How Ally Bank’s smart spending and savings tools and tech work
May 8, 2023
4 min read
What we'll cover
How automated savings and spending tools work
Strategies to help you optimize money management
How savings and spending tools can help you reach your goals
Do you ever wish you could put your money management on cruise control? With the technology available to you through Ally Bank accounts, it’s possible and simple to do. We’re dedicated to helping you make the most of your money through buckets and boosters, features of our Savings Account and Spending Account. These tools combine smart technology with a dose of behavioral science, so you can feel more confident and more in control of your money. Learn more about the tech behind our smart savings tools.
Spending and savings buckets are simple tools from a technical perspective. You can think of them as digital envelopes that allow you to separate your money within one account. But the real power of buckets comes from the behavioral science associated with the positive force of visualization.
Savings buckets allow you to organize different savings goals under a single account. You can create up to 30 customizable savings buckets for goals like a new car, furniture or a vacation. When you see your goals specifically named in your savings account, it can be easier to picture yourself achieving them.
You’ll likely feel more empowered to dedicate your hard-earned cash to a new car fund (or whatever goal you’re saving for), rather than putting money aside toward an unidentified lump sum. By divvying up your savings, you can see exactly where each dollar is going. As your money grows, your motivation to keep saving can grow, too.
Spending buckets work similarly. You can create different buckets for a variety of expenses like rent, car payment and utilities. When used together, spending and savings buckets can help you more easily analyze where your money is directed in both the short- and long-term. Plus, by being able to easily see how much money you have left unbucketed, you can identify additional dollars you can direct toward goals like your emergency savings, debt repayment or your “treat yourself” fund.
Sometimes even the most basic technology, like an organization tool, can be incredibly powerful in influencing positive behaviors. That’s what you’ll find with buckets.
The technology isn’t tricky to navigate, and you don’t have to do any fancy math to save toward different goals. Bucketseliminate the need to open multiple accounts (one for every savings and spending target) and allow you to track all of your goals in one place.
Do you know one of the best strategies to save money? Pay yourself first. This means that as soon as you get your paycheck, you put some of it in savings — essentially paying future you. While this may seem simple enough, it can be all too easy to forget to transfer money from your checking to savings regularly. That’s where recurring transfers come in.
With this savings tool, you can set up automatic transfersto your Ally Bank Savings Account, so you don’t have to worry about remembering to make them yourself. You can choose the amount and the frequency of your transfers. (Both of these actions are easily adjustable whenever you need to make a change.)
Savings strategy: If you utilize buckets, you can have specific amounts deposited in each one. With a set-it-and-forget-it strategy, you can streamline your savings and have peace of mind knowing you’re saving toward each of your goals.
The Surprise Savings booster is where our online banking technology really comes into play. By linking your interest checking account (at Ally Bank or wherever you keep your income and do the most spending) to your Ally Bank Savings Account, we can analyze your spending patterns and find extra cash that could earn more in savings.
To do this analysis, we use financial aggregation technology, which allows you to consolidate financial data from several bank accounts in one place. From your dashboard, you can add your bank accounts with our aggregator platform. This typically requires sharing where your account is held, the username or account number and your password. That way, we can securely access the details and data from your other accounts as well as your Ally Bank account — all with your permission, of course.
By being able to see your spending and savings habits, our technology lets us identify extra cash that could be working harder for you and automatically transfer it. Whether it’s $5 or $85 a week, you’ll continue to add to your savings and take advantage of a more competitive interest rate than in a typical checking account.
Have you ever heard of round ups? Some financial services companies offer opportunities to round up transactions to the nearest dollar, which are deposited into your account. It's the same with our round ups booster. We’ll track your Ally Bank Interest Checking Account for transactions we can round up to the nearest dollar.
This booster rounds up your spending to the nearest dollar and then automatically transfers the money from your Ally Bank Interest Checking Account into your Ally Bank Savings Account once you've accrued at least $5. For example, if you spend $70.72 at the grocery store, you’ll be $0.28 closer to a round up transfer. This microsavingstrategy can help you save little by little toward your goals.
Now you can save money every time you spend money. To add boosters, go to the Optimize section of your Ally Bank Savings Account. The round ups booster tracks what you spend and you can watch your round ups accrue in your progress bar or by taking a look at your round up activity.
Use smart tools to level up your money management
Automated tools and tech are there to help you make the most of your money. Utilize these smart tools to simplify your spending and savings strategy, so you can spend more time and energy living your life and reaching your individual goals.