How to simplify your banking. Part of your Personal Information Management (PIM) strategy.
I generally suggest having as few bank accounts as is reasonable for you to manage your day to day life, and “Tame the data Deluge” that you experience from needing to many different accounts. Having fewer accounts will help with record keeping issues (Taxes), monthly fees and expenses, and overall risk.
Typical bank accounts could include Checking, Savings, Money Market, Mortgage, Personal Lines of Credit, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and others.
For mature adults I do recommend having access to two separate accounts. In case something happens to one, the other will still be available to you for transactions. It depends how you want to intermingle your credit card activity and tracking. A debit card and or a credit card can be tied to a checking account.
It is my personal opinion that married couples should have at least one individual account in each person’s name. The reason for this is that each spouse should have a personal credit rating, if something happens to the other spouse. This coupled with a joint account with joint access and joint responsibility works well.
I highly recommend that electronic banking is used to it’s fullest extent. After all, the records are being maintained by the bank in electronic form. Why take on more risk by producing paper transactions. Online banking is easy, quick and can save time and effort. (Refer to the Autopay bills posts on this BLOG..) When you have executed the strategy to autopay as many bill as possible, your monthly routine turns into a monitoring mode, versus a transaction mode. Much easier, faster, more accurate, and you have the potential to avoid late fees. ALWAYS shred any paperwork that contains private personal information. No sense having hard copy files around when they are being maintained by the Bank or Institution electronically, and are available on-line at your convenience.
Call to Action: Simplify your banking by consolidating and organizing your accounts. Pay your monthly bills via an Auto-Pay system. (Contact each institution you do business with and find out how they automate the bill paying process. Follow their processes.) This will save you a lot of time, potentially save you money in fees and reduce your risk for identity theft. Have an individual account in order to establish a personal credit rating. Consider a joint account if that is appropriate. Consider your Credit/Debit Card strategy.
Hope this tip helps you “Tame The Data Deluge” in your personal lives.