How I Simplified My Finances This Year.

Since I graduated college (ahem, 16 years ago), I have been assembling a hodge-podge of financial accounts in different places – checking, saving, stocks, bonds, retirement, mutual funds, etc. Every month I had statements delivered to me from each of these places, making it difficult to keep track of what I had and where it was. This is how my account list looked up until 4 months ago:

Checking – Bank of America
Savings – Bank of America
Emergency Fund – ING Direct
Taxes Fund – ING Direct
Old Savings – Credit Union
Individual Stocks – Scottrade
ETF’s – Sharebuilder
Bank of America (inherited) Stock – Computershare
CA Tax Exempt Bond Fund – Commonwealth Financial
Mutual Fund – T Rowe Price
Roth IRA – T Rowe Price

That is an absurd amount of different accounts to try to keep track of. Add in the fact that my “salary” comes in the form of about 45 different 1099 forms each year, and tax time for me is a giant mess. So, in an effort to simplify my life, in the last couple of months I have worked really hard to get all these accounts consolidated down to the fewest number I could. And here is what it looks like now:

Checking – Charles Schwab Bank
Saving – Charles Schwab Bank
Individual stocks, including BofA stock, bond fund – Charles Schwab Brokerage
Emergency Fund – ING Direct
Taxes Fund – ING Direct
Mutual Fund – T Rowe Price
Roth IRA – T Rowe Price

I went from 7 financial accounts down to just 3, which makes my financial life a whole hell of a lot easier to keep track of. Why do we complicate things that could be handled so much easier? I also no longer receive any paper statements from any of my accounts (banking, credit cards, etc) and pay all my bills online. If you still have your accounts spread over way too many banks and are still receiving paper statements each month, I highly recommend consolidating and simplifying. It’s amazing how much time it frees up and headaches it eliminates!

  1. March 10, 2010
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  3. March 10, 2010
  4. March 14, 2010
  5. March 14, 2010
  6. March 15, 2010

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