Current Accounts and Common Usage for a Baseline
I thought it would be useful for posterity to list out my current accounts so I can compare usage and fluctuations yearly.
Also I feel like this is a decent background view into the organization of my mental state when reviewing my financials. I stand at my desk all day so I end up reviewing these a lot more often than I should.
Regular checking account at a National Bank which takes automatic deposits of my paychecks and has very few day to day transactions. Most daily life occurs on my credit cards, which get paid off on the 15th of every month in full. Other transactions on this account will be automated transfers to various online savings accounts and the brokerage account as well. I used to have a savings account at the same bank but found little use when they service charged me below zero because I was not using the account. I found that a savings account that was so simple to transfer back and forth to checking was completely meaningless to me. I needed some sort of Airgap between my accounts to discourage transferring cash needlessly and keep things in order. I generally have little more than $2,000-$3,000 in this account at any time, regular transferring out any round thousand figure that is in there.
I have 4 online accounts with ING Direct and I have loved them. Having a savings account that is ever so slightly more removed from getting it in cash makes a difference. I used to transfer money between my checking and saving at my main bank all the time, the money was one mess. Switching to an online savings bank, I rarely ever touch the money. I would rather figure out how to survive without or just plan more effectively than deal with the minor hassle of moving this money around in a swift manner. You can open numerous accounts for no cost an Nickname each of them for different savings plans. Then you set up automatic transfers and you try to lose the login info. The longer you forget about these the better. I have set up one for Emergency Fund, Business Fund, Investment Fund, and a Muscle Car Fund.
To be Honest -These names have become pretty pointless.The Business Fund and Investment Fund end up being a slosh account before sending the money to Vanguard and I put all business expenses on one credit card. The Muscle Car fund is slowly growing, but I already own one car and barely drive it – so this is a nice distant dream for a likely inexpensive older project car. In the Emergency Account I keep anywhere from two to five thousand liquid just in case. I have more available in my Vanguard as a cash position ready for market dips that is equally accessible if anything should occur. I am slightly unconcerned as of now with having a large E-Fund as I am young, healthy, employed, in a large city, and employable. Having a proven track record in a Sales job generally speaks for itself. I haven’t done the exact math on how many months the E fund would be – that would be more comforting. I am positive enough that if I were to lose my primary source of income, I would have enough runway to figure it out for a few months before needing to take a bottom level sales job to survive. I also have a large amount of available credit and I have a family to rely on nearby.
Digit is a fun tool that fits my style of saving and investing. It is an account that you sign up for that will randomly take small withdrawals of varying sizes from your checking and deposit it into their own savings account. It is a free service and over time your account can get to a healthy size that they offer small bonuses for. The service is fully controllable by text message and one of my favorite aspects is that it messages you your available bank balance daily. My cousin hates it because he follows a more structured process utilizing YNAB and exact numbers. I admire his organization but I did not enjoy that software – reminded me of failing Accounting in college. This always comes in handy to round out numbers when investing or dealing with expenses.
I never see people talk about this tool for some reason and it blows my mind. This truly is the financial tool for the millennial generation. Begone cash, I either use a credit card or immediately reimburse through Venmo. This is an online service that just sends your money through your phone and if you attach it to your debit account it is entirely free. It has a minor social aspect in that you have to attach a description and everyone can see what you call the transaction and can like it. There are numerous extensions to this app that turbo charge it.
If you ever end up going on a group trip I recommend downloading Splitwise. It is an extension on Venmo that allows you to create a group, plug in how much each person spent and who took part in each expense, and it will automatically explains the most efficient payment split of who owes what to whom and executes it. I have used this on numerous bachelor parties and everything is more relaxed because no one feels like they are getting screwed over in regards to money.
All of my after tax savings ends up here after routing various ways. I have currently half of my holdings in VTSAX and this is where I will generally send most of my money in order to have it working for me. The other half is Blue Chip Veterans I acquired prior to hitting some bad runs in stock picking and realizing I knew nothing. I have been lucky to have some money to catch the tail end of this bull market and I do not expect that to continue so much longer. I tried to time the market once and missed lightly, but I learned my lesson and will just have to be ready for other opportunities when that occurs. I tend to avoid ever selling out of this position, and if I need to liquidate something I will do so out of the laggards in my Blue Chip / Tech Kings portfolio. I rarely sell off, and just tend to wait till I accumulate the cash to do whatever I was looking to do. I try to keep a pretty sizable portion of cash on hand as I expect a dip somewhat soon and would like to purchase things at a discount. I do not currently need access to much cash, but if the next investment property eventually shows up I need to be ready. I have recently set up a small automatic transfer in order to transition more to automating, but due to the extreme variations in my pay I do most of the large transfers into the account manually.
I have both a Roth as well as traditional IRA from a 401k Rollover I never finished. The Roth is small as I only qualified for a few years and I was not focused on maxing it out. I expect to be dealing with these two shortly both for simplification purposes as well as testing out the Backdoor Roth situation. I will be able to beef up the Roth, but I believe that I need to finish the Rollover as the traditional needs to be “converted” and closed I think. Research for this upcoming Tax Day necessary.
Decent sized but I have only known to max it for the past few years. Now that I do know though it is a highlight of my accounts. I luckily have access to a pretty broad amount of Vanguard options and they give a decent match. I love setting a sizable % of the paycheck to max this out quickly, as with a sales job it will take dramatic jumps each commission day. Having the money taken out before it’s even left the company’s hands is great and this account is going to be a core of my retirement planning, likely due to its inaccessibility with such good benefits.
Hosted by one of the largest Multinational banks, my company has a portal to keep track of the various shares, RSU’s and ESP’s you have going on. This links directly into Mint which is great to see your stock value fluctuate. It is too easy to think about this as real money and limit your potential mobility. Unless it is a dramatic sum of money it is better to think about it not at all. The handcuffs that come with invisible contract shares is real and it can cause you to make poor decisions. Keep in mind how much is vested but generally this is more icing on the cake than anything reliable.
Acorns is another business similar to Digit, except they round up your purchases and invest the change for you. You can make additional manual payments to juice this account, but Im just as happy to watch this slowly build over time. They allow you to choose your risk tolerance and they invest your change for 1$ a month service fee. This won’t change your world but every little extra way we can save painlessly is great.
I and my business partners currently have one Multi Family investment property in Hudson County along the Hudson River. Purchased in 2015, the property has been a great investment and a nice start into the Real Estate world. In a very short time frame we have dealt with a wide array of many of the time honored landlord experiences, but with multiple partners in general it has been pretty painless. This account purely is setup to autopay. We have a pre-approval from the same company ready for the next solid numbers to show up, so far we have had little luck looking in the past few months.
This is nearing the end of its life span. Only a few thousand remaining at a low interest rate. I have had these at double the monthly since graduating college. This never was too much of a concern as I made a point to sacrifice slightly to keep my costs down. Once this is paid off I plan to redirect this autopay directly into the taxable brokerage. This experience has put me off major debt on behalf of education.
I currently have 2 main credit cards and all daily expenses flow through them. I generally carry little to no cash in a partial attempt at minimalism and partially for record keeping.
Chase Sapphire Reserve is my daily use and it has allowed me to build up a decent backlog of points that is sure to be used on upcoming trips.
The American Express Starwood is what I am currently using to keep track of any business expenses.
People quibble about yearly fees – if you pay the card in full every month – you win no matter what. These companies provide so many benefits to route your transactions through them it is amazing. I have these on manual pay, because i do not leave much cash lying in my account and I too like to live dangerously.
Vehicle / Alternative Investments – Metals / Watches
I place a note of limited liquidity and fluctuating value on these items as I tend to not have nice things. A 2000’s Dodge Charger sits unused 95% of the time and wristwatches generally feel too upscale for my lifestyle. I do, at times, day dream of buying a nice reward watch at my first Million – we shall see if I find value in it at that time. The one slowly growing asset in this account is the pile of physical silver I have. I used to have difficulty keeping cash and also had a bit of a conspiracy theory/Zero Hedge vibe going on – so I started purchasing Silver here and there and storing it as needed. I really enjoy this because of its history as hard currency. I tend to think about buying more really as purely an exchange of currency rather than an investment – I pretend that I can easily get spot in return for it. I know I cannot, but I like the idea of an illiquid Scrooge McDuck pool of bullion, call me old fashioned.
I was excited to learn that my work would finally be offering this Account for me in the upcoming year. More tax free money is always a good thing. I am mildly concerned that my health expenses will randomly be higher, but there is always a measure of risk. I expect to keep full records and scan them into my G Drive and do not plan to reimburse until I fully figure out the numbers behind it all. I hear the HSA options generally suck investment wise with high expense ratios and weak choices – I will cross that bridge when I get there. I would feel extremely pleased if in a few years I had a healthy loaded HSA ready for any emergency.
I want a separate trading account to easily track my own progress with stock picking. I have tried in the past but never with the effort and current level of knowledge I have. I expect this to be a losing proposition, but an important learning one nonetheless. I will be pursuing this with a reasonable amount and trading guidelines for myself in the 1st or 2nd quarter of 2017 and will document progress accordingly.