“Keep it secret. Keep it safe” Gandalf’s famous warning rings true for managing your money too. Another important thought is “Keep it simple.”
As you open or change bank accounts, the friendly bank staff wants to make sure you take full advantage of every feature or option they offer. Pause for a minute. This is your money and only you know what works best. If at all possible, decide what you want before you set up a new account.
Here are 5 ways to simplify managing your money:
- Have one primary account that works as an “operating” account for planned, recurring bills
- Use a Debit Card to pay bills online, automatic deductions or by phone. This is critical for two reasons, first you’re not giving out your routing number and bank account to multiple vendors, and second, you can easily close/replace a Debit Card
- If you need to create a “check”, use the bill payment option through online banking. They can pretty much mail to anyone, including your 4 year old niece
- Set up at least one other account with the same bank to sweep money into to build up for emergencies, fun stuff or cover overspending on primary account – do not accept overdraft protection – set up alerts and cover it yourself
- Open at least one other account with a totally different bank as a back up. Use is to save for specific events or goals. This keeps it out of sight and gives you security if your primary bank does something stupid. Yes, that does happen on occasion.
It goes without saying, don’t share your PIN with anyone and please don’t give someone your card to run to the ATM. Just don’t do it. You exchange hours of your life for currency to spend on things that matter most to you. It’s yours. Treat it like your life depends on it.