Confession: I’m an account hoarder

You readers probably already know this, but I’m an account hoarder. Well, I have a bit of hoarding tendencies in general. So I thought it would make for a fun Friday post to list them all!

  1. The savings account I opened up at age six at a credit union (required to keep because it’s a credit union)
  2. The checking account attached to said credit union savings account (I keep it because it’s easy to transfer money to/from my parents there)
  3. The retirement account I started at 19
  4. The savings account at the credit union I joined at 22
  5. The checking account attached to the savings account in #4 that I still keep open because of #7 and #8 and my HOA dues auto payment is set up here
  6. One more savings account at the credit union in #4 for a bonus
  7. An empty joint checking account shared with my boyfriend at the credit union in #4 that we use occasionally
  8. An HSA with reasonable interest at the credit union in #4 where I transfer money when my employer HSA gets larger than necessary
  9. My current employer’s HSA
  10. My Roth IRA at Vanguard
  11. The empty Traditional IRA at Vangurd now used to fund said Roth IRA annually
  12. My Vanguard taxable investment account
  13. My old 401(k) that I count as closed but the provider’s website lists as having a $0 balance
  14. My mortgage loan
  15. A checking account at Schwab that refunds ATM fees anywhere in the world with no foreign transaction fees
  16. A brokerage account that Schwab requires to be open for #15
  17. A Fidelity Cash Management Account because I have their Amex
  18. The brokerage account for my ESPP purchases and employer stock
  19. My current employer’s 401(k) account
  20. General savings account at Ally (now empty, but will leave open for a bit in case the Alliant savings account rate goes down)
  21. Tuition savings account at Ally (now empty, but will leave open for a bit)
  22. Direct deposit savings account at Ally (now empty, but will leave open for a bit)
  23. Charitable donations account at Ally (now empty, but will leave open for a bit)
  24. Checking account at Alliant Credit Union
  25. General savings account at Alliant
  26. Tuition savings account at Alliant
  27. Charitable savings account at Alliant
  28. NetSpend prepaid card #1
  29. NetSpend savings #1 (5% interest!)
  30. NetSpend prepaid card #2
  31. NetSpend savings #2 (5% interest!)
  32. TreasuryDirect Series I Savings Bond #1
  33. TreasuryDirect Series I Savings Bond #2
  34. TreasuryDirect Series I Savings Bond #3

Most of them have logical reasons to keep open. Most. This doesn’t count my credit cards  of which I currently have ten.

Some people suggest keeping your savings far away from your checking account but I love having most of my cash all in one bank. It’s so convenient to see it all in one screen!

Readers, what’s your damage? How many accounts do you have?


28 thoughts on “Confession: I’m an account hoarder

  1. I know I said this was a safe place, but you have a problem. 😉
    Now I want to dig out my details and see what my damage is. Does HSA checking + investing count as one account or two?

    • I would count that as two by my definition. Some people would count all of my Ally accounts as one, but if it has a different account number, I count it as a separate account.

  2. WOW. :) I guess I understand how this could happen… It’s not so bad if you’re highly organized and/or use aggregator software.

    Generally, when we decide to move on from a bank (have twice so far as adults, probably once more as minors), we keep the old accounts open for a little while (a year?) but then close them down. Exception: The oldest joint account we have that is completely vestigial ( is the bank account my husband opened at 18. We’ve had a balance of exactly $100 sitting in it untouched for at least 5 years. My husband refuses to close it because it’s the only way we have of depositing cash at the moment – not that we’ve EVER needed to deposit cash!

    We have proliferated our savings accounts up to about 10-15 at a single bank (and, while we were transitioning banks, double-ish that), which I guess would put our total pretty high at those times, but we’ve consolidated since that peak – and yes, those accounts are actually closed, not just left at 0 balance. :)

    • I could probably close: the checking and extra savings account at my old credit union. But I still have some outstanding checks on the account and it is the one account linked to TreasuryDirect which is a pain to change. I could also close the four Ally savings accounts since I’m no longer using them. But that still leaves 28 accounts with some purpose…

      Most of them don’t have much activity and I’m organized so it works fine really. That’s a good point on the Ally accounts. I’ll re-evaluate them after a year and maybe close down all but one of them for if I change my mind later to move my savings back there. That’s what I did when I switched from ING to Ally – I left the ING accounts open for about a year.

  3. Wow that’s a lot of accounts! Hopefully you have a system to track them all. Have you thought about simplify your accounts?

    • I do have a system to track them all. There are a fair number I can’t get rid of. The extra savings accounts are mostly for extra interest. Every once in a while I comb through my accounts and eliminate some that are unused.

  4. Let’s see: Checking, Savings, Vanguard taxable account, two Vanguard Roth IRAs and one IRA, one 401(k) and one 457 Plan, a DRIP plan with Coca-Cola, Lending Club, an old Fidelity account that literally contains one penny, two mortgages and one HELOC. And two student loans that are about to be paid off. So 16… or soon 15.

    We use all of those accounts except for the IRA, which is just my wife’s old job’s 401(k), and the one penny Fidelity account. I close all accounts if I’m not using them. We basically only interact with our credit union, Vanguard, and our work retirement plans. Last year I moved a stock brokerage account to Vanguard. I opened a checking account for some airlines miles once, then closed it 6 months later. I hate having open accounts hanging out there. I would close the DRIP plan, but it’s actually a cheaper way to buy shares than through Vanguard.

    • Closing unused accounts is one of the few organizational things I’m not on top of. “But I might use it again!” is my common excuse… This is sadly just my accounts. My boyfriend has his own quantity, which I would estimate about 12. His is pretty much the minimal number of accounts he can get away with. Actually he may a few accounts kicking around from some sign-up bonuses I suggested he do. (Clearly I’m the one with the problem.)

    • Two credit cards! I do mostly only use one. You probably have a reasonable number. My boyfriend is more minimalist than I am with his accounts and I estimate he has 12 he needs, which is still a pretty reasonable number.

  5. Holy crap, that’s a lot of accounts. ;-) I think my number is definitely under 10, including credit cards, 15 total including Mr ONL. Fun to see your list!

    • 15 total including Mr. ONL! Wow! You guys are good. I think my boyfriend has about 12-16 as well and he’s reasonably minimalist…

      • We’ll definitely have more in retirement, though, to help manage the budget… account for property tax, account for home maintenance, etc. :-)

        • Or maybe you guys would end up using something like YNAB? I’m actually not a huge fan of separate accounts for spending plans unless they’re huge (> $10,000 like my Master’s tuition), although I do have a separate account for charitable donations, but that’s based on a % of gross income.

  6. Wowww that’s a lot of accounts! I have 12 + credit cards. They are: (1-2) Wells Fargo checking/savings, (3-4) Amex Personal Savings Accounts, (5) Local credit union checking, (6-9) Vanguard SEP, Roth, and Brokerage, (10) 401k, (11) mortgage. At some point I’ll probably close my Wells Fargo accounts which would bring me down to 9. I have 11 CCs due to churning, but I plan to whittle that down to 3.

    • You’re pretty minimalist there! I had big bank checking/savings at some point, but I closed them down when they charged me a fee for opening up multiple checking accounts… Silly big banks and their fees.

    • You only have six?! My most necessary six are: (1) checking account, (2) work 401(k), (3) Roth IRA, (4) taxable investment account, (5) work brokerage account, and (6) general savings account. Is that all you have?

  7. Checking & Savings:
    1)Credit Union checking, half of $1000 emergency fund,
    2)Credit Union savings, half of $1000 emergency fund.
    3)HRA…empty …not really active
    5) main checking BOA,..used for mortgage and monthly main cc statements 6)FSA….going to get dental and eye glasses this year,
    7)2nd checking Wells Fargo… Wifes check, and 20% of my check.
    8) WF Savings….we try to put money aside every month.

    9)Capital One CC…second CC,
    10)Chase CC….We dont really use this CC, but its our only card in my wifes name. 11)Citi Flight. Main card for airmiles….thinking about ditching this card.
    12)Line of Credit Wells….balance is 0, but we still keep it around because its easy cash if we ever needed it. But it is expensive so it has not been used in 7 or 8 years.
    13)Amex….dont really use it, but have had it since the 90’s.
    14)Line of Credit…took out to do some house rehab, has been paid off.
    15)Wf credit card….we dont use it, but it came with the checking.
    16)another Citi account, my oldest account.

    Rental accounts:
    17)BBVA checking….use for our rentals
    18)BBVA saving…long term working capital for our rentals, we set aside 10% of every rent payment into this account
    19)BBVA credit Card….used for our rental properties.

    Investment Accounts
    20)wifes 401K, 21)My 401K,
    21-24) wife and I’s roth & ira accounts. (4 accounts total, one IRa and roth each).
    25) current house loan 2
    6)Duplex loan
    27)rental first loan
    28) rental 2nd loan
    29)401K loan (used to purchase our latest property.)
    30)non-retirement investment account….

    Sorry for the long reply, many of my accounts are due to our investment properties, loans, savings, checking, cc’s etc.

    • No worries on the long reply! It’s nice to hear from someone who shares my problem ;) Finances get complicated so easily and require so many accounts!

  8. Holy moly! I try to consolidate my accounts as much as possible. I only have 3 bank accounts all with the same bank. My Roth IRA, 401k, and brokerage account are all with Vanguard. I have a bunch of credit cards for the sign-on bonuses but only use ~2 at a time. I get anxiety when things are spread out too much :)

    • Heh that’s why I just don’t use a ton of them on a regular basis ;) I have email notifications set up for any transaction on any of my checking accounts and funnel all purchases through credit cards. And I pay the full balance of every credit card on the first of the month so pretty much all the expected checking account withdrawals are in the first few days of the month.

  9. My list would take some time to put together. I think I would put you to shame if including credit accounts, and possibly even without. I tend to purge accounts when they are no logner needed though, and sometimes just because I’m tired of micromanaging for the extra interest.

    • I was waiting for someone to say they also had a decent number. I’ll get it down to 6 open credit cards once I close the ones I’d churned and only 1-3 of those are actively used.

  10. Oh boy. How many do I have…..
    Bank accounts: 18 (but four of those are Ally savings accounts that should really be counted as one, as they’re not even active anymore)
    Investment accounts: 6
    Credit cards: 22
    Prepaid cards: 6 (Amex Serve + 4 subaccounts + Nationwide Buxx)
    529: 1

    I open bank accounts and credit cards for signup bonuses.

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