Reader Question – Where Do You Keep All Of Your Money?

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A reader wrote me the other day asking “What banks/firms do you keep your money at? With all the tons of banks out there, we are having trouble deciding which ones to go with. Thanks!

You got that right…there are hundreds, if not thousands, of places to keep your money. From big banks to credit unions to online savings accounts to companies like PayPal, the choices are seemingly endless. I wrote about this before, but things have changed a little since then. So to maybe give you some ideas, I figured I would write a quick list as to where we keep all of our different accounts:

General Banking: We use Bank Of America for our checking account(we only have one, shared between us) and a simple savings account. The savings account basically has one months rent in it, and it grows little by little due to our enrollment in the Bank of America Keep The Change program. Our paychecks are automatically deposited into this checking account and are sent out to various accounts from there.

Emergency Fund: We use ING DIRECT for our emergency fund. We normally keep about 6 months of expenses in this account, and when the balance goes above that amount, we transfer the money to some other account.

Vacation Fund: We put a few extra bucks here and there into this account at ING as well. Over the course of a year, we build up a nice little fund that we use to take a vacation so we don’t have to charge anything!

Individual Stocks: I have had a Scottrade account for many, many years…and it is where all my individual stocks are held. There aren’t that many left in there, as I am moving away from individual stocks to an all mutual fund portfolio, but for the time being there are some still there.

Mutual Fund Investments: We have all of our mutual funds and our Roth IRA’s at T Rowe Price. I got started with them years ago when I did not have a lot of money, since they let you set up any account as long as you do the $50 automatic deposit every month. So many mutual fund companies have high minimum deposits, so T Rowe Price is great for people that are just starting out.

DRIP account: I still have a DRIP account with Bank of America that was given to me slowly over my 35 years. A relative worked at a bank that changed hands 100 times, becoming Bank of America. So I have a bunch of shares of the bank in a DRIP account that reinvests the dividends into more shares. Every year or so I sell a handful of shares to move some money out of the account.

“Extra” Income: I use PayPal to receive payments from clients, blogging advertisers, etc. I usually leave 1 week’s pay in the account as a backup, and move everything else out to wherever it is needed. I see it more as a holding tank for a few bucks, and it’s so easy to use and bill people with that I have to keep it!

Random Money: We also have random investments that were either inheritances or hand me downs from when we were kids. A California tax exempt bond fund at Putnam, a credit union savings account with some money in it, some savings bonds that I still have not cashed but need to do so.

Free Money Accounts: Regular readers will know that I opened a Citi Savings account to get $100 free dollars and a Sharebuilder account to get $50 free dollars. Those accounts are still open, and while I got the Sharebuilder bonus a while back, I am awaiting the arrival of the Citi money.

Emergency Kit Money: We also keep some cash in the house in our emergency bags. Living in Southern California you have to be ready for the big one, and if (when) it happens, I am sure the power will be out, so ATM’s and credit card machines will be useless. Thus, the cash in our kit.

Car Loan: Of course, we do owe on something”¦our beloved Mini Cooper. The loan is held at Bank of America.

Hope that helps answer your question reader, and let me know if I can help out with anything else!

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Comments (3)

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  1. Checking account, Savings, Emergency Fund all at ING

    Spare checking at Wachovia for paper checks

    401k at CitiStreet and Wachovia

  2. I think this question is really a matter of identifying priorities. I decided to keep our emergency fund at our low-interest brick-and-mortar bank because if something ever happened to me, it would be easier for my husband to take over managing the finances (the number of accounts I juggle makes his head spin). We lose 1-2% in interest but it’s an acceptable trade-off for us.

  3. […] to make the most of your money, onling banking is the best option. My Two Dollars has written about where he keeps his money, and for cash, it’s ING Direct. The Orange Account currently sports a 2.4% interest rate with […]