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On the other hand, subdividing accounts and tracking lots of different little "pots of money" would be adding to my workload. But it may be satisfying to see those little pots of money grow.

It doesn't have to be. I use ING for this with automatic transfers. I have one main ING account that holds a portion of our emergency money and sub-accounts for a few specific areas. We have a vacation fund, an insurance / property tax fund, a car maintenance / purchase fund, presents, and computer (updates, software, replacement). Each month on a set day the main ING account automatically withdraws a set amount from our chequing account at the credit union and a few days later each of the sub-accounts automatically withdraws a pre-set amount from the main ING account.

We just need to keep track of any purchases related to each of these funds and transfer back to the credit union the amount to cover them at the end of the month. For some of these it is sporadic (eg. taxes / insurance) and for others it is more regular (presents - lots of young nieces/nephews). We set the amount by taking educated guesses but over time we have refined the numbers somewhat.

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