One Bank Account to Rule Them All?
I am interested to find out how many bank accounts people maintain once they have been using YNAB for a while. And the reasons why.
I currently have 4 accounts! These were opened pre-YNAB. The reason for me keeping them open is.. silly.
One is a savings account that will charge a fee if I dare to withdraw from it. The rest are all variants of a checking account. After using YNAB for over a year, I really don't see any need for more than 2 accounts but the suffix for each account differs (i.e '01' '02' and so forth). If I close the ones I want, my account numbers won't be in order! Grr!
Checking account, a couple of savings accounts, and two paypal accounts. The savings accounts for earning a bit of interest on money that is mostly sitting around. Paypal accounts are basically just passthrough accounts since they are linked directly to checking. The savings accounts are at a different bank than the checking, which helps protect the savings balances from impulse spending because transfers take '2 to 3 business days'.
I operate in quasi YNAB nirvana. I have four accounts that I use regularly, one for each type checking, cash, credit, and savings (which I've renamed "capital" to make it a C). Then there are three other accounts that I occasionally use which are also on budget. Two older credit cards that I use once or twice a year to keep the history, and the cash portion of my investment portfolio, which is the pass-through for when I sell investments or move saved up money into my investments.
We have a Checking, Savings, and 2 CC's. The savings account is only there for a reason similar to pureneon 's, our checking is free only if we transfer $5/month into savings? Or something like that. 😆 We use our checking as our "bucket" account, but there isn't a ton of activity in it. It's pretty much a placeholder for any inflows and CC payments.
For almost all purchases, we have one Costco CC and one travel CC. The Costco one we only use for gas and purchases at Costco (while we don't shop a lot at Costco, the 4% annual return is enough to keep it! 😊). With YNAB's CC handling, it's super easy to just pay off the balance whenever I'm in the mood. 😆
I have been using YNAB since 2014. I am single. I have 22 on budget accounts (including 8 PIF credit cards). I much prefer it this way as the thought of having all of my eggs in one basket makes me nervous. I've had multiple friends become the victims of identity theft and sure they eventually got their money back from the bank, but for one person that was 6 weeks of have $0 in the bank plus having the credit card from the same bank so it was cancelled to. Also she was on an international business trip at the time (our friend group who were living in this country at the time gave her cash and her company wired money for the hotel rather than the normal process of her paying and filing for reimbursement).
- 5 CDs (it's a ladder so one matures every year from now until 2022)
- 1 USD cash account (wallet) and I will probably add a second because I really should have an emergency cash stash in the house
- 1 Euro cash account (converted into USD at the exchange rate from when I pulled the euros)
- 1 General foreign currency cash account (I travel for work internationally to countries that are often almost entirely cash based)
- 1 Gift card account. I mix all gift cards into a single account because I am at the point budgetwise where I can add a $100 Target giftcard and budget those $100 to my dining out category.
- 1 brick and mortar checking account because I need to be able to walk into a bank and request $2000 in crisp new $100 bills (in many countries the exchange rate for a $100 bill is almost twice as good as for 5 $20 bills)
- 1 brick and mortar savings account because it's always been there
- 1 online cash management account because this bank doesn't charge any money for international ATM withdrawals and will reimburse if the foreign bank charges and ATM fee. Also their billpay interface is much better than my B&M bank so I use it more
- 1 online money market account (converted my CapOne360 savings account to the MM because of the better interest rate)
- 1 online checking account that doesn't particularly serve a purpose, but isn't hurting anything
- 1 online savings account that I opened in order to get a $300 bonus and since it has a decent interest rate I keep it
- 2 store credit cards (Redcard and Best Buy) though BB might get cancelled due to inactivity as I haven't used it in over a year
- 1 Mastercard that I use for most things since it has the best cash back
- 1 Mastercard that I keep because it is my oldest card so impacts my credit score. Also has no foreign transaction fees and at 9.99% is the lowest interest rate. I set up the monthly Netflix charge on it to keep it active
- 1 Chase Freedom Visa for rotating cash back categories
- 1 Chase Sapphire Reserve - expensive annual fee but the travel benefits and the no foreign transaction fee make it worth it (Visa is more accepted world wide than Mastercard, but when traveling internationally, I find it best to have one of each because you never know what's going to work in some of the smaller places I visit if they even take credit cards)
- 1 Amex traditional green charge card - enh it's there and maybe one day I'll let it go
- 1 Amex Blue Cash Preferred for the gas and grocery cash back
- ALSO I have a separate budget for my rental property and that has its own exclusive online checking account so that's a 23rd account really. AND I'm thinking of getting an Amazon Visa for the cashback, but not until I have spent down the large gift card balance I have, so that would be 24
Four. All are no-fee accounts, though one of them requires a minimum balance to maintain that.
- One ONLY stores my emergency fund, off YNAB, and has no debit card or other transactions, so I can monitor that balance cleanly.
- One is from Capital One. Their ATMs can release cash in any denominations I choose. And because I keep a very low amount in that checking account, I have no qualms about using the debit card all over the place for small transactions. Great card, but I would NOT rely on it to work while traveling, and limited to C1 ATMs. Gets me half-priced beverages in their cafes, which are all over town.
- One is for overseas traveling only. Fee-free cash withdrawals anywhere in the world.
- One is my primary checking and savings. Used to pay the big bills, and for its online billpay features. (It also offers fee-free cash withdrawals, as a backup. I have had experiences where I arrived in a country and the #3 card, my mainstay, was not dispensing money because it was flagged for fraud.)
It's annoying to keep these reconciled, but a lot easier now that I have YNAB. I reconcile every few days; takes a few minutes. When I'm home in the U.S., only #2 and #4 are in use, and when I travel, usually only #3.
I have lots of accounts on YNAB:
- 22 on budget
- 8 tracking
- 4 closed
On budget accounts:
- 1 real cash account
- 3 current accounts - card account, bills account and 1 dormant
- 1 paypal
- 4 credit cards
- 1 retailer credit account
- 3 saving accounts
- 7 reloadable gift cards (I get 4-10% discount to load them - eg Tesco, Asda, Love2Shop)
- 1 to track balance on Greggs app
- 1 for vouchers and discounts - I show them as income and spend from this account to track them
For tracking I have :
- 7 debt accounts with frozen interest
- 1 to show my tenant deposit as an asset
I have 4 accounts total.
1. Cash: Sometimes I carry cash for tips and other cash only situations.
2. Checking: I earn 0.65% interest on this account. I pay my rent through this account and all of my income goes through here before I transfer it to my savings. I only keep about $3k in here.
3. Savings: I earn 1.45% interest on this account so I have most of my money in it.
4. Credit Card: I use my credit card for every single thing I am able to use it for. I pay it off every Friday.
I like to keep things simple and clean. I don’t like having to many moving parts.
Wow, and I thought I had too many with only two bank accounts and a credit card 😂.
I have a current account, an ISA and a credit card. I was thinking of dropping the ISA account due to the mental overhead of moving the money between the accounts and keeping track of what categories are in which account.
My current account pays me £3 a month for having the account. The ISA pays 1% a year, so there is not a huge amount of money at stake. I was just kicking around the idea of simplicity. I like the idea of one account with everything in it.
I have toyed with the idea of getting a different credit card which has some kind of payback for use. I use Tesco for my fuel and food, so was considering one of their credit cards if only to add a layer of protection between my money and the world. Anyone have any experience with this sort of set up?
34 accounts -- I always think my life is boring until I try to explain my account structure 😉
17 on-budget accounts:
- 3 cash accounts: Wallet, Laundry Coin, CashStash (I know by looking at my budget screen if I have to stop at the bank to get rolls of coin to do laundry this weekend) My CashStash is a convenient holding of cash at home - part of my emergency planning and a way of reducing my visits to the ATM for cash.
- 2 chequing accounts: One account I've had for 30+ years, the other because I was thinking of switching banks (because I got annoyed at bank # 1) and I'm in a weird limbo right now
- 3 savings accounts: one at the bank I've been banking at for decades, one for the promotional interest I'm getting at the new bank (I can chase promotional interest now and that is really fun), and one to keep a personal account with some emergency funds at my sister's bank where I am joint on her account (from when she was in crisis and I was paying her bills for her, a situation which is as yet unresolved)
- 2 paid-in-full credit cards: one with a small limit to use for online purchases
- 1 PayPal account
- 6 gift card accounts: Right now I am buying a lot of gift cards, all for my go-to vendors, as a sports fundraiser to support sister#2's kids. When this activity ends, I'll probably go back to cash spending and close all 6 accounts. I tried grouping all the cards into one gift card account, but I prefer knowing how much is left on my grocery store card or my gas station card specifically, so that I know if I need alternative forms of payment before going shopping.
17 tracking accounts:
- 2 social fund money envelopes (I handle the funds and make purchases for two different social groups I belong to - usually I use my cc to make the purchase and reimburse myself with the cash from the envelope as a split flow-through from tracking->cc->wallet.)
- Next office claim (reimbursable expenses for the office)
- HSA (Not the same as an HSA in the US. This fund is fully provided by my employer. I can submit life-style expenses or health co-pays for reimbursement, and it has an expiry date to use the funds up)
- Errands for Mom & Dad
- Family Loan (funds owed to me by sister#1)
- Bank of Mom & Dad (funds owed to my parents by sister#1, it's a long story)
- Sister#1's Money (same long story, funds I'm holding for my sister. Occasionally funds provided by other family members for me to manage for her, and sometimes she hands me money to hold on to for a while: her emergency fund, next month's rent, etc.)
- My Pension - I'm tracking the cumulative value of my contributions and my employer's contributions but not the growth in my pension.
- Car Value - Realistic Resale value of my car x 90%
- Line of Credit (never used but still open and available)
- 6 Investment Accounts: 1 LIRA (locked-in retirement account), 2 RRSP (registered retirement savings plans - one is a more expensive account, and it's needed to hold an investment in the Alternate Investment Market), 2 TFSAs (tax-free savings accounts, one holds my GIC ladder for savings for my next car), and 1 non-registered investment account
1x Credit Card
1x Tracking HSA account
The checking account holds our cash flow, the savings account holds our emergency fund, and the CC is... well, it's a CC. We treat the off budget HSA account essentially as a medical true expense category. I consider those accounts to be our primary cash flow accounts. I also keep track of the mortgage and investment accounts as tracking accounts, too, but don't really consider them necessary for budgeting - they just make the net worth report look cooler.
36 Budget accounts
- 4 Cash (House, my wallet, her wallet, girl scout cookie cash)
- 3 Savings (1 at a credit union that will be closed this summer)
- 8 PIF Credit Cards (all with different cash back purposes)
Capital One Venture Visa - 2% all purchases
AmEx Blue Cash Preferred - 3% Groceries
PNC Visa - 4% gas, 3% restaurants
Discover - 5% rotating categories
Target RedCard MC - 5% at Target
Amazon Prime - 5% on Amazon
Hilton Visa - ~3.5% at Hilton properties in loyalty points
Best Buy - ~4.5% at Best Buy
- Commuter Debit Card - for purchasing commuter tickets funded via payroll deduction
- 3 Gift cards
- 15 CDs - CD ladders that I am going to unwind in favor of adding to the Treasury Direct account
- Treasury Direct
12 Tracking accounts
- HSA Cash
- HSA Investment
- House Value
- Taxable Investments
- 7 Tax-advantaged retirement accounts (2 of which maintain a zero balance for about 360 days a year)
I also have 27 zero-balance closed accounts, a mix of old savings accounts, old gift card accounts (some which I reactivate as needed), old retirement accounts, old CDs, old credit cards, old mortgage, house value and escrow accounts.
We cruise a lot for vacations and I wish I could find a good card for those purchases.
I have been using YNAB avidly and consistently since 2013. Before YNAB, I was never someone who budgeted by account (I didn't budget at all!), but we would try to "save" money by transferring it into a savings account, only to constantly have it sucked back into checking via the overdraft protection. We weren't really saving at all - just pretending.
We have 39 Total active accounts:
- 16 On-Budget
- 23 Off-Budget (Tracking)
- and 9 closed accounts (Netspend savings, old CC's, old mortgage/equity accts)
It's complicated, but I find that it really doesn't take that long to maintain. And I am using YNAB4, so all entries are manual (not imported).
- 3 Checking:
- One is our main checking account at USAA where our paychecks are deposited, and 99.9% of our bills are paid from this account.
- The other is in Mr. V's name and is where his company deposits his business reimbursements. The 0.1% paid from this account goes to pay the business portion of the Amex corporate card.
- The last one I don't consider a checking account because I use it strictly for the 3% interest, so it functions more like a savings account. I parked $15k here (max allowed) and it just sits and gains interest.
- 3 Savings:
- Main Savings at USAA (there's really no use for this account anymore, but I keep a nominal amount in it - it has the overdraft protection for checking - no need for that anymore!)
- My own savings at USAA (opened years ago when I thought it prudent to have some kind of account in my own name)
- HY Amex Personal Savings account where the majority of our cash sits. I wish the interest were higher but it has no limits on how much I can stash here, and at least it's making some interest. I suppose part of this is our 6 months Loss of Income category.
- 2 Ally CD's
- 1 Local B&M bank account - don't really use anymore unless I need to go dump a bucketful of change into the coin machine and have it deposited without a fee. Write a check to myself from this acct once a year so the state doesn't try to take the account and money away from me for lack of use (yes, they've threatened so apparently it's a thing).
- 6 PIF credit card accounts:
- USAA card - our longest-open account, rarely used, no foreign transaction fees, keep open for the credit history
- Chase Freedom - rewards card, up to 5% cashback
- Chase Continental Card - (grandfathered in to this long-standing airline rewards card) - the Continental Card has extra perks that the newer United card doesn't, so if we were to cancel this card, we couldn't get an equivalent now. Has a hefty annual fee but the company pays for it. Up until Mr. V hit the 2 million mile mark, we put every single purchase on this card. Now we are lifetime Platinum, so we use other rewards cards for the cash back instead.
- 2 Bank of America rewards cards - tied to my alma mater; used for the cashback (3% gas, 2% costco)
- AmEx Corporate card - all business expenses go on this card
- 1 Amazon Gift Card - used only because I have to make 10 transactions a month for my Max Checking to get the 3% interest
- 2 business checking accounts
- Another corporate Amex (for the 2nd business)
- 2 401k's, 4 IRAs, a 529 acct, a UGMA custodial acct, Robinhood acct, student loan, mortgage, house value, various loans, and car/boat value accounts.
I treat cash as a category because we rarely use cash, so I have no cash accounts.
I also maintain 3 other YNAB budgets:
1 for my mother because I do all of her finances now, and 2 separate small business accounts (as well as Wave accounts for these two).
Some of this could probably be consolidated and simplified, but it works for me for now.
I've only been using YNAB for two months, but I'll throw my data in the ring:
On budget: 2 checking, 1 savings, HSA. My primary checking and savings are with Alliant CU because they offered the best combined interest checking and HYS I could find (.65% checking and 1.45% savings). This CU isn't local to me so I also have a checking account at a local bank that I keep around just for depositing cash. My HSA is my HSA.
Off budget/tracking: 3 credit cards, auto loan, student loan. I'm only making payments and recording interest on these accounts as I pay them down, so this just feels cleaner to me.
Closed accounts: Ally Checking, Ally Savings, HSA. I ditched Ally in favor of Alliant CU. I originally had my HSA off-budget until I built up a useful balance. I haven't even actually activated the debit card for my HSA account. Mental note to do that.
I started YNAB 6 or 7 days ago. I started with 7 Checking Accounts, 2 Savings and 1 Money Market account.
I am currently closing several checking accounts (all with the same bank), just started with a PIF Credit Card and am tracking several loans. So:
* Visa Card: PIF
* Checking: Main account
* Checking: Debt Snowball
* Money Market: 3% APR for Sinking Funds
* Pers Loan #1 (Paid off at the end of this month!)
* Pers Loan #2
* Back Taxes Owed
* Car Loan #1
* Car Loan #2
I can see having future Asset Tracking accounts. As far as ny budget account(s), I believe I will keep those simple, have enough available in sinking funds that even if I lost all of the current cash (2 months max?), I could wait out the bank to replace those funds.
34? 22? Gracious, and I thought life was complicated back when I had 14!
I have 9 now.
3 savings, one I use mostly, one a little, and the other not at all. 2 Are because I'm switching banks and haven't finished the process yet.
2 checking, again, switching banks and not done yet
2 cash accounts: actual cash, and gift card
2 credit cards. I should get rid of one I never use, but that would lower my credit score.
I have an HSA, but it's not in YNAB.
I have 10 on-budget accounts. This is to take advantage of different savings offers, for example a regular saver where I can pay in £250 per month for 5% interest, a current account where I get 5% interest up to a certain amount etc.
I also have an offset mortgage (the amount of mortgage interest I pay is reduced by the amount I have in a linked savings account).
My expenses out are all through a single current account, otherwise I'd find it too difficult to manage the cash flow. I just have to make sure I have enough in there when money's due to go out. I have all bills on automatic direct debit around the same date and the monthly amounts are fixed (they're adjusted annually or as needed to match what I'm actually using). So it's easy to see how much I need for the payments by ticking the categories in YNAB.
Almost all my other spending now is on a credit card which I pay in full by direct debit each month. This gives me a bit of cashback but the main reason is that it's a single payment out of the current account each month instead of having to keep checking my balance against what I'm spending.
It's a bit of work to move things around but a lot easier with YNAB than it was when I was tracking it in Excel. Last year I got a significant amount - for me - in interest on savings and I avoided a lot of mortgage interest so my mortgage payments were paying off more of the principal.
Currently ten on budget accounts and twelve tracking accounts. Out of these eight accounts are updated at least once per month. Real bank accounts: One checking account, four savings accounts, three credit cards, mortgage, pension, etc.
By consolidating my accounts - I would end up paying more interest and earn less interest and payback on my savings and purchases. It's always an option.
I do own more bank accounts which aren't in use, are closed, or not added to YNAB.
I now have a cash account, current account, ISA and Tesco credit card. Just been paid interest on the ISA of less than £5 for the year. Thinking of binning the ISA and just having all the money in the current account shielded by the credit card. However, I have found myself uneasy using credit. I'm interested to see if this changes over time.
Some of you people with a lot of accounts: How do you manage them in the YNAB sidebar?
I really wish there was a way to group accounts like you do categories, with the potential of closing and opening a group. I like the "Keep It Simple Strategy", but I realized that keeping savings in a low-yield account isn't smart. Shopped around... voila, another Ally savings account! And there might end up being one more.
At this point, I have enough accounts, for various reasons, that it becomes unwieldy to view.
I recently switched up my system to try to keep myself out of the dreaded credit card float.
My paycheque goes into an EQ account, which also has a number of sub-accounts where I allot funds to pay for major purchases that will come up through the year (ie. $10/month towards car registration at the end of the year). I subtract the amount of bills/savings that will come out of the account and then skim off the rest to my Tangerine account. That is my spending money until I get paid. I find this makes it much easier to see the amount of spending money I'm working with. It helps to keep me on track.
I still have my Simplii account, because I was with PC before, and that is where one of my major loans is. Since they refuse to take payments for that loan out of EQ, I then just transfer the amount of that bill into that account every month.
I find this system is working quite well for me, as I'm a visual person, and I enjoy seeing all of my money compartmentalized and taken care of. I can see this being a bit cumbersome for people that don't like spending a lot of time on their budget.
I had quite a few accounts spread out everywhere, but I'm slowly moving funds and closing accounts as I go. Like YNAB shows us, we don't need a million accounts to achieve our goals. My goal is to keep my local credit union account as my primary bank for checking/billpay purposes, and then stash my savings in an online-only bank to keep it out of spending reach. :)
My current credit union offers a checking account with a 1.5% interest/dividends if I am able to make deposits each month that totals $1k (or more), so I definitely take advantage of earning money on my money! I use this account for billpay, direct depositing my paychecks, funneling allotments, etc -- it's a really convenient means of getting to my funds when I need it. I have a savings account with them as well, which I use for my short-term savings in case I need quick cash in an emergency -- but the interest rate isn't as great as the checking account.
The online-only savings account/bank I use pays roughly 1.8% interest if I keep my balances of at least $1k, which I now do with ease. It holds my long-term savings, although I eventually hope to invest some of it once my debts are paid. Since they only exist online & I don't have an ATM card, it's a little bit of a hassle to get to those funds -- but honestly, that's the point. :) If I really need to get to those funds, I can do an online transfer and see the money a few days later.
So basically, my current-use accounts are held at:
Local credit union: checking (1.5%) x1 / savings (0.5%) x1
Online bank: 3 savings accounts (1.8% each) -- 1 for me & 1 for each of my kids in a minors' account
Credit card account x1 (to build credit)
TSP x1 (current employer)
401(K) x1 (former employer)
Traditional IRA x1 (former employer)
I plan on converting the Traditional IRA to a Roth, and having it and the 401(k) handled thru Betterment.com once I've knocked out more debt. As for the TSP, it's staying right where it's at as a traditional IRA. :)
I still have my old checking & savings account to close at another online bank, but they offer such a great rates on my auto insurance (& they're internationally accessible with no fees) that I've been keeping just the minimal balance there for the sake of saving $ on my insurance needs. The checking pays a mere 0.05% interest and the savings offer 0.10% interest -- this is the main reason why I moved my funds out of there. I have yet another local bank in the next town that I intend to close my accounts with as well.
Wow....😲 in awe of many of you managing several accounts.
I don't have the mental bandwidth to even attempt a similar feat so my set up is easy. I have my transactional account and my savings (everything I don't need now) with one bank. My credit card with another bank. And my mortgage with another bank.