Lessons learned the hard way = costing us money. That's the past couple of weeks with bank accounts, and it's mostly because we relocated, but it goes deeper than that. We have at least one or two too many bank accounts. Maybe more, but they all serve a purpose. The problem is that some serve only one purpose, and those have cost us recently.

Lisa and I have a shared checking in WI. And in KS. The Wisconsin account is tied to credit card autopay, life insurance autopay, and student loan autopay. The KS account is so that we can cash Lisa's check from work--yes they still issue actual checks. It's tied to house and utilities autopay in KS. Makes sense so far. I also have an account for my business. And an account with my mortgage company for my other house--that's right, two mortgages. The problem with the WI mortgage account is that it's tied to a checking account we set up when we got the mortgage, but it needs direct deposit or a running balance of $1500 in order to stay free. So it has not been free three of the last five months, since we no longer get direct deposit to that account since we moved.

Then the WI checking account locked us out, so we were not able to cash checks there. Not a huge problem, since my online business account is tied to it. But after the checks cleared, I forgot to send the money to WI, meaning when the credit card autopay came through, I got nailed with an insufficient funds charge on the credit card, and then an interest payment on purchases. And probably a bounced check charge from the bank. With money sitting in my online account. But I'd just transferred $1000 out of the WI account to put in the other online checking in order to avoid the service charge of $12 for another month.

In the end, the money I've made each year by having the checking account tied to the mortgage (the bank gives 1% back) has barely paid the stupid service fees, so it might be time to just close that checking account, especially if we have to have $1500 above the mortgage tied into it for no reason each month. And if I can get the WI checking autopays to come from the online account or KS account, we can finally get rid of that account, since we've gotten lots of stupid charges over the years with that bank. All told, my bills for having too many bank accounts will be more than $150 since the move.

I know, a lot of people pay interest on credit cards and have bank accounts with fees. But a lot of people make a lot more money than we do, so they can afford to be a bit more generous to the banks. Several of the bank accounts I've opened over the years were in order to get the bonus cash for having the account, but it's finally come back to bite me a bit. Yes, I had time to get this all in better order, and I had the money to pay the bills, but it's just frustrating that technology made it difficult to get those bills paid on time. It's supposed to be easier to go paperless and technobased.

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