How to budget with Capital One 360 (Formerly ING Direct)

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Update:  Capital One has since bought out ING Direct.  So while the name has changed, it seems that the method still works just as well.

Budgeting with Capital One 360

Capital One 360 has played a critical role in helping me get my financial life organized. They don’t advertise themselves as a great budgeting tool, but they really are. You could probably use this same budgeting technique at other banks, but I will show you why it is more beneficial at Capital One 360.

Video explaining the process

1. Open multiple Capital One 360 savings accounts

How to budget The first step is to open up multiple savings accounts at Capital One 360 (Yes, they allow you to open multiple accounts). At most other banks, this is discouraged, if not by the bank itself, by the amount of paperwork required for each. However, once you have opened up your first account, any additional accounts can be opened with about three mouse clicks.

Each one of the accounts that you open will be something that you are saving (budgeting) for. For example, I have my emergency, vacation, car maintenance, entertainment, clothing, and any other savings funds at Capital One 360. I put a fixed amount into each account every pay period (they can automate this if you would like).

2. Open up a Capital One 360 Checking account

It is really this checking account at Capital One 360 that makes this budget system possible. You could still use the Capital One 360 savings accounts to make a budget without the Capital One 360 checking account, but it will be much easier if you have the ING checking as well. And to be honest, I don’t think there is a better checking account out there that is better than Capital One 360′s.

Capital One 360′s Electric Orange checking is unique in a few ways:

  • They do NOT offer checkbooks. It is a debit card based account
  • You can send E-Checks to someone elses bank account for free
  • It has a 3.93% (at the time of this writing) interest rate even with a $10 balance (try to find that at your local bank)
  • Free ATM access at 32,000 locations across the country
  • There are no overdraft fees. Instead of charging you $30 when you bounce a check, they just lend you the money until you bring the balance back up to $0. So instead of having a $30 NSF fee, you might have a $.50 interest charge. This alone is reason enough to switch. They has saved me a lot of money with this feature.

3. Use the debit card to pay for items budgeted for

Once you have the first two steps taken care of and have saved up money in the accounts you are ready to go. Now is the fun part: SPENDING!! You have to do some work on the car? Just transfer the money from you car maintenance fund (this is a real-time transfer) to your Capital One 360 Checking and head to the dealer or if you are like me and like to do car maintenance yourself, head to Autozone and swipe the debit card.

How is that for a simple budgeting tool?

I just get a lot of pleasure in simplifying my life. If you have ever used the envelope system for budgeting, you should be able to notice the advantages of this system. Like I mentioned earlier, you can probably do this at variety of banks, but I think it would be difficult to find a bank that offered all of the conveniences of ING as well as the great rates.

The negatives of using Capital One 360 as a budget tool

The two things I would warn anyone trying the Capital One 360 budget:

  1. Stay on top of your transfers from your Capital One 360 savings accounts to your checking. If you do a lot of budgeted spending for a couple weeks and forget to do the transfers, it can be difficult to backtrack. Like most things in life, it works better with regular maintenance.
  2. You can only transfer FROM the savings accounts 6 times per month. This really hasn’t been an issue for me but maybe once or twice in the few years that I have been using the Capital One 360 budgeting method. (But, I figured out a simple hack to getting around this restriction.)

How to budget with other tools

If using Capital One 360 to budget method doesn’t interest you, then you could try the envelope system of budgeting. You could also try these household budgeting spreadsheets or some of the free budgeting software.  If that doesn’t work you might want to check out YNAB’s personal budget software or you could try Mvelopes Personal Budget system free for 30 days.

























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52 Comments
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  1. Nice to find some Christian bloggers writing about money — pretty cool site =) One thing I noticed is that it’s hard to find where your comments link is at.. if you want folks to leave you messages you might want to make it more visible =)

    take care!
    1mil

  2. Great idea! I had no idea that ING offered a checking account. I’m going to have to look into using your system!

  3. @Millionster

    hmm… I think I will have to work on that – thanks for the heads up

  4. Thanks for the information! Why do they give a bonus for just signing up? Is that their new promo?

  5. @Marie Claire

    Yea, it is a promo that they have been running for years – not a bad deal :)

  6. oh yes, i love ing!

  7. Wow, link from The Simple Dollar, you go Bob!!

  8. Kimberley

    One word of caution with all savings accounts – you may not transfer money out more than 6 times a month. Although generally not a problem for this system, it has happened to me after too quick of a click and then a correction. You will receive a not-too-nasty letter alerting you that if it happens more than once or twice they will close your accounts.

  9. @glglguy
    Yea, that is always a good thing :)

    @Kimberly
    You are absolutely right. I have done that myself, it is actually a Government regulation that banks have to abide by. The bank will get in trouble if they allow it too often, so they pass the punishment down the chain.

  10. Are the ATM fees free if I use the ING Direct Debit cards? Any bank can claim to use any ATM because they are part of the Star or Cirrus Network.

  11. @Mark

    You know I am not sure – Personally, I always use credit union ATMs, because I have not found a single one that charges a fee for using it. I am sure some do charge fees, I just haven’t found any yet.

  12. Hi, Bob. I read some of the info on ING’s website, but I’m confused about something: in order to have a checking account with ING do you already have to have another checking account?

    Thanks so much for your blog. I definitely enjoy reading it and learning the new information that you provide.

  13. @Monica
    I knew they did that for the Savings, but I didn’t know the answer about the checking. I did some digging and from what I can tell, your hunch was correct. I did read that they require you to have another checking from a US chartered bank. From working in banking for a few years, I know that a good majority of people who apply for checking accounts were not approved (at least at my bank) for credit reasons. So I assume that is why ING does that. Basically it sounds like they have another bank do the customer screening process for them.

  14. @susan
    Thanks for the encouragement and your plan sounds like a good one!!

  15. Regarding the overdraft, if you have bad credit, they won’t allow you to use it. And if you try to spend more than is currently in your account, the charge just won’t go through. But a quick call to the company and they’ll do an instant transfer.

  16. I love this idea and am seriously considering moving over to ING for all the reasons you give. I have one question though – how do you deposit cash or cheques into your ING account? From what I’ve read it appears I would still need at least one brick&mortar bank account.

    • Julie, you are right, you need a brick&mortar account to open an ING account. From there you can transfer $ to ing or deposit checks via mail…

  17. Paul Niager

    So, if I’m understanding correctly from the above comment about how to make deposits you can only do that via the mail? OR is there a way to do that from my existing credit union account and have them linked? I wouldn’t think that’s possible but I wondered when you mentioned earlier something about the need for a brick and mortar bank.

  18. Not sure what the mail comment meant, but I phoned ING to clarify and you can only deposit cash or cheques to a brick &mortar bank/credit union, thus the need to retain at least one account apart from ING Direct. You then transfer the money from that account to your ING account.
    The rep also kindly pointed out that, because ING have no buildings you can walk into, they cannot offer immediate replacement of debit cards if lost or stolen. He advised this is another good reason to have another account – so you can still access money while the replacement card is in transit.

  19. Here’s a great article I just read and it reminds me of how I use my ING accounts, plus I found the link posted by ING on their Facebook page: http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/110977/my-10-dumbest-money-moves-and-how-you-can-avoid-them?mod=bb-budgeting

    In response to Mark, as long as the ATMs have the AllPoint logo on them, you won’t be charged. In case you didn’t notice Bob’s links at the bottom of the article, here’s the link for ING’s ATM Locater for free AllPoint ATMs: http://app.ingdirect.com/atmlocate/pocket/

    In response to Monica, yes, you have to have a checking account at a regular bank or CU before starting with ING, but I haven’t used the other bank in years and years. It’s closed by now, so it’s not a requirement to keep that other account to continue on with ING.

    In response to Julie, I’ve never had to deposit cash, but if I were to, I would just go get an inexpensive money order (Walmart’s are cheap) and mail that to ING. I get one of my paychecks in paper form and I just mail it to ING. It only takes 2 days. If I mail it on Monday, it appears in my account on Wednesday. Not bad turnaround time. They’ll give you the first $100 right then and then make available the remainder after 2 days. So in my example, I’d have all funds available to me on Friday. And according to ING on Facebook, they will soon be having scanned check deposits available.

    And like Bob said, you can transfer from your linked bank or CU account. Since I don’t have another bank account and I get paid through PayPal, I set up links in PayPal to my ING accounts and I can just pick and choose which ING account I want to transfer my PayPal earnings from. It takes a couple of days from PayPal to ING.

    Oh, and I liked the video.

  20. Bob, awesome article. It’s funny because my sisters were just telling me about this account today and here is more information. Just to make sure that I am correct, I must have another account, specifically a Checking Account, in order to transfer funds. So my payroll funds are directly deposited into like a Bank of America Account and at some point I am to go on-line and transfer that money into several accounts within ING. Is that correct? For every pay check?

    • C,
      correct – last time I checked you did need another checking acct opened in order to open an account with them. But once opened you can use direct deposit and I think mail them checks to deposit as well…

  21. Bob, I have an ING Direct savings account and love it as well. Be I wanted to mention another wonderful account offered by PNC Bank called Virtual Wallet. This account is very similar to the ING accounts you referenced above with comparable interest rates. You can open this account with as little as $25. This account has very easy money transfer tools, saving categories in the Reserve Savings and a great bugdeting and spending trends tool for saving and spending. It is very easy to use and makes money fun to manange. Check it out.

  22. Hey Bob,

    Thanks for this great article. I switched to ING in January and now I’m sad to see that it looks like the ING Group is selling ING Direct USA (http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/03/10/auction-of-ing-direct-usa-heating-up/).
    Is it safe for me to stick with ING? Should I move to a different bank, say HCSB? Are there likely going to be huge changes or will the way I bank with ING now and the money I save likely stay the same?
    I’m sure you can’t respond with 100% confidence, but any tips would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    John

    • John, thanks for the update! I wasn’t aware of that, but personally I am going to be sticking with ING. My hunch is that management will probably stay the same and they will continue to be a great bank. If I see that things change to their detriment, I will be writing about it!

  23. Just as an aside, ING Direct is a Dutch-owned bank. From what I’ve read, the selling of ING Direct USA won’t affect us. I learned about this a long time ago and read up on it to make sure everything would be OK. I’m not totally schooled on banking, but I suspect it’s common for banks to sell portions of their banking operations. It is being done to raise money.

  24. Denise R

    I am a financial wannabe. I wannabe really good at it but I have a difficult time getting the big picture when it comes to managing fiances. This website has been the most helpful to me of any so far and I thank God everyday that I found it. I am making good choices and re-organizing my banking and budget. While I do not yet have my big picture I know that I will get there. If it is ok to ask, I am wondering about a personal budgeting program such as mint.com. If you use ING to budget with, would you also need a personal budget program as well? Just wondering. I like to know where my money is etc, but I want to keep it as simple as possible… for my own sake! Thank you so much for EVERYTHING! What a great blessing this site has been to me and my family! God Bless you all!

  25. Love the idea of tracking each thing being saved for. Rather than open multiple accounts, why not use the savings goal feature in Quicken? It’s much simpler.

  26. Thanks Bob I was able to set up my ING checking and several Savings Accounts. It is exciting to fill each savings account up seeing them grow. In this process I have stopped spending furiously. I have all the accounts I need for the things I want and need, that is cool. I have also put some products on Etsy to sell the fees on this site is real cheap like 20 cent per listing where Ebay fees is ridiculous but the only advantage with that is during tax time when you claim that extra income on schedule and you can claim the expenses as well.

  27. Thanks for the information Bob. I have been looking for simple budgeting advice for several months so I’m glad I found your site!

    I have set up budgets in the past but that is as far as I ever got.. I was never able to stick to them. I think this ING account plan may help me do just that.

    Can you answer a couple questions about how you actually use this system?

    1. Do you use your debit card for groceries and then go home and transfer money from your “grocery” savings account into your checking account?

    2. What about eating out or the random snacks bought throughout the week? do you use cash for those from a physical envelope? I can’t imagine trying to track all those purchases every night and I might hit the transfer limit.

    3. What happens to the funds after the end of the month? Do they sit in their respective savings accounts or do you transfer the money out? If the money just sits there and builds, how do you know what your budget is for the next month?

    Thanks!

    You’re doing God’s work

    Sean

  28. Bob,
    I want to let you know from the time you wrote about ING in 2007 they do offer checks for the checking account now. I set up several savings accounts and a checking account just from reading your blog. I was debating between your method ING budgeting, the envelope method, Dave Ramsey method, or Rich Woman Method (3 savings accounts one for you, one for charity, and one for investments) and Gary Keese Method called G.O.D. (Get out of Debt) savings account method to pay off your debts. I chose yours after careful thought, the ING method is best for me. There was similarities to what you have stated on your website compared to Creflo Dollar Ministry – in regards to saving and budgeting series he did, Dave Ramsey, Rich Dad, Rich Woman, Harold Herring (Debt Free Army), and Gary Keese. I took the similarities and complied and made them my own from savings, insurance selection, paying debts and etc. Thank God you were a piece to a puzzle that I needed to gain insight. I really enjoy your website so much that I blogged about you to my bloggees. God Bless you and keep up with this Financial Ministry. You have been a blessing to me and a mentor all in one. God Bless you to reach further territory.
    Dy

  29. I’ve been with ING for awhile but I’m very intrigued with doing the envelope system with them. Rumor is it that they may be starting the e-scan of checks so you can just scan the check for deposits from your smartphone. SallieMae Checking/Savings already has this feature.

    Also, ING checking/savings recently sent me a letter stating they have been bought out by Capital One.

    Thanks for all your information! It’s been valuable and I look forward to reading every email!
    Together in Christ,
    Dacia

  30. Hi Bob,

    YOU ROCK! I’ve been looking for a bank that would let me open several subdivided accounts for budgeting, without nickel-and-diming me to death with fees. Thank you so much for posting this article 5 years ago so that I could find it this week. ;) Just goes to show God’s work *can* be done on the Internet…

  31. Jordan

    Awesome article. I have been browsing your site for the past half-year or so ever since we decided to buckle down and get our finances straight. I’m really liking ING Direct so far and have plans to start a few more accounts to save for different things. I’ve decided to keep my normal bank for everyday purchases and bills and to only use ING for expenses related to the categories we will save for like Emergency Fund, Travel, Fun Money, Auto Care/Replacement, etc. I really like the automatic savings plan they offer, so we just have a certain amount of our paycheck go directly to the ING Checking on a bi-weekly basis the day after our paycheck is direct deposited. Then we distribute the money from ING Checking to each category based on need. In additiona to this savings plan, another thing I have thought about doing from my months of reading about finance is to stop eating out for lunch every day at work and start taking my own food, and I’ll just have the $30 I would have spent on cafeteria food automatically deposited into ING on a weekly basis as our Travel Savings and put that money to use in a way that we can both enjoy it.

  32. I am looking into doing the budgeting with ING and realized that they were bought by Capital One. What would be your recommendation?

  33. @Knovell,

    I am still with what has become “Capital One 360.” So far the only thing that has changed is the name and colors. The savings rate has bounced around in the last two years but it seems to have stabilized at 0.75%, still great! As far as I can tell you can still do everything Bob describes since the name change.

    Hope that helps.

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