Have you sat down lately to see where your money is? If asked, could you find all your money and list all your accounts on a spreadsheet?
I hadn’t thought about it until I started to care more and more about my finances. If you are on a mission to make a million dollars you have to know where you are keeping your money and how that money is making you money. That’s why I sat down and asked myself these questions:
- Where is my money?
- What accounts do I have?
- Where are those accounts and why?
- How many investment accounts do I have?
- How many credit cards do I have and do I need them all?
And that’s how I started looking more into simplifying my life and accounts. The benefits are obvious but the main ones being that I will be able to keep up with my finances and simplify my life. J. Money wrote a great article about this after being inspired by simplifying your financial life blog.
It got me thinking about where my money is, how I am spending it and if I have too many accounts in the first place. It’s a nice feeling knowing where your money is and how it is working for you. So let’s go down the list.
Where is my money?
My financial accounts are in several different places but streamlined in a way that works for me.
- Checking: Aspirations
- Checking 2: Emirates NBD
- Savings: —
- Investing:Aspirations Flagship fund & redwood fund
- Investing – broker: Interactive brokers
- Money management: Mint
- Insurance – Car: Axis
- Insurance – Life: UAE public insruance
- Credit card: Bank of America
- Credit card: Emirates NBD
- Wellsfargo checking
As you can see 4 out of the 9 accounts are with two banks. The checking, the credit card and part of my investments. The reason for that is because right now I work in Dubai. I need both the account here with Emirates NBD and the aspirations account to make my money move more internationally.
Although my broker is international, they do not currently support international ACH transfers. So if I want to put money into my brokerage account, it first needs to go into my aspiration account in the states. It cannot go directly from Dubai to the account. Hopefully they will fix that soon instead of paying that wire transfer fee every couple of months.
My investment accounts are setup for a particular reason. I like aspiration bank, they charge no fees and if you want to pay, you choose. That’s what they rely on; for you to pay what you think they deserve. It’s a lovely setup. Not only that, my checking account also gains interest, not a lot, but better than most banks that give you nothing.
Of course I also invest in their redwood and flagship fund. I generally don’t invest in mutual funds and prefer index funds but I wanted to give one a try especially since I decide what fee I pay them for managing it. So far it has done alright. Plus I didn’t put in a lot of money into it. I will show that break down on another post.
Interactive Brokers is my brokerage account were I buy and sell stocks, forex, commodities, options etc. Then I have my bitcoin account with bitoasis to trade cryptocurrencies. I still have my old brokerage account with OptionsHouse, but I don’t use it. They are too difficult to work with and interactive brokers just gives me way more options and are five times cheaper with a fantastic platform.
My credit cards
I keep two credit cards. No more. I used to have one for business as well and the checking for business but I got rid of the credit card for business and will rid of the checking account as well. I have no need for it since I will dissolve the business it’s linked to. I don’t need a credit card for my new venture coaching up and coming traders.
One card is with Bank of America. Even though it’s not my favorite bank, I keep a low balance, very low and the limit on the card is only $2500. My second card is a privilege club card here in Dubai with over $20,000 in balance I can use but of course I never do. The only time I would use a credit card to fund a big purchase is if that purchase is an asset, and the can then pay the credit card nothing comes out of pocket.
The credit card here is great for airline miles and I can pretty much get into any airport lounge around the world. This card also allows me to enter a nice gym in Sharjah for free. Usually that gym is 6,000 AED or $1,600 for the year. But the card costs me 1,500 AED or $400 annually. But as you can see, the benefits outweigh the costs.
For money management, consolidation, monitoring and all else I use Mint. I can see all my accounts in one place and be able to track everything. I can set budgets and goals and follow them using one platform. This setup works for me. Although there are plenty of other apps and websites, Mint simplifies things for me. Your thoughts?