Saving Money with Wachovia's Way2Save
Wachovia bank recently announced a new program called Way2Save. If you watched the super bowl last night, you were bound to see a few ads for the program. The Wachovia Way2Save program works by automatically transferring $1 from your Wachovia checking account into a high interest (5.00% APY) Way2Save savings account for each dollar you spend when you:
- Use your Wachovia bank check card to make purchases
- Pay a bill online, including through Wachovia Online Banking and BillPay
- Set up automatic debits
As part of the overall promotion, there is a current bonus promotion where Wachovia will award you an annual bonus for the first 3 years of the program as follows:
- 1st year - 5% of the eligible balance(i.e. the sum of your $1 transfers up to $300 or your Way2Save balance, whichever is less)
- 2nd year - 2% of the eligible balance up to $300
- 3rd year – 2% of the eligible balance up to $300
For those of you that have been struggling to save, this is a really great program that will not only “force” you to save, but will pay you a bonus for doing so. Wachovia provides a calculator that allows you to enter different spending amounts and determine your overall savings.
A few concerns with Way2Save
I do have a few concerns about the program, but if you exercise good judgment and planning they can be mitigated:
- Way2Save will make budgeting a little more difficult
- Some people will spend more to save more
Budgeting with Way2Save
I would suggest looking back over your past 2-3 months of bank statements and determine the average amount you spend on debit card transactions and bill pay. Use this average as a baseline for your budget, and put a line item in your budget for this amount for the Way2Save program. For example, if you generally conduct 50 debit card transactions per month, than you would add a Way2Save line item under Savings Expenses for $50.00.
Spending more to save more
Some people may be inclined to spend more to save more and get a higher bonus. Please don’t do this. It does make sense to use your debit card and bill pay for as many of your normal transactions as you can, but don’t spend more. Keep the same levels of spending you’ve had (or less), but look for opportunities to use bill pay and your debit card more.
Making the most with Way2Save
Here are a few savings tips to get the most from the program:
- Create goals, both short term and long term for your savings.
- Create and follow a budget to avoid overspending
- Save for retirement using a retirement account (401k, Roth, or IRA)
- Track your spending – Use a budgeting program (like You Need A Budget) or some other software to track and manage your spending
- Save your unexpected windfalls – Receive a tax refund, bonus or raise? Don’t spend them, save them
- Be patient – It takes time to build savings and wealth. Note the name and scripture verse for this blog.
To really optimize the program, read this article over on the Hustler Money Blog.
Any thoughts on the Way2Save program? Think it’s a good deal? Have you signed up for it? Add a comment!