The Declutter Diaries: Consolidating Financial Accounts

I’ve been decluttering for years now, since right before I quit my 8-year banking job and decided to take a big leap and change my life in a huge but positive way. I find myself in the cycle of decluttering again, giving it more of a focus since I feel a little overwhelmed with so many things, and clearing out excess stuff helps give me clarity and motivation again.

So one of the things I never fully addressed during my 4 years of decluttering was the financial accounts that I had open. When I had my quarterly update with my account last week, he raised a point I knew too well – that it took more time to reconcile my accounts because I had so many open (personal and business) and I needed to archive those that were no longer in use.

Here is the plan:

  1. Consolidate 2 superannuation accounts into one new self-managed super fund
  2. Close 1 business and 1 personal transaction bank accounts to have just 2 left – the Commbank Smart Access account because it’s just easy to use and the Citibank Plus account which lets me withdraw from Citibank ATMs all over the world for free
  3. Close 2 savings accounts (Citibank Linked Savings and Citibank Online Saver) because I have my CommBank account for emergency easy-to-access savings and a RaboDirect for my actual savings, which is harder to access (and is the whole point of having a savings account so I’m not tempted to touch the money in it). I might even be a bit overkill with the CommBank savings account but for now, I will keep it open
  4. Close all but 1 credit card, the Citibank Signature which is brilliant for rewards. I use the reward points mostly for Coles gift cards. I am thinking about upgrading to the Citibank Prestige card but the $700 annual fee seems like a rip-off
  5. (Optional) Consolidate credit debts into one credit card or personal loan. The downside is getting a mark on my credit report once I submit a loan application, which I don’t want to do for a while.

It seems simple enough, and I’m not sure why I hadn’t done it sooner. I could have a separate business credit card to make splitting things easier but for now, the reward points are all I care about. I’ll have to look into applying for a separate business card that gives me reward points once all the other cards are closed. I’m not about to open a new one when I have others to close first.

The first 3 items have already been ticked off the list; my focus is on paying down credit card debt but still maintaining a sizeable savings account.

It’ll be a huge relief to then start archiving accounts in Xero and be able to track my spending more closely through the Pocketbook app. When tax time comes round, it’ll be easier, though I still have to split out my business expenses on my credit card for now.

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