- Bargaineering - http://www.bargaineering.com/articles -

Don’t Forget the Big Picture

One of the things I learned whenever I drew up our financial network map [3] was that I had a lot of bank accounts, mostly high interest savings accounts [4] at online banks. FNBO Direct, Dollar Savings Direct, HSBC Direct, ING Direct, and E*Trade for starters and that was after we closed accounts at Emigrant Direct and Virtual Bank.

There are many reasons why I have so many bank accounts, and I’ll explain that some other time, but the point of this post is that it’s easy to forget the big picture whenever you’re dealing with the nitty gritty of daily affairs.

In the third episode of the Personal Finance Hour [5], JD shared a story about how he was fussing with hot chocolate packets to save a few cents on his drink. He started doing this when he was going all out on paying down his debt. The big picture goal was to eradicate his credit card debt and his ends justified the means. After the debt was paid off, he continued to scrimp and save pennies and lost focus on the big picture. It made sense to scrimp when he was on this quest, it made less sense now that he was done.

The same thing happened to me with all these bank accounts. It’s very important to save and it’s very important to get a good interest rate, but it’s less important to spend too much time on getting the best interest rate possible.

Do I need all those accounts? No.

Should I always open an account at the latest bank to offer a nice rate? No.

Does it hurt me to open these accounts? Not really, except my time may have been better served doing something else.

The next time you are working on minutiae, take a step back and see if it’s fulfilling your big picture goals [6].

(Photo: denverjeffrey [7])