They were very suspicious of my activity when I went in to create 5 bank accounts. I’m pretty sure they thought I was a drug dealer.
I’m not a drug dealer, I just really care about being organized and creating functional systems in all areas of my life.
Pick your bank
Finding a bank that would do this for me was so difficult. The only two I know that it works with the best are ALLY bank and First Bank I like not paying account maintenance fees so I went with First Bank.
I recommend picking a bank that doesn’t charge you to hold open an account, but if you don’t care about that, then you may consider a bigger bank. First Bank is smaller so I’ve had a few issues when in other states, just things to consider if you’re going to implement this system.
Select your categories
After selecting which bank it’s time to pick your categories. I started with 5, but soon realized 7 is more optimal for me, 2 don’t need atm cards, only the other 5 do. Your categories will probably differ especially if you maybe want to create something like a camping card or a travel expenses card.
Here is mine currently:
Reoccurring – for all the monthly expenses and bills to set on auto-pay and not worry about (when I’m not an entrepreneur starting a company at least)
Groceries – Pretty straightforward, the monthly budget for groceries goes in here.
Outings – This is my budget for eating out, going out to bars, entertainment ect.
Guilt-free – I found when I’d buy anything that wasn’t food or bills I’d feel guilty about it. So to combat this I create a guilt-free budget so that I can spend the money on anything I want and not feel guilty about it because I had already budgeted for it. It also helps if you run out of money in another budget, this is an area that can pick up the slack.
Business – I like to experiment with new business ideas so I budgeted a certain amount for doing tests and such or paying for eBay products.
Intake – This one and the next are the new ones I found I needed after about a year with the system. Intake is where income comes into and then is set to automatically fill the other budgets without me ever having to think about it or lift and finger, most banks allow you to set automatic transfers between accounts, such a great feature for this system.
Rent – I found rent needs to be separated from recurring because it reduces the chance of overdraft fees, if I had a salary, this wouldn’t be an issue, but until I do and can start taking one from the business, I need to be able to separate rent from everything else so I always know where I’m at with that big ole monthly expense.
After I received all the cards I color-coded them by spray painting them so that I can look in my wallet and know exactly which card goes to what account. When I use the cards some people get so confused. Then I tell them I painted it and they go “ohhh I was wondering!”
Once you’re out, you’re out. Luckily you’ll know it, but you won’t be out of money, just that account will be empty. I mean really it’s just the 21st-century version of envelopes. But it keeps my finance super organized. If you do run out then you can always borrow from another account if need be.
I do plan to make improvements to the system, for instance, I want to get an apple watch and use the mint app so that all I have to do is turn on the watch and I can see the amount in each account instantaneously.
I’ve found that to be the biggest hurdle is when I avoid looking at the account balances since the app gets hidden away into my phone. So having it on my wrist would be great so I know where I stand with each account, like in line at the grocery store I’ll be able to quickly check and know if I have $2 or $110 dollars left in the account.
I’m still a free man
After telling the bankers about my unique system they didn’t call the cops but were still quite confused. Apparently, not a lot of people come in looking to open 5 accounts, hopefully, after this blog, it will become more popular because I really think it’s how more people should bank!
(Seriously, I considered starting a company built around the concept)
Although, you would have thought the 1million I deposited into each account afterward would have also been a red flag. Hmmm, guess as long as the money is green right!?