In response to my post, Money Management 201, here is an overview of my accounts:
Credit Card Accounts
This account is use to make purchases on credit. Use this account to build up credit and rack up points/miles/cash. Make sure you can pay off amount before charging. Preferably, this account pays rewards and has no annual fees.
Citibank Platinum Select Dividend – This is my primary personal credit card. I make most of my purchases on this card since it gives me cash rewards.
American Express Blue – Used to pay rent. My building accepts AmEx payments. Great way to rack up points.
DiscoverCard – Used this card a lot in the past, but don’t use it anymore. Thinking of canceling it.
Chase Freedom – This card is in idle status. I used it this briefly in the beginning because of the promo cashback rewards. It’s sitting in my drawer now and it hasn’t seen light for more than two years.
Chase Amazon – Used only for Amazon purchases. Pays 3 points per dollar spent.
American Express Business Platinum Card – Primary card for business purchases. Supports MS Money downloads, which is helpful for tracking expenses. Also, AmEx has excellent customer service.
Advanta Platinum BusinessCard – Used only for business purchases. Hardly use this card anymore. Replaced it with the American Express Business Platinum Card.
This account serves as a front line for financial transactions. Use this account to write checks and handle transactions not accessible in savings accounts. Preferably, this account pays interest. However, it’s more important to be fee-conscious.
Citibank Checking Account – I use this account to write checks for bills that do no accept credit cards, such as my electric bill. In fact, I have setup automatic payments for bills. I leave about $500 in this account.
Short term Savings Account
This account serves as your emergency fund and should host about three to six months of income. Cash should be easily accessible. Preferably, this account has a high-yielding interest rate.
Citibank e-Savings – I deposit all my checks to this account. I use this account to fund my checking. If my Checking Account runs low on funds, I can transfer money instantly from this account over to Checking. I also have setup automatic payments for bills. This account also serves as my emergency fund.
Long term Savings Account
This account serves as a dedicated place for your savings. Accessibility can be sacrificed for higher yields. Certificate of Deposits and other secured investments are options here.
Washington Mutual CD – Promotional interest rate. Matures on 9/30/2007. Going to move funds to the investment account.
Non-Retirement Brokerage Account
This account serves as a trading center for stocks, mutual funds, bonds, or other investments. It should have low commissions and no annual or maintenance fees. Discounted brokerage accounts are options here.
Fidelity Investment – This is my primary trading account. Fidelity has a large array of research material and helps keep all my investment accounts in one place.
TD Ameritrade iZone – This was my primary trading account until I started trading in Fidelity. I like the low commissions in iZone so I keep this account active.
Retirement Brokerage Account
This account serves as an investment center for your retirement portfolio. It should have low commissions and no annual or maintenance fees. Index funds, mutual funds, and dividend stocks are options here.
Scottrade Roth IRA – This is my designated Roth IRA account.
Guardian Retirement 401k Plan – This account was opened by my ex-employer. I am no longer contributing to this account but I leave my funds with my ex-employer because I like the funds there. I may consider moving this account to Scottrade in the future.
Manage all your accounts using financial software such as MS Money or Quicken. Track all incoming and outgoing financial transactions.
Microsoft Money – I use this software almost daily to keep track of all my accounts and transactions. The online download feature makes it easy to update all the transactions from financial institutions. Money also has great reporting tools.