|Can't bear to part with the milk jug but I part with the money in it too easily!|
Hoarding money is supposed to be good, right? I mean, when you hoard money it's called saving. Supposedly. For a long time I've had some odd habits with money. I have half a dozen bank accounts. I have three coin jars. I have two wallets. Talk about money clutter. Why?!
Saving is not something I'm good at. I've tried to get around it by putting my money in silos, or rather, bank accounts. One's to save for a trip to Spain, one's for a rainy day, one's to invest, one's for clothes, one's for music lessons, etc. Inevitably, though, something happens and I end up pilfering from one bank account to make some sort of vaguely impulsive purchase.
Our first financial adviser said that I was doing myself a disservice by keeping my money in silos because it made it harder to see how much money I really had. I was doing it as a way to keep from spending money.
Well, if it was supposed to work, then how is it that a girl who gets an allowance of $350/month finishes the year with exactly $190 in her bank account?! Fortunately our joint bank account is much healthier because the Chief Engineer is good with money management.
Obviously what I am doing is not working. Having multiple containers (literally and figuratively) for money I think gives me a false sense of security. Probably the way piles of stuff give my parents security. Does an empty room seem lonely and frightening to them? Clean rooms have people put in them. Friends, family. Maybe it's easier to forget that you don't have friends or get along with family when you don't have space to host those people.
Does a single bank statement with only $190 seem more scary than six bank accounts each with less than $50 in them? Actually, yes. One account is more scary because it proves that I have no fallback position. That means I have wake up to the fact that I must deny myself purchases in order to save. Therefore, I will do the scary thing. My goal for 2014 is to reduce my money silos to the following:
1. One wallet
2. No coin jars (use wallet instead)
3. One investment account
4. One liquid assets account
Today I closed two bank accounts and rearranged others. I have one checking account for myself now and no savings accounts. I have a single investment account for myself. I've consolidated my retirement accounts as much as humanly possible. Now I just have to get used to the idea that I can't hide from my inability to save anymore.
Do you have money clutter? What has worked for you?