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Each Monday morning, I plan to post my thoughts on Organizing Your Finances. Through this series, I hope to share a tip or two that address a common problem that many of us face in our daily lives — that of organizing our finances. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this initiative and would love it more if you could share a tip of your own. And, as always, do spread the word if you find this useful.
Just a couple of years back, I had a good number of bank accounts — a couple that were opened as part of employment and others that I had opened on the spur of the moment. The result: too many accounts, statements, minimum balances, phone numbers, user names, passwords, transaction passwords, and PINs (HPINs, IPINs, and TPINs) to keep track of.
More important, I had no unified view of my finances.
One fine day, I called it quits (I’d called customer care and the automated system desperately wanted to know my 6-digit TPIN) and went on an account closing spree (you can read about it here and here). I now have just two bank accounts — one that gives me my unified view and the other for disaster recovery. This system seems to work quite well for me.
That said, here’s what you should do today.
First, on a sheet of paper, make a list of all bank accounts that you have. Next, each account on this list should financially justify its existence (example: an account from which your car loan EMIs are being deducted, an account from which you’re paying your bills, etc.). Any account that doesn’t pass this test needs to go. Close it at the earliest you can. Next see if you can consolidate the remaining accounts (example: paying both EMIs and bills from the same account).
At the end of this exercise, you should have the minimal set of accounts from which you can conduct your finances.
What do you think? How many accounts do you need to conduct your finances?
Thanks for reading this article. I'd love to hear your opinion. Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts. I frequently write new articles that also cover several other aspects of personal finance including credit cards, financial goals, health insurance, income tax, life insurance, mutual funds, retirement planning, and much more. You can Subscribe through Email and receive new articles directly in your Inbox or you can Subscribe through the RSS Feed and receive new articles in your feed reader.