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Ok, I need a bank account that can:

  1. Automatically transfer a small amount of money into an account regularly, automatically.  A StandingOrder? can do this.
  2. At the end of that period, transfer the remaining money back.

Alternately, it can just 'top up' the account to the amount of money, at each tick.

I don't know of a system that can do this.  Online banking might be able to, but I really don't like the risk of messing up a homebrew screen scraper (especially since they could change the layout of their websites at any time.)  Also, most online banks seem to like to automatically link the accounts anyway, which partly defeats the object - and I have to get the money in in the first place from a non-online account anyway.

Any suggestions?  And no, I'm not willing to pay a bank (other than having my account with them and they can skim the interest)  for this.  --Vitenka

HSBC MasterCard? + current account. You can tell HSBC to pay off the MasterCard? in full at the end of each month - they're quite happy to do that - and get them to set a credit limit equal to your monthly budget on it (which they're also quite happy to do provided it's at least 500 quid). Then you destroy the switch card that comes with your current account, set your salary to pay into the current account, direct debits to come out of it, and set up standing orders to savings accounts. And you check your credit card statement each month. Taking cash from a cashpoint becomes expensive - 2 quid or 1.5%, whichever is greater, IIRC - but one doesn't use cash for much these days. And the credit card company is theoretically liable for fraud, and you get the extra consumer protection. - MoonShadow
I dunno, I think most of the money I spend in a week has to be cash (things like work canteen and pubs (which often charge for CC payment) and such like). -- Senji
*shrug* YMMV. The bulk of SunKitten's and my weekly spending is at supermarkets. I spend 20ukp per week cash tops, usually much, much less; that tends to go on SaturdayCoffee. - MoonShadow
You could just keep the Switch card in a different place... (I use mostely cash... helps me keep track of everything I spend) -- Naath


I think it should be possible to setup using standing orders such that:
  1. At the beginning of each month, transfer the monthly budget from Account 1 (your main account) into Account 2 (your dummy account you use for day to day transactions). For arguments sake say this is 100.
  2. At the end of the month you have a number of standing orders setup to transfer decreasing amounts (say 50, then 25 etc. back from account 2 to the main account (1)). These standing orders will succeed as long as there are funds available (and stop once the money runs out), thus clearing the account of everything bar a small amount of change.
  3. At the beginning of the next month a fresh 100 is transferred from account 1 to account 2.
--qqzm

I thought most banks charge when a StandingOrder? is refused?  I know a couple of people have gotten into trouble because their creditors repeatedly issue DirectDebit? requests (when the first one fails) and thus rack up more and more charges.  I thought it was the same for a StandingOrder??  --Vitenka

I've never heard of any banks doing this. It sounds like a completely fascist idea, so would be expected from a bank. --qqzm



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