It's officially referred to now as “The Great Recession,” and for our family, like so many others, we were hit hard from about 2008-2011. Between work cutbacks and health drama for me, our financial situation was not anything you'd call stable.
In our efforts to make it through, we found that our credit ended up taking quite a hit (a number of them, actually) and we have spent the last few years getting our financial life back in order and under control. Both our day-to-day spending and saving, as well as looking at how to accomplish our long-term financial goals.
Two things that have been hugely helpful for us are Capital One products, the Capital One Venture Card and their 360 Savings accounts.
Capital One Venture Card
My Capital One card was the first tradtional credit card I got, that wasn't a store charge; I've had it since 2004. The online financial tools make it easy to keep an eye on our spending by category, and the fact that the card is cute, because it has one of my favorite family photos on it, doesn't hurt at all!
Recently, Capital One started offering a Credit Tracker service, which allows you to keep an eye on your credit score, using their own software to estimate your credit score and let you know what kind of activity is being reported.
360 Savings from Capital One
When it comes to our online savings accounts, I have kind of a confession to make. We have two Capital One savings, and this is what we call them:
Yes, they're called “At home dinners” and “Top Secret Savings.” The Top Secret account was actually our wedding savings account, first opened all those years ago. (Coincidentally, it's our 9th anniversary today! <3) I changed the name about a year and a half ago, when I started stashing money so I could surprise Jamie with our Alaska cruise for his birthday this past August. I could probably change it again, but we haven't set a new goal for it yet.
The “At Home Dinners” account is pretty self-explanatory, I think. In an effort to cook more at home, we set this one up to reward ourselves for not going out to eat. Every time we cook at home instead of go out, I transfer $25 from our checking account. We're trying to outsmart ourselves. But as I watch the balances grow, I think it isn't such a terrible system, and it works well for us.
Because there are no fees or minimums with 360 Savings, you can easily create as many accounts as you need to help you reach your goals. It only takes a few minutes to set up a new account and you're on your way! You can also set up automatic savings so it transfers money from your checking account into your 360 Savings; we add some money every week, so it grows over time.
Capital One has an amazing mobile app that lets you stay on top of your finances no matter where you are; make payments, check your credit report, transfer money… everything is possible with the app.
I'm so thankful for the suite of tools that Capital One offers; it's really helped us as we've embarked on this financial journey.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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