The very first account I ever had was a savings account at my mother’s bank. For every savings goal I would get a nice plastic dinosaur toy! Much better quality than any toy at McDonald’s! It certainly gave me incentive to save more so I could reap the rewards. Sadly, I don’t get any toys when I hit any savings goals now. I get the satisfaction of hitting that goal and being able to get something I want, but not the easy instant gratification. Since then I’ve certainly opened a lot more accounts. It seems like I add a new one every year! Not so of course but it’s a constant struggle to keep it to as long of a number as possible.
Here’s what I currently have going:
Normal Savings Account
Two Online Savings Account
Three credit card accounts
One retirement account
That’s nine accounts right there! I could technically get rid of some and pare down that list, but it’s how I’m handling my finances. In the very near future I’m also going to add a mortgage in there too! I’m not even going to include utilities in there either. Currently I only have electricity but once the house is finalized that number will climb to three. For this article let’s just not include the utilities but add in the mortgage. That makes ten accounts to keep track of. It gets a little crazy trying to keep it all organized with the different billing dates, methods of payment, and checking transactions and activity.
That’s where having all your accounts viewable in one place comes in! I like to use a free software called Mint that pulls in all my account activity. It lets me see all my transactions in one shot! It’s been indispensable ever since I started using it and I love it! I don’t need to log into ten different accounts to look at what’s going on with my account. I just log in to one place to see what’s going on. I still log into separate accounts as needed but it’s cut down a lot of hassle.
There are a few free online sites that pull all your accounts in so you have one place to look at everything. Mint is the one I really like to use but I know that there are others out there. Not only does it list all your transactions and account activity for each account by date, it also shows investment graphs, allows you to create budgets, sends you bill reminders, and gives you recommendations on what kind of accounts can save you more money. It’s a great tool to use to straighten our your finances and then keep them in order.
With the high number of accounts we eventually have its essential that we are able to keep track of them all. I would hate to realize that I was late on a credit card payment or that a purchase was charged twice. It’s important to regularly check accounts but no one has the time to log into each and every account. Make life a bit simpler for yourself! Life always gets more complicated as we plod along so I’m all for using methods to simplify and streamline life. I’m working hard to make the money and I spend plenty of time organizing and keeping track of it. That doesn’t mean I need to do it the slowest and most painstakingly way possible.
What methods do you use to keep track of all your accounts?