Combining Finances Means More Accounts, Not Fewer!

I’ve been all excited to get married to Lauren for awhile now. In addition to having an awesome party, we also get to combine our finances! She gets access to my credit cards and I get access to her student loans! While it doesn’t sound like a fair trade-off, you just have to see her smile to understand why I’m doing it ;)

What got me really excited about combining our finances was that we’d be able to consolidate our accounts. We each have an ING Direct account, and now we’ll combine into just one. Awesome!

The problem is that I have a Bank of America account and she has a Wells Fargo account. Why? It’s an East Coast vs. West Coast thing. When living in Maryland/D.C., Bank of America was my bank of choice. Remember, they have super convenient ATMs. And I’ve been considering closing that account now that ING Direct has remote deposit and they can effectively replace a brick and mortar bank.

However, sometimes checks are larger than $3,000. So we need to have one brick and mortar bank account still open. And since the Wells Fargo ATM is closest to our apartment, she wins.

So why keep open the Bank of America account? For two reasons, one small, one big. The small reason is that I somehow get free cashier’s checks through my account. How? I have no idea. But when I went to get one when I moved into my new apartment in March, and the teller said, “That’s weird, I didn’t even know this was an option, but you have a setting for free cashier’s checks.” I am probably one of just a handful of people who can get free cashier’s checks whenever they want, and I don’t want to give up that title!

The real reason I want to keep that account open is that I have a joint account with my father that allows us to seamlessly pass money back and forth to each other. With most customers (even between Bank of America customers), there are limits to how much you can transfer per day (usually $1,000). But for us, he can place $5,000 in our account and I can transfer it to my account, all in just a few minutes. That’s definitely convenient.

The end result is that we each end up with an extra bank account, but in reality, this will make our lives simpler. I have one bank as my primary (ING Direct), one bank to deposit checks (Wells Fargo, the sweep it to ING Direct), and one bank for transfers to other people and cashiers checks (Bank of America). It may sound complicated, but since each has it’s own purpose, I won’t be going back and forth a lot trying to keep things in place.

Readers, what do you think of my set up? Love it? Hate it? Have suggestions for me?

10 Responses to Combining Finances Means More Accounts, Not Fewer!

  1. As long as the system works for you and you feel you’re getting the maximum benefits from it, then I say it’s all good!

  2. Kudos to you for combining your finances upon your marriage. I think it is a great idea and a sign of a solid foundation to your relationship.

    One thing you may want to consider is switching, or adding, a credit union account. Credit Unions offer benefits that most big banks cannot match.

    Many blessings to you as you start your marriage commitment!

  3. Evan says:

    Kinda funny that is the exact reason The Wife and I have multiple accounts just like you 2…so I am for it!

  4. Frugal Portland says:

    Sounds like an easy solution, and if you decide down the road that it isn’t, then you know how easy it is to open an account elsewhere and close the other two!

  5. As long as you aren’t paying any monthly fees on that account, I see no reason to close it. If you’re getting the extra benefits, you might as well keep them. An extra bank account is easy enough to maintain since you can just leave it sitting inactive without a problem.

  6. We ended up keeping our individual accounts and cards (but not using them) and opening new joint accounts. So we actually majorly proliferated our accounts, but the useful parts of the system are more streamlined. I wrote about this general problem a while ago (in my link), labeling these accounts vestigial. So I don’t think your solution is uncommon or unwieldy.

  7. I have many accounts for many reasons. As long as you guys have a system to keep track of everything and you have a reason to keep each account I think you are fine. Enjoy your free cashier’s checks for life!

  8. Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager says:

    I keep my Bank of America account for the same reason. My parents (who live outside the US) and I can transfer money seamlessly this way.

  9. We’ve got a pretty darn close set up!
    Spouse has 2 banks. Spouse’s Dad (well, parents, but Dad does the doing) has access to those accounts, for the same reasons you mentioned.
    I have 2 banks. My Mom has access to one account (again, parents, but Mom does the doing).
    We’re joint at bank #2, but keep the other ones for various reasons… ie ING rates. Plus, the lack of ATM for my primary bank in my town, but I have a million accounts at my original bank so it’s just easier to have a super simple one here, that turned into the joint account.

  10. Bankruptcy Filing says:

    Its an easy solution & its true combining finances helps in consolidating accounts. I have also many accounts because of some or other reasons

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