There's nothing wrong with dipping into your savings account when you need to, but if you're prone to doing it a bit too often, using certain kinds of accounts can help deter you from going to them more than necessary.
Photo by Jeff Belmonte.
You can never understate the importance of budgeting, but it can be difficult when you have just one giant pile of money stashed away in a savings account. Personal finance blog Wise Bread recommends a few different types of accounts to deter you:
For short-term, emergency-fund type savings, I recommend a high-yield online savings account. It should be one that's not directly attached to your checking account, a debit card, or an ATM. That way you can't get to the money easily.
And because transfers to and from online savings accounts typically take a few days, you'll be less likely to reach into those funds for a splurge. I've found that the three to five day window really helps me to stay away from those funds. Yet, the savings account is still flexible enough to help you if you lost your job, or had a medical emergency that would require the use of the funds.
Using a high-yield savings account is good for short-term savings, since it merely makes it more difficult to get your money. For longer-term savings, however, they recommend more aggressive barriers, such as term deposits or other accounts you can't easily touch. These barriers may not be necessary for everyone, but if you find that impulsiveness is more a danger to your savings than anything else, it's a good way to keep yourself on track. Hit the link to read more, and share your strategies in the comments.
How to Create Barriers to Your Savings [Wise Bread]