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Set Up Your 'Bucket' Accounts in 3 Steps


How to make a plan for meaningful spending

Share current LOB: personal-banking

When you want to save, seeing a lump sum in your account isn’t much help. Creating bucket accounts can help you see where you stand—and how far you’ve got to go.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Set your budget priorities

Creating a basic budget is easy. Subtract your monthly spending from your monthly earnings and circle the result. Next, spend five minutes making a list of any extras you want to have money for this year and estimates of how much each will cost. Maybe they’re purchases, like a new couch, or experiences, like attending your cousin’s wedding.

Step 2: Open your bucket accounts

Start by opening three bucket accounts: one for checking/spending, one for short-term savings and one for long-term savings. These three buckets will cover your basics. Now open additional buckets for the extra items from your list that you want to save for.

Tip: Name each bucket something motivational, like “Weekend at Yosemite—$500.”

Step 3: Kick-start your savings

Set up automatic transfers from your checking account or direct deposit from your paychecks to funnel money into your buckets every month. Once your transfers are set, track your progress by checking your account balances online or setting up mobile alerts for your phone.

With spending and savings buckets, it’s easy to track your money and put it toward the things that matter to you.

View Game Plan as PDF


This content is educational in nature and is not an advertisement for a loan or business solicitation. It does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

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