Medicated Money

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Bank This

Drive-in banks were established so most of the cars today could see their real owners. -E. Joseph Crossman
We recently married in December, and have been combining the many aspects of our lives pre-marriage into our life after marriage. One of the difficulties of this task is obviously, the financial side. I have been adding, subtracting, and trying to figure out what financial accounts we need to keep, and which ones to eliminate.

All in all, we had 8 different bank accounts (checking, saving, or money market) when we got married with various amounts in each. We decided that for anybody, this was definitely too many, and just to difficult to keep track of even with the use of Quicken. We each had a separate bank account for everyday expenses, a separate one for savings, each had a local bank that we used for deposits of checks, and finally, I had one just to take advantage of a money market account that I never seem to put money into. The thought was there, though!!!!

The prescription: Cut the accounts down to a limit where we are utilizing each account effectively.

We decided to eliminate one of our two local banks, going with the bank that gave us better options, that being Washington Mutual over Chase. We felt that it was in our best interest to keep a local bank to deposit checks and money that we receive into this account. This is mostly based on convenience. We will keep a small amount of money in this account to still keep it open, but continue to pad the emergency fund account (read on) with deposited checks in this account.

Secondly, we decided to stay with the credit union that I have used for many, many years due to the fact that their service completely outweighs the fact that they are located out-of-state. I found that with the use of a credit and debit card, the online banking service, and just my overall loyalty to them because of many years of satisfying banking (this last opinion was probably the strongest due to just personal feeling), it outweighed any logical thinking that I came up with to get rid of it and we will continue to use it.

And finally, we have added a Emigrant Direct account to the mix. This last decision came down to the fact that many pf bloggers wrote very interesting articles on the use of either Emigrant Direct and/or ING Direct. I felt that for the use of an emergency fund, this is an excellent option. I like Emigrant Direct better simply due to the higher interest rate without the current special from ING Direct. With these changes our new accounts look something like this:

Credit Union: For daily expenses
Emigrant Direct: For our emergency fund
Washington Mutual: To deposit checks locally; minimal amount of money in it to keep it open

We have been transferring, closing, and eliminating all of the other accounts, and I just need to add the Washington Mutual Account to the Emigrant Direct account to complete our revamp of the bank accounts.


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