dcsimg
 

Give the Lovers Account this Valentine's

February 02, 2012

By Adam Stone | Money Rates Columnist

Would you like to give a Valentine's Day gift that will still be around after the roses have faded and the box of chocolates has gone empty? What about one that could lead to you and your sweetheart relaxing on a tropical beach next Valentine's Day?

If so, a Lovers Account could be your ideal Valentine's gift. This present starts this Valentine's Day as a new savings account -- which you open with a generous first deposit -- and ends one year from now when you and your significant other, having contributed to the account regularly throughout the year, reap the rewards by going some place special together.

This gift offers you and your partner the chance to work together toward a goal, and as an added bonus, shows that you expect to be with him or her next Valentine's too. Best of all, it's easy to do by following these simple guidelines.

The set-up

Don't just cram your cash into an old coffee can -- open a savings account, preferably one with a competitive interest rate. MoneyRates.com's America's Best Rates series can be a good place to start your search.

True, today's interest rates remain at historic lows, but having your funds in a bank account will make it easier to track your progress and can also help fight inflation. With electronic banking, you can set up automatic monthly transfers from your checking account into the new account.

Doing so will help keep the money out of sight, lessening your temptation to spend it. With cash on hand, your Lovers Account could too easily become a rainy-day fund. Beware though: As easy as electronic banking makes it to squirrel away the pennies, it's just as easy to make transfers in the other direction. You'll still have to resist the urge to dip in.

Get real

Your vacation plans have to be grounded in reality. To begin, calculate the cost of your desired trip. Be sure you count airline tickets, hotels, food, activities and all the incidentals.

Then determine how much you'll need to save each month to meet that cost. If the monthly contribution is going to break the bank, you may need to rethink your plans. It's important to make sure that the account contributions don't turn into a burden, lest you and your sweetheart come to resent the gift entirely.

If you'd like to fatten that vacation budget or just meet your goal more quickly, trimming expenses is a good place to start. Though it's been said before, at $4.50 a cup, foregoing that daily latte really can make a big dent in your bottom line. Saving that extra $30 a week for the year could net you about $1,600, proving that a little bit of frugality can go a long way.

Spice up the presentation

A bank statement doesn't make a very spectacular impact amid all the lace hearts and Cupids, especially if the opening balance isn't as much as you'd like it to be. So when you give your Lovers Account, consider jazzing up the presentation.

For example, if you're planning on a tropical cruise, get glossy literature from the cruise company or print it off the Internet. Fill a shoebox with sand, make a cardboard palm tree and glue you and your sweetie's smiling faces over the happy honeymooners in the ads. (Hokey? Sure. But c'mon -- it's Valentine's Day.)

From there, it's up to you and yours to hit your savings targets and make your dream vacation a reality. But once you've done it, and you're hand-in-hand with your soul-mate in a beautiful locale, you'll be glad you chose the Lovers Account.

Your responses to ‘Give the Lovers Account this Valentine's’

Showing 0 comments | Add your comment
Add your comment
(required)
(will not be published, required)