If you read PF blogs, you have probably heard talk as of late about the newly rebranded Ally Bank (formerly GMAC). The reviews seem positive, but what really grabs attention are their rates. I believe they’ve got the highest interest rates around right now, and I’m finding it very tempting to open up an account and see what it’s all about.
I’m trying to control those urges, however. I always said that I wouldn’t chase rates. I started out with an account at ING Direct, and while it remains my main banking institution, I have also opened accounts at HSBC Direct and FNBO Direct. I opened the HSBC account to try it out, and decided to check out FNBO when I was hunting down good CD rates. I’m probably going to move more of my long term savings over to one of those two banks, but I haven’t decided which one yet.
As I update my monthly net worth, I sometimes find myself wondering if perhaps I have too many accounts. I have accounts at those three banks (and numerous sub-accounts at ING, though I very much like that feature) as well as one at a local brick and mortar bank. For the most part, there aren’t any transactions on the other accounts, just continually growing savings, but I don’t want to spread myself too thin. Unless I was socking away some huge amounts of cash, I don’t know that it would be worth it to constantly move money just to get that extra .25%. Sometimes, simplicity is the best way to go.
That said, I’ve got an ING CD due next month, and I will defintely be scoping out rates and potentially moving money to another account, but not opening a new account. I think three online accounts is more than enough.
Do you rate chase?
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.