Matthew Cudmore

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a "banking buckets" system, to be implemented by banks, providing optional tools for [auto-]management of personal savings and bills.

currently I keep various little envelopes hidden deep within my stacks of books and papers. each envelope contains my savings for a certain purpose: savings for a new computer, savings for a flight home at Christmas, and so on. of course, this method isn't ideal. I've considered and tried different methods, and developed an idea about how a banking interface itself could enhance my savings efforts. now I wonder whether the idea is any good, or perhaps its implementation would only cause more difficulty and confusion for most people trying to manage bills and savings.

I imagine a bank that allows clients to create and name "buckets" within their bank account. funds may be put aside in buckets for various purposes. for example, a bucket for rent.

funds reserved in buckets should be safeguarded against account fees and service charges, and accidental expenditure: so that clients can rest assured that their bucketed funds are secure. an "unbucketed pool" of funds would remain for general access.

I imagine that clients could also define "distribution rules" by which funds deposited into an account should be automatically distributed among the buckets. the rules could be arranged in priority sequence, and capture amounts or percentages of incoming funds.

buckets and distribution rules could be reconfigured, and funds redistributed, through the bank's local ATM machines, the tellers, or a web interface.

in the future, perhaps cheques could be written to draw from specific buckets, or POP displays could present a scroll-through list of buckets for debit transactions, and so on.

perhaps certain buckets could be shared among accounts/clients, or whole buckets could be transferred intact, or locked for long-term savings, and so on.

do you think that such a system could be worthwhile?
what are some possible enhancements or amendments for a system like this?

if you're interested, here is a document I'm developing which includes lots more details: