If you’re not interested in opening a savings account, you can still be diligent about your savings goals in other ways.
A popular alternative is to use a personal finance management (PFM) tool, either designed specifically to help you achieve savings goals, or one with a built-in feature for you to track those goals.
Mint is one of the first and most widely-used PFM tools, and they have a feature called “Goals,” in which you can assign a specific bank account to a specific goal (such as “buying a new house”). Then track to see how much progress you make towards saving for it. Some banks offer you the ability to nickname your savings accounts, but if you want to be able to name an account for each goal and you don’t want to open a new bank account altogether, Mint offers the solution.
Sites like SmartyPig work for smaller purchase goals, where you set up automatic transfers from a checking or savings to your SmartyPig account until you reach your goal. The money is locked in your SmartyPig account until then, and only when you finish saving can you redeem the money via a gift card for major retailers, a debit card, or a bank transfer back to your personal bank account.
When you do accomplish your goals, celebrate! You’ve put in a lot of work and it’s time to use the money and feel a great sense of accomplishment. So take that trip, buy that phone, or treat yourself to a fancy dinner, you earned it!