Where All My Bank Accounts Are

Have you ever stopped and counted where all your financial accounts are? Could you list them out on a sheet of paper if needed? (PS: A pop quiz is coming at the end of this ;))

I was reading this article on simplifying your money, and in it they asked four simple questions:

  • How many credit cards do you have?
  • How many bank accounts do you have?
  • How many retirement accounts do you have?
  • How many investment accounts do you have?

I was proud to answer 1-2 for almost all of them. And do you know why? Because my damn has my life been so much easier to manage when I condensed all my financial accounts! There’s a saying out there that goes something like “a simple life is a happy life,”and it couldn’t be more true for your money as well. The less you have to worry about where everything is, the more time you have to grow your wealth or collect garbage pale kids or play backgammon or do whatever else it is you fine folks like to do with your free time ;)

It also made me realize that it’s been a long time since I’ve updated y’all on what accounts I use for everything, so I’m popping up and quizzing myself up in this piece and listing them all out for you. Should take a mere 30 seconds ‘cuz they’re only in a few places!

Here’s where all my financial accounts are:

For Business:

UPDATE: Forgot about my kids’ accounts! :)

  • Baby Penny Savings:Β USAA
  • Baby Nickel Savings: USAA

You’ll notice 9 of the 16 accounts up there are all under one roof – USAA’s. We talked before about the pros and cons of housing a ton of accounts in one spot, but doomsdays aside I can’t tell you how immensely HELPFUL it’s been being able to log into one site and get my $hit done.Β  Yeah they have excellent customer service and a pretty killer online portal too (they were the first to pioneer depositing checks via smart phone btw!), but the streamlining of everything is by far the best benefit they offer in my opinion. Though their car insurance rates are pretty pimp too.

Next on the list you’ll see a lot of Vanguard. That’s because I moved – and merged – every last one of my investment accounts I had over to them earlier this year due to their crazy low fees. And the fact I was tired dicking around with dozens of stocks and funds and yada yada yada… I xfered all my accounts over, cashed everything out, and then invested every last dollar into one simple index fund: VTSAX. Hardcore? Probably. Ease of mind? Ohh yeah, baby! And if you thought USAA fans were rabid, you should hang out with Bogleheads!

The rest of the institutions listed were either out of my control (our mortgage got sold to Chase) or because USAA didn’t offer what I needed. Like with business accounts. They say they’re always considering it, but my inside sources say not to hold my breath, so… But Capital One ain’t bad (it’s free, at least?) and I’m digging American Express as well. They’re rock stars at fixing erroneous charges when dumb companies try to screw you (*ahem* U.S. Airlines), as well as offering great additional insurance when renting cars and the like.

What’s left here… Our Virginia 529 college savings – that’s mainly because they offer state tax deductions when you pour in the money (yipee!) as well as letting you invest into Vanguard fundsΒ  (double yipee!), and then since I’m self-employed I have to get my own dang health insurance so for that I go through eHealthInsurance.com to find whatever’s best. Which is currently BCBS for us, but changes depending on where we live.

So lots of accounts open for sure, but 6 of them are insurance related (man we pay a lot for stuff we hope never occurs…). Overall I’d say we’re doing pretty good in condensing, would you agree?

*There are some cons to simplifying though*

When things are simple and streamlined you often give up things like rate chasing and credit card churning. The last thing you want to do is open up a dozen more accounts or credit cards, so you end up missing out on some of the sexiness that many a finance blogs will have you drooling over. And for good measure – who doesn’t want better interest rates or free plane tickets?? Does USAA or another bank have the best of *everything* at their company? Of course not. So you’re left to either stay put and keep the convenience, or hopping from one place to another to get the next best deal. And I, for one, am way too old stubborn cool to play that game anymore.

So there you have it. My entire financial setup all on one page! What do you think? Easy? Dumb? Too simple? I’m sure I’ll refine things as life and circumstances change (like w/ the recent USAA to Vanguard switch when I realized that it would save me tens of thousands over my lifetime), but for now I’m sitting in peace and quiet and loving it. No fuss, no drama!

What about you? How many accounts are you rockin’ these days? Do you have your own list of accounts somewhere safe and secure at home? Might be a good thing to do over the weekend… Or perhaps right now before your boss catches you reading this ;)

PS: If your boss really does catch you reading this, just retort with, “It’s okay! I’m actually trying to save our company tons of money!” Works like a charm every time…*

*That’s a lie

[Photo by Paul Lowry, Tweaked by J$]

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  1. Alicia @ Financial Diffraction September 5, 2014 at 6:06 AM

    I have a substantial number of accounts but I am in the process of streamlining. I closed a chequing account, savings account, credit card, and student LOC will my old bank, leaving just a credit card and am moving everything over to my two banks.

    Even then I gave a lot of accounts because of how I have my finances set up. I keep my rental unit income/expenses in a separate chequing and savings account each automatically makes me gave two more, and another access card. My work pension is through another portal with SunLife, and although I totally love the lower fees, I know it’s going to get confusing over the tears when I start new jobs and change retirement vehicles.

    1. Jay @ ThinkingWealthy.com September 5, 2014 at 8:28 AM

      Why do you keep your rental in a different account? Just for ease of separating hte money?


      1. Kate September 7, 2014 at 8:37 AM

        Jay, I maintain a separate account for each rental property we own. I used to keep it all in one account, but I never kept up with the bookkeeping and so I only ever vaguely knew how each property was doing, except at tax time. Now I can see exactly how much money each property is making, just by looking at my bank balances, and I’m very aware of the maintenance expenses and much more diligent about keeping them low.

    2. J. Money September 5, 2014 at 10:53 AM

      I’m all for extra accounts if it makes your life easier – no doubt about it. It’s when you have accounts all over the place out of pure laziness/not paying attention/etc that sucks. Conscious set up is where it’s at!

  2. Kirsten @ Indebtedmom September 5, 2014 at 6:42 AM

    So I can name them all… Can my husband? No. That’s what scares me (although apparently not enough). If something happened to me, he’d really be up a creek without a paddle. And no, I don’t try to hog the information – he’s just either that disinterested or that forgetful (probably a combo)!

    1. J. Money September 5, 2014 at 10:55 AM

      Him and my wife would get along well :)

      There’s something you can do though to help with this at least a little – keep everything in one place (spreadsheet, paper, whatev) and then every now and then email it to him (so he has it for his records God forbid something happens one day) or put it in the safe if y’all have one. That way if he DOES need to pay attention to it one day, at least he’ll know where to start and where stuff is at :) It can be as simple as just bullet pointing it out too (our savings is here, our investments are here, etc etc etc).

  3. Mrs. Frugalwoods September 5, 2014 at 6:46 AM

    We simplified all of our accounts last year–we had money spread across a number of different places and various credit cards we’d opened for airline miles, free dog costumes, the usual. Like you, we are much happier with the streamlined version of the Frugalwoods finances.

    Our checking acct, taxable investments, and both of our 401Ks are with Fidelity, which we’ve been very happy with. Love depositing checks by smartphone. And, love having everything in one portal. We’re down to just two credit cards that are joint accounts for the two of us. Life is simple, we are happy.
    P.S. closing accounts is a ridiculous amount of work in and of itself. Especially when several of those accounts are with Bank of America (grrr).

    1. J. Money September 5, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      Oh man, not with USAA and other places! SOOOO easy to close them – you just call up :) At least w/ the simple accounts. Don’t even get me started w/ Bank of Craperica. The worst.

      1. Gene Roberts September 6, 2014 at 10:04 PM

        I haven’t tried to close out an account with Bank of America. I did have to divide a couple of accounts between my ex and myself when we divorced. There was some hassle with that as I recall. When we divided up the accounts, she ended up with the savings. We thought it was all good, I couldn’t see it when I logged in. But apparently the overdraft feature wasn’t “un-linked”. So about a year later I inadvertantly siphoned off about $300 from her account. She was not amused. :) I was, but her – not so much.
        Overall, I’ve been satisfied with BofA and will likely keep them. But how hard is it to close an account with them?

        1. J. Money September 10, 2014 at 9:35 PM

          Haha… now THAT is funny :)

  4. Brian September 5, 2014 at 6:52 AM

    How many credit cards do you have? 5
    How many bank accounts do you have? 5 (one is with Schwab only because they have no foreign transaction fees and refund all ATM surcharges so this account is, as the kids say, awesome sauce for travel
    How many retirement accounts do you have? 3
    How many investment accounts do you have? 4

    The good news for me is I’m the boss and of most of the people here and my boss is quite possibly the nicest man on the planet and he doesn’t care what I do during my time here as long as all the work is getting done.

    1. J. Money September 5, 2014 at 11:00 AM

      You do your thang, boss man.

  5. Autumn @ The Barefoot Budgeter September 5, 2014 at 7:07 AM

    I have accounts all over the place. I like simplicity and I LOVE USAA so I should probably move our checking and short-term savings over there. We used to do everything with our local bank because we had a mortgage with them, but now we don’t and I’ve just been too lazy to switch. And don’t get me started on all the credit cards we have….all at $0 balances, of course, but still so many!

    1. J. Money September 5, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      It gets a bit tricky with closing down credit cards (cuz of credit score stuff/etc) but depending on your situation you can slowly close them out over time or take the hit now and be done with it once and for all (provided you’re not trying to buy something big like a house or car anytime soon). The second trick is sticking to what you’ve got set up and not falling back into opening up new cards all over the place again. And it’s hard – esp when everyone’s getting free money/trips/etc all around us just for opening up an account! All goes back to priorities and what’s important to ya though… no wrong answer.

  6. whiskey September 5, 2014 at 7:23 AM

    Have you considered moving to a Credit Union? Have you compared your mortgage lately between banks/credit union? What is the reason for not moving?
    Ha 20 questions again…. ;)

    1. J. Money September 5, 2014 at 11:05 AM

      I won’t move my banking away from USAA, but mortgage stuff I would in a heart beat from Chase (or even my HELOC that’s maxed w/ USAA). Only reason we haven’t is because we were too underwater to refinance (already taken advantage of a refi a few years back when we could – our rates were even higher!), and we’d have to bring WAYYYY too much to the table to do it. Like, in the $90,000 range last time we checked. I’m not giving up hope all the way, but for now we’re def. stuck. Especially as it’s a rental now and not our primary residence (which can get even trickier).

      BTW, Huge fan of local credit unions. I always recommend checking there first before elsewhere – good reminder.

  7. Taylor Lee September 5, 2014 at 7:24 AM

    I have WAY too many accounts over way too many providers. Most of that has to do with my churning (15 accounts = at least 6 different portals to deal with), but my bank account situation is also… complicated. You see, I have my old bank (no branches where I live) and my online high-yield savings bank (which has hopped from provider to provider a thousand or so times), so going to an ATM is an ISSUE for me. I’m considering of going to a third bank maybe, something in my area, and just consolidating all my checkings and savings there.

    Luckily all my investment accounts are under Vanguard, otherwise it’d drive me crazy.

    Also, thank you for reminding me to make a list of my accounts! I’m starting to get to the point where I have enough assets that I should, uh, be telling people in case I die?

    1. J. Money September 5, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      Haha yes! Smart to do – make the list today and then be done with it for a while :) Until you need to update with your new simple system later.

      And speaking of ATMs, so many places give you FREE access to them these days so def. check around. Obviously USAA does but plenty of others do as well. I haven’t paid an ATM fee in 10-15 years, it’s awesome. And the good places let you pull from any ATM anywhere – so they’re out there!

  8. B Simple September 5, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    Thanks for linking to my post. Glad it helped and reminded you to review your accounts. Having less accounts makes life easier. As you stated, you may miss out on the best deal but usually those deals are for a limited to just to get you in the door.

    To give full disclosure I have credit, banking, and investments with one provider and mortgage with another. Its convenient to just log in to one site and see all of my accounts. Makes managing them so much easier.

    Have a great weekend.

    1. J. Money September 5, 2014 at 11:09 AM

      You know it! I’m all about simple these days – we’ve got enough in our lives that are complicated, no need to add more to it! Especially with something as important as money!

  9. Jay @ ThinkingWealthy.com September 5, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    I’ve heard that USAA car insurance rates are pretty untouchable. Thankfully, I don’t have a car anymore to worry about! Plus a guy like you probably drives a beater right? 20 years old? Haha!


  10. Shannon @ Financially Blonde September 5, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    As you have seen now that you have started money coaching, it is amazing how un-simplified a lot of people make their money when it really doesn’t have to be like that. One of the first things I do with clients is helping them get everything in one place or as few places as possible. It not only helps you manage your own finances better, but it helps your loved ones out should God forbid anything happen to you. I have clients who are widows who spent years trying to figure out the money all while battling grief. Anywho, I pretty much have everything under 5 umbrellas – BofA/ML (banking, credit, retirement), USAA (all insurance), TIAA-Cref (hubby’s 403B), JPM (NY 529), Amex (biz and personal).

    1. J. Money September 5, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      Yeah, you’re not kidding. So far every person I’ve chatted with on money so far (my clients) have all had multiple accounts scattered all over the place. And it hasn’t been until writing this post when I even connected the two – so thanks for reinforcing how important this really is. Adding it to my homework arsenal for my clients! :0

  11. Kathy September 5, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    We have 3 checking accounts at 2 different banks and 4 savings accounts at 4 different banks. We don’t use 6 banks since a checking and saving are at two. So 4 banks. We also have 2 brokerage accounts which have sweep accounts that we can write checks on. And then we have traditional and Roth IRAs which have sweep accounts as well. Way too many and I’ve been thinking of consolidating at least the checking or savings accounts. The IRAs have to be separate but the checking accounts are set up for specific purposes so I’m hesitant to close any of those. Such problems to have ;)

    1. J. Money September 5, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      It’s def. tricky if your current setup is working for you well – you don’t want to mess with that too much. But I know a lot of places (like USAA, and ING when they were around) lets you have multiple accounts under one main login/etc. For example, we have 3 savings accounts at USAA – one for our ‘house’ stuff and then one for each kid (as they get gifts/checks in). So you don’t necessarily need them at *different* banks unless that’s important for your specific situation..

      Also, this reminds me that I forgot to list the kids’ accts up above… At least both are still streamlined! :)

  12. Gretchen September 5, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    Way cool! I’m a huge fan of USAA as well, and you’re right that their rates can’t be beat! I don’t have as many accounts as you do, but I really try to keep it simple. I have 4 different accounts with Capital One 360 and I love them. Other than that I just have my oldest checking account that I never use and everything else is through USAA!

    1. J. Money September 5, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      What’s the plan for the oldest checking account you don’t use anymore? Last resort backup? Or do you throw money in there and then forget on purpose so you never touch it? :)

  13. Andrew@livingrichcheaply September 5, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    I should really consolidate because it has been a hassle applying for a mortgage and going through co-op board application. They ask me for past statements and it’s so much paper work because my accounts are all over the place. I do kind of churn credit cards and open bank accounts for the bonus, but need to consolidate once that’s done. I want to consolidate all my IRA into Vanguard but have the irrational fear that I’m putting all my eggs in one company…what if something happens ala Madoff…though I know it is a much much different situation. I think I’ll consolidate though.

    1. J. Money September 5, 2014 at 11:26 AM

      That’s def. the biggest concern with the “all under one roof” idea, but I feel like if something crazy like that happened with such a large company (usaa, vanguard, etc) there’s other bigger problems in the country happening and other institutions would be in hardcore trouble too. At least that’s how I rationalize it :) I’ll just enjoy my simplicity until that dooms day happens, haha…

  14. Adam September 5, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    Let’s see

    one checking account and savings account with the local credit union

    mortgage with Chase only because my local bank sold it

    online savings account for entertainment / travel

    401k with John Hancock

    Life insurance and IRA/annuity with my Fraternal Order

    Health and disability insurance through my firm

    Auto and homeowners insurance with my local Allstate agent

    Credit cards from 6 different companies but only because I like the large unused available credit and no single company is going to give me that much credit.

    Think that covers it. It took me about 90 seconds instead of the estimated 30 but there it is.

    1. J. Money September 5, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      90 seconds is better than 90 minutes all day, any day ;)

      And I hear you about the credit – it is nice having the ability to tap a lot if/when needed, and it helps make your credit score a bit sexier, I just never know what I’d ever use it for so I’m slowly not caring as much as the old me did. I’d probably take a loan from somewhere else much less expensive than c/cs if I really needed it. Though it is cool to float stuff w/ them, like for business…

      Anyways, thx for playing along and listing them out – always fun to see what others are doing ;)

      1. Adam September 5, 2014 at 4:02 PM

        I tell a lot of my clients and friends that “It’s always easier to borrow money when you don’t need it than when you’re desperate”.

        The credit cards are PURELY for emergencies and/or to “float” things like you say. The credit cards are in place to be used if I want to. If something did happen I’d take a loan from one of them only paying the cash advance/balance transfer fee. There’s always at least two to four of my cards that are offering me 12-18 months interest free.

        I don’t have a HELOC just because I have no desire to use my house as collateral for anything.

        1. J. Money September 6, 2014 at 1:47 PM

          Smart w/ the heloc…. ours was from the days of getting them maxed out to be used as 2nd mortgages. When real estate “only went up!” Hah.

  15. Molly @ FeeHacks September 5, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    This is an awesome post. I can’t get enough of seeing what other people are actually doing in their own financial accounts. I’ve got different institutions for retirement, banking, and credit card, but if anything this post taught me it’s time to get going on an investment account :)

    1. J. Money September 5, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      Yeah girl! Just put in $25 a month or something small to get going – once it’s a habit (and automated) you’ll forget and never notice it, I promise.

  16. Paul September 5, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    I’m with you on the financial streamlining. Last year I consolidated all my investments and retirement funds with UBS. I used UBS because my financial adviser works there and I trust her. I started a new job this year and became eligible to invest in the 401K in July. My company offers a Roth 401K and I chose that, mostly because none of my IRA money is of the Roth variety. This account is with Great West Financial. I have one savings and one checking account with a credit union. The rest of my financials are with USAA, savings, checking, insurance, mortgage, etc. I have a second house and the mortgage on that is with some other bank. That one used to be with USAA. Life Insurance is with ING and US Life. The reason for the credit union is that every once in awhile I need a physical bank to go to and USAA only has a couple of those, none of which are anywhere near my home.

    1. J. Money September 5, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      Seems like you’ve got a good system down :) And smart about going with the person you trust too – it’s hard to find those so when you do you gotta roll with it!

  17. Broke Millennial September 5, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    USAA, USAA, USAA! I fricken love them. Just didn’t my renter’s insurance there even though it was a tad more expensive than some other options. I like their customer service, I know they’ll take care of me in the event of an emergency and that peace of mind was worth the extra few bucks. (Maybe I’m a bad PF blogger) I was debating between Fidelity and Vanguard for rolling over my 401(k) — which my company had at Fidelity — but I decided to head to Vanguard just to have everything there to make my life simple.

    1. J. Money September 5, 2014 at 11:38 AM

      And THAT’S the power of being a kick-ass company – you’re willing to pay a little more because of the value they give! Whether it’s in customer service, technology, etc. No shame in that at all – ESPECIALLY as a finance blogger. Just means you fully appreciate what your money gets you and you’re not simply choosing to house large amounts of money somewhere just based on cost alone.

  18. Brian @ Debt Discipline September 5, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    We are pretty streamlined after we cut up our multiple credit cards to get debt free. Credit union for all our banking, Chase for mortgage and single credit card. Fidelity for 401k, USAA for car insurance and All State for home. USAA does not offer home insurance in our area. :(

    1. J. Money September 5, 2014 at 11:39 AM

      The best line in that whole statement is “debt free” :)

  19. Million Dollar Ninja September 5, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    I can name them all since I don’t have that many. I have my credit cards with the same company, two bank accounts (one pays me $20 to have direct deposit, no minimum required and the other is a credit union with a high interest rate which I move my savings to), I have Vanguard (Roth) and Fidelity (401K), and my car insurance. My fiancee has our renters insurance bundled with her car insurance.

    Having too many accounts can complicate things.

    1. J. Money September 5, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      That’s awesome about getting paid to do direct deposit :) I lose all those types of benefits since I’m self-employed and my money comes from all kinds of angles. Smart to take advantage of when able!

  20. Tim September 5, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    My situation is a little weird in that the more I’ve gotten into managing my finances, the less simplistic my accounts have become as I try to maximize my dollars.

    How many credit cards do you have?

    2 Chase (Freedom and Amazon Rewards)
    1 Capital One QuickSilver
    1 WF Student card

    How many bank accounts do you have?

    Wells Fargo package for Checking, Savings (worthless account, I only keep the minimum there for emergencies) and my oldest Credit Card but keeping these together means no fees etc. The only reason I have stayed with WF is because my room mates and family all have accounts which makes transferring money a breeze.

    1 Discover Savings account for higher yield

    How many retirement accounts do you have?

    Company 401k through Merrill Lynch
    Roth IRA through ETRADE

    How many investment accounts do you have?

    MN 529 Plan

    This leaves me with 7 different sites, however using Mint and a simple spreadsheet make tracking a breeze and WF is the only site I have to use more than once a week. Investments are automated. The one checking account is my main in/out, so everything flows through there. Credit cards get paid in full at end of month (also automated), and I 0 sum once at end of month with whatever is left into my main cash savings, then divide that into my goals in J$’s “Monthly Financial Snapshot” spreadsheet. So overall very little work, the number of accounts does force me to do some simple calculations for my 0 sum savings transfer at end of month, but with everything linked in Mint it’s not a big hassle.

    I’m becoming more OCD with J$’s spreadsheet though, I started doing a full breakdown of subtotals of what is side hustle income, company match on the 401k, investment gains, savings rate, etc. I even started projecting balances through the end of the year (mainly because I love to see all the green numbers and percentages) :(

    The first step is admitting you have a problem….

    1. J. Money September 6, 2014 at 9:13 AM

      Oh my, haha… but better to be obsessed with financial management than handfuls of other things! Over time I bet you come up with a happy medium of spreadsheeting & banking :) For just keep on trying out new methods and continue having fun!

  21. Kassandra @ More Than Just Money September 5, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    I would actually be able to list them all off of the top of my head! The majority of the bank accounts are with TD both in Canada and the US and I LOVE them! We pay zero in monthly fees – I abhor fees.
    Nothing but good experiences with TD along with A1 customer service on both sides of the border. For investments we hold the US stuff with Vanguard and I have a Questrade account for my RRSP.

  22. Crystal September 5, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    – Chase has one laughable checking and savings account just because we needed a brick and mortar bank. They also have our Visa card.
    – CapitalOne 360 has our cash savings accounts and our main checking.
    – Scottrade has our personal stocks.
    – Fidelity has our two Roth IRA’s and term life insurance.
    – Putnam has my old 401k.
    – Discover It credit card
    – PennyMac has our mortgage
    – ASI has our home insurances.
    – Geico has our car insurance.
    – Humana has our health insurance.

    Done, LOL.

    1. J. Money September 6, 2014 at 9:14 AM

      I like your mortgage company’s name – PennyMac. If only they cost pennies!! ;)

  23. Steve September 5, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    Looks a bit like ours. We’ll move towards greater simplicity and things under either 1 roof or just a handful with time – but it’ll take years to slowly make such a strategic shift!

  24. Melanie @ My Alternate Life September 5, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    I love seeing the nitty gritty details! I’m like you — I’m all about simple. I have my checking, savings, retirement and credit card with Capital One. I have one other credit card with Citibank. I also need to look into Vanguard for investing. Thanks for the tips!

  25. Kim September 5, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Dumped two mega banks this summer and rolled six accounts into three accounts at the local credit union. Easier to manage and we’re making more money! It’s a lot of work but worth it.

    1. J. Money September 6, 2014 at 9:16 AM

      There you go! Yeah it can be a big pain getting it all moved and closed out etc etc, but then once you’re done you’re good to go again! And I’m all about the one-time work for long term benefit.

  26. EL September 5, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    Thats cool its mostly all with one company, simple and effective. I have several accounts in different places, too many to name, because Im a millionaire alredy. Have to spread out that FDIC insurance amount you know how that goes. Talk to you soon Mr future millionaire.

    1. J. Money September 6, 2014 at 9:18 AM

      YES! I am a Future Millionaire! Haha… Great way to think of things, I like that. And I’m totally stealing it to use in the future, thank you sir :)

  27. Jacob September 5, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    Oh man, I’m scared to answer those questions. Especially with all the CC churning I do :)

    But outside of CC’s, I have 4 checking, 2 savings accounts with BECU, 1 with Everbank, Mortgage sold to some small company, Insurance through Farmers (all), and all investments through Vanguard. So not TOO bad.

    But the 16 CC’s I currently have open……

    1. J. Money September 6, 2014 at 9:20 AM

      Hot damn! I don’t know how you guys manage all those cards… My head would explode just thinking about it.

  28. Heather September 5, 2014 at 11:04 PM

    I’ve used USAA for insurance and an auto loan and have loved them. I’ve been thinking about switching my credit and checking accounts over to them too but haven’t gotten around to it. Definitely going to do some research this weekend!

    1. J. Money September 6, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      Worth at least calling them up or looking at reviews for a few :) I haven’t had any complaints.

  29. Kalen Bruce September 6, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    I love USAA for insurance! I wouldn’t use anybody else!

  30. Gene Roberts September 6, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    Too funny:
    I got interested in your description of the Vanguard fund you have. I don’t quite have the 10K in my Roth IRA to buy into it, so I went to check out my 401K plan to see if it offered that fund only to find out it has a very similar Vanguard offering (Vanguard Institutional Index Fund Institutional Plus Shares Symbol: VIIIX). AND I had already switched over half my account over to it back in March of 2013!
    We have similar behaviors. I ilke to invest in a good fund and leave it there too.
    Not to split hairs, but VIIIX only has a 0.02% expense ratio (so I save that extra 0.03%). :)
    It wasn’t a wasted excercise though, I decided to put the other half of my 401K into the Vanguard offering as well. I can’t see it doing better in the long term anywhere else (at least until my crystal ball comes in off of back order).

    1. J. Money September 10, 2014 at 9:37 PM

      Hah! Way to go man. Now I’m gonna have to find a way to beat you in something to get back my 0.03% ;)

  31. Nicola September 7, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    Most of ours are in the same place too – it makes things so simple! You can check them all at once and can see the differences between them all :)

  32. Shanyo September 7, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    Great question – I like reading the variety of responses!

    Some USAA love:

    1 CC – USAA
    1 Checking – USAA
    1 Emergency Savings – USAA
    1 “Vacation” Savings – USAA
    2 Roth IRA (husband & wife) – (USAA)
    1 403b – Fidelity (don’t have much choice here)
    1 Mortgate – BoA (yeah, I know… at the time the good folks at USAA even said to go for it because they couldn’t match the terms. I’ve personally had no complaints – knock on wood).
    2 Sallie Mae (husband & wife – not a lot of choice there either, but both 2.65%)
    Life, Auto, Renters, Home (rental) insurance all with USAA

    1 Youth Savings & 1 Youth Checking (USAA)

    1. J. Money September 10, 2014 at 9:38 PM

      Yeah USAA!!!

      1. Shanyo September 11, 2014 at 10:50 PM

        Now that there are a couple of locations in the DC area, I keep threatening to go into one – I’ve never seen a brick-and-mortar USAA! Been with them for years; used to do everything by mail, now electronically. And the ATMs in all of the CVS stores here are also USAA!

        1. J. Money September 12, 2014 at 10:19 PM

          Haha… *threatening*… You totally should, would be so interesting! I’ve never been to one either, though I have visited the mothership of them all – their headquarters out in San Antonio! It’s like the pentagon over there, so fascinating!

  33. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank September 8, 2014 at 4:59 AM

    I only have 1 saving account, 1 credit card, and 1 life insurance. I think having more than I have would make my account uncontrolled. With minimal number of accounts, I am able to manage my finances well. I do not close my doors to having another one if needed or an account where I can monitor all different account in one place, which I think is really manageable.

    1. J. Money September 10, 2014 at 9:38 PM

      No investment accounts? that’s your goal for the year: open one up and put at least $50 in there :)

  34. Zach @ My Military Money September 15, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    Let’s take a look

    Checking: USAA

    Big Kids checking: USAA

    Little kids checking: USAA

    CC: USAA $0 balance

    CC: Capital One Quicksilver (This one is used for almost everything w/1.5%)

    CC: Chase Slate $0 balance

    CC: 2 military star cards (We both got one when we first joined the Army. They’ve been at $0 balance since then)

    Don’t have a savings account, but keep the emergency fund in Betterment.

    Investments: We each have money in the Roth TSP

    Investments: We also each have Roth IRAs

    1. J. Money September 16, 2014 at 3:00 PM

      Nice! Was gonna wonder whether you went the USAA route or Navy Federal when I saw your blog name… So many awesome options when you’re connected to the military – way to take advantage of them :)

  35. Michelle September 26, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    I like to keep all of my accounts under the same bank as well. I had a hard time when my student loans were sold off. What a headache.

  36. kateswist January 19, 2016 at 3:20 PM


    I have been researching some high yield savings accounts and all of the 5 banks that were recommended have been in various scandals over the past 5 years resulting in millions and millions in fines. I checked your website and you recommend USAA for savings and checking. But I was just on consumer affairs and people are raging about USAA right now. (http://www.consumeraffairs.com/finance/usaa_banking.html)

    Are you still happy w/ USAA? Do you have an opinion about high yield savings accounts?

    1. J. Money January 20, 2016 at 11:11 AM

      Hah! I’m sure you can dig up dirt on every single bank/company there is :)

      But yup – still rocking (and loving) USAA. I’ve been with them for 15-20 years now and absolutely love their customer service. They don’t have the best rates out there – esp with savings – but that’s not that important to me so doesn’t factor in to my decisions. If you’re looking for better yield I’d def. recommend going elsewhere.

  37. Debt Free Dude March 15, 2016 at 4:58 PM

    J. Money, thanks for the blog and recommendations. Your recommendation, along with a friend of mine, about USAA auto insurance has saved me money! I was paying Geico $1500 every 6 months. Now I’m paying USAA $571 every 6 months! Crazy savings…. going to our student loan payoff.

    1. J. Money March 16, 2016 at 5:08 PM

      Wowwww $1g man – incredible! Congrats! And love it even more that you’re throwing it at your debt before it gets spent elsewhere! Total win-win right there :)

  38. Lexi June 2, 2016 at 11:30 PM

    Check & Savings at local credit union
    Check & 3 Savings at Ing / Capital One 360
    Credit card and Checking with Discover
    Credit card with Capital One
    Amazon Rewards Credit Card with Chase

    And once I finish paying off my student loans in Sept/Oct, I will open a lifecycle index fund somewhere.

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 7:28 AM

      Thx for playing along, Lexi!

      BIG fan of the index fund route over here – glad to see it’s in the game plan :)

  39. mark July 5, 2016 at 3:44 PM

    Hey, new to this. Thanks for what you do. I was bummed to check out USAA bank only to find out I can’t join because I, nor my family, was or is in the military. If you mentioned that I missed it. That’s an important piece of the puzzle.

    Thanks, Mark

    1. J. Money July 6, 2016 at 8:25 AM

      Yeah, sorry about that… I’ve mentioned it in the past but since I blog about them almost every month (hah) I don’t always bring it up.

      If you’re still looking for an awesome bank though, check out Simple. Haven’t tried myself but a ton of people rave about them. Here’s a review my friend Will did for us who uses them:


  40. Perry Birbrager November 21, 2016 at 10:34 PM

    So here is a question that I hope can be answered.

    I have around $3900 of credit card debt, spread over two credit cards -($3074.60) Bank of America Platinum Plus Mastercard and ($875.27) American Express Delta Gold Card.

    However, I currently have 6 credit card accounts open. Any harm in leaving them open, or should I close all but 1-2?

    I have around $20,000 in an investment account (wittled down from $65,000 unfortunately, to pay off student debt and other debt). Should I keep that $20K as a safety net, or drain to payy of more debt?

    1. J. Money November 29, 2016 at 10:20 AM

      Lots of good questions in here!

      1) Keeping credit lines open even if you’re not using is usually smartest since it helps with your debt-to-credit ratio (ie it shows you have tons of credit open but not using it all which means “more responsible” to banks. Even though it’s the exact same thing if you were to just close them)

      2) The investing vs Debt battle is always a hot one in personal finance. There’s really no answer except for the one that makes the most sense to YOU and fits with your overall goals.

      Some people base their decisions on emotions and what excites them more (like me) so I always pick that route, whereas others go w/ the numbers and what makes more sense factually – another fine way of doing it. And then of course there’s the penalties/taxes on pulling money from one account to the other and whether that make sense or not.

      So I can’t help you there, but if you want to pose the question in our new $$ forums, i’m sure the 350+ people there would love to discuss it :)


      Good luck!

  41. Chris March 12, 2018 at 4:48 PM

    Hey J,
    So I noticed that although you use USAA,but you also use YNAB, Acorns and Digit. USAA told me they don’t connect with any third party apps due to security concerns. My question is…how’d you pull that off?

    1. J. Money March 13, 2018 at 6:24 AM

      Hah – really?

      You can def. connect all kinds of 3rd parties with them :) You usually have to go through like 3 security measures when you first hook them up which can get a bit much, but it definitely connects okay. I haven’t done anything special at all to get it to work. Maybe they just state that in places for legal reasons? Have you tried connecting to any yet?