6 Questions to Financially Get to Know Each Other

This topic has been blatantly stolen from Budgets are Sexy.

1) How do you spend: cash, debit or credit? I use cash almost exclusively.  I live in Minnesota and have two small children, so bundling the brats up to go inside the gas station to pay is nuts.  Gas stations get the debit card.   Online shopping, or automatic payments set up in the payee’s system are done on a credit card that gets paid off every month.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="196" caption=" "] [/caption]2) Do you bank online? How about use a financial aggregator (Mint, Wesabe, Yodlee, etc.)?  I bank online.  I use USBank for my daily cash flow, INGDirect for savings management and Wells Fargo for business.  I used Mint strictly as a net worth calculator and alerting system.  I use Quicken to manage my money and a spreadsheet for my budget, but I really like the quick, hands-off way that Mint gathers my account information and emails low balance alerts.

3) What recurring bills do you have set on autopay? Absolutely everything except daycare, 2 annual payments, and 1 quarterly payment.

4) How are your finances automated? I use USBank’s billpay system, instead of setting up autopayments at every possible payee.   This gives me instant total control and reminders before each payment.   The exceptions are  my mortgage, netflix, and Dish.  My mortgage company takes the money automatically from my checking.  The other two hit a credit card automatically.  Our paychecks are direct-deposited and automatically transferred to the different accounts and banks, as necessary.

5) Do you write checks? If so, how often? Once per week, for daycare.  Occasionally for school fundraisers.

6) Where do you stash your short-term savings? I have quite a few savings accounts with INGDirect to meet all of my savings goals.  For the truly short term, I add a line item in Quicken and just leave the money in my checking account.

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  • 3 comments

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    1. 1) How do you spend: cash, debit or credit?
      We use credit almost exclusively, but we don’t ever carry a balance (never…not once in the 9 years I’ve had a card or the 8 1/2 years we’ve been together). We usually get about $250-$350 of cash back rewards a year this way. We live in Texas and have no kids.

      2) Do you bank online? How about use a financial aggregator (Mint, Wesabe, Yodlee, etc.)? We bank online. We use Chase for our daily cash flow (don’t like it as much as we liked WAMU) and INGDirect for all other accounts. We even have an INGDirect Checking Account I use for as much of the monthly stuff as possible (like paying off the credit cards). I use an Excel sheet to keep up with our budget and to track absolutely every expense.

      3) What recurring bills do you have set on autopay? Absolutely everything except our maid and lawn service dude…I write them actual checks. Yes, we splurge, but they are two of our few luxury expenses ($45 biweekly for our maid and $25 biweekly 8 months a year for our lawn dude…he weeds too).

      4) How are your finances automated? Almost all bills are automatically charged to our Discover so I can get the cash back. Fot the two (water and mortgage) that don’t take Discover or charge an extra fee, we use automatic debits from Chase. Our car payment is automatically debited from ING Checking.

      5) Do you write checks? If so, how often? Twice biweekly for the maid and lawn guy. I also write one once in a while for my husband’s school so he can eat in the cafeteria (he’s a teacher).

      6) Where do you stash your short-term savings? We too have quite a few savings accounts with INGDirect to meet all of our savings goals…Emergency Fund, Graduate School Fund, Taxes and Insurance, Roth IRA and Stocks, Auto and Home, and Vacation Account.

    2. Geez, for $90/month, I’d be splurging on a maid, too. I don’t think they come that cheap around here.

    3. They aren’t usually that cheap in Houston either…$60 is the norm for the area she cleans. We have worked out a deal that she only cleans the whole bottom floor and the stairs for $45 every two weeks (the only place guests see). Twice a year she does the whole house (3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms upstairs as well) for $80. That way she can deep clean all the things I miss on a regular basis. We love her!

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