpressive. Now lets say I deposit the standard $1200 and then make two monthly purchases using the card on top of that. Suddenly I will have depositted $1224 but because of compound interest (God I love compound interest) and bonus I suddenly have $1602.

This is the type of beauty that inspired sonnets.