Step One:

I was going through my box of accounts for the home, and I was surprised just how many useless bank accounts my wife and I had. Here, every employer seems to require a different bank account to pay salaries. This is fine, if you are still working there, but it’s lousy if:

  • 1. the bank is bad
  • 2. you no longer work there
  • 3. you no longer live nearby
  • 4. the interest rate is crap

The last few months I have worked hard to close many of the extra accounts. We’ve closed three in the last few months, but I think there are at least another three that need either to be closed or at least to have the money withdrawn.

I’m planning to bring the money into only one of several accounts, and open a CD at a more attractive interest rate. The money was earning something like 0.4% per year in the old account. I’m hoping I can boost that to over 2.0% in the longer term. It won’t make a great difference in the short term, but it will help to control the expenses of accounts that don’t meet the minimum requirements (e.g. my hsbc account, which I let slip and ended up forking out nearly $100US penalties over the last six months!) and generate a little extra.