Resources

I thought it would make sense to tell you a little more about how I structure my finances.  I’m not saying that this is the way you should do it, but it works for me.  Hope this helps!

Banking

Bank of America

I have a checking and savings account with Bank of America.  My checking account acts as the “hub” for all my transactions.  For example, my paycheck is deposited here and then quickly transferred out to my other savings account (which I’ll explain below).  I typically keep the balance here around $10k as an “emergency fund” because I don’t have immediate cash access through an ATM with my other account, which is by design.  My savings account is rarely used and I keep it right at the minimum level so I don’t have to pay any fees.

Ally Bank

My main savings account is with Ally.  I chose Ally for a few reasons and one of the main deciding factors was their competitive interest rates (1.00% APY).  They have a nifty calculator that breaks this down even further.  With an initial deposit of $25,000, you can expect $251.25 after the first 12-months.  When my paycheck hits my BoA account, I estimate how much I’ll need to pay off my credit cards, insurance, rent (or mortgage), and any other expenses, take the difference between $10k and what’s left, and throw it on over to Ally.  They also have an app that allows you to deposit checks right into the account.  I make it a personal goal to only move money into this account, not out.

Credit Cards

Citi Forward

To be honest, I’m not even sure that this card still exists on their website.  It was the first credit card I signed up for when I was around 18 years old and have kept it open ever since.  I typically only use this one for monthly reoccurring expenses, such as my phone bill and Netflix.  They offer points that you can redeem within their online store.  I believe I received some promotional points when I spent a certain amount within the first 3 months of opening the account.  I used them to buy two $100 gift cards to the Sunglass Hut and bought myself some fancy Ray Ban sunglasses.

Amazon Prime Rewards Card

This is the second credit card I added to my wallet.  I opened this one up because I was on Amazon one day and saw that they were offering a sign up bonus and it would take $100 off my purchase (it’s $50 now, I believe).  At the time, you’d receive 3% cash back on any Amazon purchases.  It recently changed to 5% if you have an Amazon Prime subscription.  I’d check out NerdWallet’s review to see if it’d make sense for you.  This card is mainly synced up to my Amazon account and I have a few reoccurring expenses on this one as well.

Capital One Venture Rewards Card

I picked this one up in 2014 or so and it’s my primary card.  Since I pay off my full credit card balance each month, I use this one all the time.  The way I see it, if you can pay off your full balance every month, use a credit card, not a debit card because the points add up very quickly.  This card gives you 2 miles for each $1 spent (doesn’t fluctuate based on where you spend).  Then, when it comes time to redeem your miles on travel purchases, it’s $.01 per mile.  The sign up bonus isn’t bad either; 40,000 miles if you spend over $3,000 within your first 3-months.  That comes out to $400 if you redeem on travel expenses.  Not too shabby!  It actually paid for me and my wife’s round trip airfare to Denver to visit our relatives.

Investments

Robinhood

I was browsing the app store on my phone and came across Robinhood a year ago.  Basically, it’s a stock trading app.  Since they don’t have an online or downloadable desktop application, everything is done through your phone app.  That being the case, there are some limitations on what you can do (ex. short selling).  I keep my balance in here relatively low and use it mostly for fun.  I highly recommend doing a lot of research before putting money in the market; it’s very easy to blow up your account if you don’t know what you’re doing.  There are many other brokers out there that offer better features if you’d like to get more involved with stock trading.

Betterment

Betterment is an online investing platform that uses technology to automatically invest your money in the market based upon your desired risk level.  I recently funded an account with them so there’s not a whole lot I can speak about.  I hope to update this after a few months of using their service, stay tuned!