Our Bank Network
I am a numbers guy . . . a little obsessive compulsive . . . I like organization and strategic planning. I understand if some of you might think this kind of information is a little “wonky”, but I thought I would lay out our bank set-up for you and see what you think. This is the bank set-up that Mrs. Stew and I have used for almost four years now:
Every year, we each open a new Chase checking account with $125 bonus coupons. Chase allows for one coupon per customer, per calendar year and an extra $250 every spring is nice to have. So far this year, I have yet to find one of the coupons, though. A bonus coupon would sure come in handy right about now. Of course, in order to qualify for the bonus, we have to set up direct deposit, but that is a small inconvenience in return for the extra cash. The majority of my work check is deposited into my account and the rest is direct deposited into Mrs. Stew’s account.
Our primary family savings account is held at First National Bank of Omaha or FNBO Direct. Back when I opened the account, FNBO had the best savings APR. Now their interest rate is not much better than any other bank, but they pay a little interest in their online billpay account and I do not feel like moving the money somewhere else and having to re-enter all of our bill information again. The cash flow in this account is pretty much in one month and out the next. No long term savings or even designated savings, just day to day operations.
My favorite bank is ING Direct. Here we have our children’s savings accounts and designated savings accounts – I really like ING’s sub account feature. The main thing that I use our ING Direct accounts for is keeping track of alternate income. I have three categories: professional freelancing (related to my job), Mrs. Stew’s childcare income and my blogging income. I deposit revenue from each of these sources and then directly deposit a portion of this money into our Chase accounts regularly during the month. Income from these sources comes in fits and starts, so this allows us to budget according to regular cash flow and build up a surplus over time. The sub accounts also make it easy to keep track of revenue and spending for tax purposes.
Our Chase accounts are kind of the base of operations. We make deposits into our local Chase branches and then transfer the money to its proper destination. I do not automate any area of my finances. I like to control when bills are paid and when transfers take place. After all, I’m a little OCD and I like to tinker . . .
Article by Stew
Photo by Hannaford