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Bank accounts, sub accounts etc
for organising my finances


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#1 galba

Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:11 PM


Hi everyone

Well after the thread about financial goals for 2013 I've decided that we need to get organised.  I feel as though we have accounts everywhere (HSBC, Westpac, CBA) but I don't seem to be very sure about what's happening and when.

We are moving into our new house in Feb/March and we're currently renting.  The home loan comes out of another bank with an offset too, DH's salary goes into one bank, mine into another - and direct debits are coming out here, there and everywhere!  I spend a few hours a month moving money around  wacko.gif

So this is what I need help with:

1.  4 x school fees for 2014 - I'd like to save for this monthly. It's too large an amount not to have it in the offset but then I'll lose track of it if I do put it in there.  Should I put it in the mortgage account and then redraw it?

2.  Pay the bills out of one account but have sub accounts (is this possible) for things that need to be paid quarterly.

3.  I need an account for school uniforms/booklists/shoes/swimming/dance etc for 4 kids

4.  I'd like DH and I to have access to an account where we can have spending money, a set amount per month - not much but once it's gone it's gone.- at the moment he'll call/text and ask which account has money in it  unsure.gif

5.  Just realised some direct debits are coming off the credit card too.  No debt though.

6.  I can't keep everything in the same account - we were even more disorganised when we did that.

Is there a bank that can offer lots of little bank accounts to help me get organised?  Sub accounts?  The home loan and offset will need to stay with the CBA but apart from that I'm willing to move.

After some checking most of the accounts that we have seem to be charging fees - so we're wasting money that way too.

We have no other debt apart from the home loan.  

Any ideas/suggestions would be most welcome.



#2 Cherish

Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:31 PM

We have 3 bank accounts.
DH has one that we put money into for him alone. He can blow as little or as much as he likes.
We have a bank account we don't have a card too. All direct debits come out of it and all bills are paid from it.
I have an account that FTB goes into fortnightly. I use this to make the house payment and buy groceries.

#3 Jessie_T

Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:55 PM

We have our accounts with Westland because that's who we went through for the home loan, so in your case i would try and stay with cba. Usually you can have some online savings accounts that don't cost you anything. I would go into cba and tell the, what u want and they should be ale to accommodate some if not all of your requests original.gif

Edited by jessietroy, 31 December 2012 - 10:55 PM.


#4 IsolaBella

Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:23 AM

We always had home loan offset account being account where all salary was paid.

The DH and I get a set $ amount each fn paid to our own individual accounts which we can use for day to day cash items and/or save for presents special items.

We then use spreadsheets to manage our offset account. That way we know if we are saving appropriately etc. credit cards are direct debited in full each month from the offset account. Any other direct debits come off the credit cards.

So three accounts for us. One joint offset with most money ( only accessible online no ATM cards - security for fraud) the one account each for day to day stuff which we each manage. Credit cards are joint.

Eta we have a substantial offset account balance so the interest really does make an impact.

Edited by lsolaBella, 01 January 2013 - 10:24 AM.


#5 middle

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:01 PM

our homeloan is also with cba and we paid an extra fee for a package which gives us heapsof discounts including fee free accounts.  i have one bill account which everyones wages goes into and direct debits comes out and i have the direct debits set up on internet banking so if i need to change them i can.  we have a seperate account for spending money and and accont for school fees/ books etc and an offset account.all of my bills i pay fortnightly by direct debit ie phone, elecicity, rates etc so when the bills come they are already in credit.  for the car regos/insuarances they are both due in  december so i put that extra money each fortnight into the offset account to cover those bills and then draw it out in dec when they are due

#6 Feral Mozzie

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:11 PM

Our system is quite simple. We have done a budget and know how much we get each month to blow, and how much is needed for bills/mortgage/savings.

Each month when we get paid, we keep our spending money and the rest of our pay goes into the offset account (this also works because we both get the same spending money, no matter who is earning more).

All direct debits, bills, groceries etc... Come out of the offset account.

At the end of the month, I simply look at how much we owe on the mortgage and ow much is in the offset account (our net mortgage) to check that we are on track with our savings goals.

#7 klbseb

Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:45 PM

We have five accounts:

1) Working Account
2) Income & Bill Payment Account
3) School Fees
4) Savings - to pay off debt
5) Savings - Christmas & Birthdays

My pay covers the mortgage and school fees, plus a little extra for savings.

When my husband gets paid, I work out the bills due in the next fortnight and either pay them, or put onto the credit card to cover them. I then put aside the the funds for groceries, tickets (train for work) and petrol, savings. The balance (usually $250 per fortnight) is ours to spend however we want to.

We have transaction fee free accounts (previously due to the age of our mortgage and now because DH works for the bank), so any transactions are free.

I transfer just enough to cover the groceries budget each Saturday when I shop, and enough to cover petrol whenever I need it.

What's left at the end of the fortnight is shared amongst our savings accounts.

It's difficult at first, but I've been doing it for years now and it's second nature.

#8 haras1972

Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:52 PM

Most credit unions offer the ability to have multiple accounts....

However, with an offset account, you really will be far better off in the long run with everything consolidated to the one account.

Also, any interest on any of those little accounts you will pay tax on... really, spend some time working on an excel spreadsheet, consolidate every income, dollar, direct debit etc to the one account, and track via Excel, and save yourself years and thousands in interest.

#9 KT1978

Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:03 PM

Why have extra accounts? It must cost hundreds in fees?

We have always put everything into the mortgage.  We use our credit card then pay off once a month.

The other alternative is that you set up an auto redraw of $x per week for groceries and petrol. That way you have a fixed budget of $x. Leave everything else on the mortgage and just pay bills as they come up.  If you only redraw "extra" for bills then I don't know why you need to track savings for it.

We always found the redraw built up quickly because our disposable spending was limited to say $300 week and bills were no issue.

#10 Lots of stripes

Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:06 PM

We keep all our money in our offset as that way your money is working, and then have a separate account for each of us for spending money. This is new as previously we had a fixed rate loan and transferred the mortgage over only. I am getting used to the fact that my pay (and DB's) now goes into the joint account, a weird feeling!

If you are worried about saving for big expense items, perhaps an online saving account that you siphon off a set amount per month? If you have an offset the best thing you can do is keep as much money in there as possible, unless you pay it off the loan (but watch out for redraw fees.....)

#11 mumto3princesses

Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:27 PM

We have 4 accounts. Only 1 has a monthly fee. Two with one bank and two with another.

Rent comes out of one automatically, then the other one has some savings for christmas and birthdays ect or allocated spending money during school holidays etc. Then at the other bank we have the money for all the other bills like school fees, camps or excursions, school uniforms, PHI, car services and rego etc etc. Then the other account has other savings for holidays etc.

#12 whale-woman

Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:37 PM

Our system is that everything goes in the offset account. Everything comes oùt the credit cards. This minimised interest on the mortgage and means we have squillions of frequent flyer points to use for holidays. We also get a months warning of expenses before we pay off the credit card balance (direct debited so we never pay interest.)

If I was you I'd put all pay in the offset and save on interest. Either get a credit card the max set at your spending budget or take out spending money in cash. Just be disciplined about not spending what's in the offset unless it's necessary as that money is also your school fees/expenses money.

#13 ChilliDog

Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:48 PM

Doesn't having multiple accounts defeat the purpose of having an offset account unless those accounts are all offsetting your mortgage??? The way I look at it is every dollar in my offset save us money on our mortgage so the more in there the better!!!

We have all our money in our offset ... pay almost everything on various credit cards then pay off the credit cards on their due date using money from the offset. We even go so far as to track which card closes on which date each month (and choose to pay using the card most recently closed off giving us the most interest free time we can get on that purchase) to ensure we maximize the amount in our offset for as long as possible each month.

While you're renting it makes no difference but once you have a mortgage keep every dollar you can in it for as long as possible!

If you're having issues sit down and write a budget and track incoming/outgoings for a while until you're comfortable with what's coming and going.

#14 IsolaBella

Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:56 PM

QUOTE
We have all our money in our offset ... pay almost everything on various credit cards then pay off the credit cards on their due date using money from the offset. We even go so far as to track which card closes on which date each month (and choose to pay using the card most recently closed off giving us the most interest free time we can get on that purchase) to ensure we maximize the amount in our offset for as long as possible each month.


We do the same. Everything on CC. cC payment direct debited each month. Know the cutoff dates for each credit card to maximise each account. Ie. up to the 17th each month we use Amex then after that Visa. Rewards from CC are also handy too ( credit cards are part of mortgage package so don't have fees and are each 55day interest free).

Spreadsheets is how we manage our savings. My fn cash amount is $300.

#15 2 Gorgeous Girls

Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:04 PM

I only have two accounts. One every day account with my bank card attached to it and one esaver account (with Westpac). I then have a spreadsheet with 9 different sections which keeps track of what the money in the esaver account is for.

It does take discipline to not just transfer money into the main account, but so does any budget!

#16 Corella

Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:11 PM

I bank with ING and had lots of accounts but now have the mortgage, a credit card that everything goes through, and one account for discretionary spending and cash taking out. No fees. Money no longer in all kinds of places but all working to reduce our mortgage. But my Paywave account gives me 5% back when I Paywave so that's where discretionary $$ goes.

As a budgeting tool, I also use YNAB to keep track of what $$ is what in the offset account. There's a lot there but some is for quarterly bills, some for fees, some for annual bills, as well as extra mortgage $$.

Edited by Corella, 01 January 2013 - 06:49 PM.


#17 galba

Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:37 PM


A big thank you to everyone for their suggestions.  

DH and I popped into the bank today.  The advisor there did recommend leaving all the money in the offset account and then using a credit card.  At the moment, I don't feel that I have a good enough knowledge of our finances and I think it would end in disaster - ie more on the credit card than there is in the offset.  Once we've got everything under control then that may be an option.

We also discovered that as we have the wealth package there should be no fees on any of the accounts.

We've opened up a high-interest savings account for the school fees and holidays and 4 other accounts for everything else.  She also showed me how to change the names of the accounts to reflect what the money is for.  So all-in-all I am very happy and ready to take control.  

Thanks again!


#18 haras1972

Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:17 PM

Hi OP,

saw your update - if that works for you, great. However, just to help you get motivated about moving towards using the offset to it's full capacity, just wanted to reiterate a couple of points.

And only because I work in banking IT, and have seen how many clients don't maximise their products... so apologies if this flogging a dead horse..

1. Try to live as cashless as possible - every cent should be in your offset for as long as you can manage. We very rarely have cash - if it means charging $7.9 for two coffees to the credit card, so be it.

2. Any interest you earn on your savings accounts, you will pay tax on. So, if you earn 5% on your savings account, you will pay tax. So if you earn $1000 in interest, you will have to pay tax at your marginal rate. Whereas, any money in your offset would be saving you say 6% (your mortgage rate) tax free. An extra $20,000 in your offset would be saving you so much more than you would earn in a savings account.

3. Any interest earned counts towards your taxable income, which is turn affects which tax rate band you fall, FTB / CCR assessments etc. Before our offset account was setup, the amount of interest I earned, the whole piddly $500 worth, put me up a tax band.

4. We capped our credit card limit at our weekly budget amount times 6. So we plan and are living on $1500 a week (before interest/mortgage), so our credit limit is $9000.00. We only ever pay our credit card off on the due date, and so far, 18 months in, this approach has worked.

I've written programs that model offset vs non offset, and the amount you can save in years and mortgage, if you change your behaviour to maximise how the offset can work in your favour, is worth the effort.

All we have is 2 credit cards, (just a second card for backup), and our mortgage account.

Essentially, the lesson is, any cent/dollar not in your offset is not helping you!

Here endth the lesson...

#19 galba

Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:36 PM

QUOTE (haras1972 @ 03/01/2013, 01:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi OP,

saw your update - if that works for you, great. However, just to help you get motivated about moving towards using the offset to it's full capacity, just wanted to reiterate a couple of points.

And only because I work in banking IT, and have seen how many clients don't maximise their products... so apologies if this flogging a dead horse..

1. Try to live as cashless as possible - every cent should be in your offset for as long as you can manage. We very rarely have cash - if it means charging $7.9 for two coffees to the credit card, so be it.

2. Any interest you earn on your savings accounts, you will pay tax on. So, if you earn 5% on your savings account, you will pay tax. So if you earn $1000 in interest, you will have to pay tax at your marginal rate. Whereas, any money in your offset would be saving you say 6% (your mortgage rate) tax free. An extra $20,000 in your offset would be saving you so much more than you would earn in a savings account.

3. Any interest earned counts towards your taxable income, which is turn affects which tax rate band you fall, FTB / CCR assessments etc. Before our offset account was setup, the amount of interest I earned, the whole piddly $500 worth, put me up a tax band.

4. We capped our credit card limit at our weekly budget amount times 6. So we plan and are living on $1500 a week (before interest/mortgage), so our credit limit is $9000.00. We only ever pay our credit card off on the due date, and so far, 18 months in, this approach has worked.

I've written programs that model offset vs non offset, and the amount you can save in years and mortgage, if you change your behaviour to maximise how the offset can work in your favour, is worth the effort.

All we have is 2 credit cards, (just a second card for backup), and our mortgage account.

Essentially, the lesson is, any cent/dollar not in your offset is not helping you!

Here endth the lesson...



Oh no, just when I think I've done it - what you say all makes sense!!  The school fees alone are $78,000 a year so yes, we would be getting a bit of interest on them so therefore there would be more tax liability.  I need to cancel that Goal Saver account and put the fees money into the offset or mortgage.  The other accounts are little to no interest so that shouldn't cause any issues.  We don't get FTA/B or CCB etc.

I think the end goal is to move to the system you are talking about - maybe 2014? until then we need to get a handle on our finances and find out where the money is going.  

Thanks Haras1972 - I really appreciate the advice.  yyes.gif



#20 *~dee~*

Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:15 PM

I don't have a mortgage, but I use Suncorp and have sub accounts with 2 main accounts that are fee free.

*Main spendings account that wages go into (visa debit)
*Bill account (visa debit) that covers, health insurance, life insurance, mobile, home ph, Internet, electricity, daycare fees, rent, gym, pet insurance etc.
*Car account covers loan, insurance, rego, services, tyres
*Holiday account
*Savings account
*Clothes account
*Xmas account

I work out how much each thing/bill costs per year and divide by 26 fortnights and then transfer that much into account. All bills are then direct debited out of said account and I can pay the others by BPay when they come in. I give myself so much a fortnight for petrol, food, parking and spending, and the rest goes to savings :-)

Edited by *~dee~*, 05 January 2013 - 03:16 PM.


#21 Veryclucky

Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:47 PM

I'm also with Suncorp and same as PP have a main account and sub-accounts for specific savings such as bills, holidays etc.

Ours are all offsets to our mortgage so we can still split the money for ease of knowing how much we have for each purpose and still be offsetting 100%.

We use the CC for all and pay it off at end of month so no interest to be paid and we get FF points for it.




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