Personal Banking Untangled: Why I Switched to One Checking Account

3 minute read

Stephen Morris can knock down a building with a domino the size of a microchip. Want to know how? He uses the power of momentum and compounding to build an incredible force.  As I write this blog, I’m experiencing a new wave of momentum in my financial life. It hasn’t come from closing a big sale, going viral, or winning the lottery. It has come from the simple act of reducing the number of bank accounts I have to one.

They say less is more, but to get past the cliche of this statement, you have to identify your “more” so that you can make it “less.” For me, it was banking, which is why I poured all five of my additional savings accounts into my checking account. Don’t tell the hackers. While I get slightly less interest in my checking alone, here are three compelling benefits I’ve discovered from seeing and managing all my money in one place.

1. Reduces Chaos

I don’t know about you, but my life is full of ideal schedules and well-rested toddlers. Everything goes incredibly smooth. And then I wake up, quit dreaming, and get to living the average, hectic life that comes with an 8-5, side hustle, family logistics, and the countless other forces of nature that threaten to pull my attention in 1,000 directions.

Stack managing five different accounts on top of that for a vacation, car repairs, and medical expenses, and it’s one more reason to procrastinate balancing the budget. Moving to one checking account has brought unexpected levels of clarity, not only to the personal banking but my life in general.

2. Improves Focus

If there’s one thing I’m bad at, it’s keeping myself from being distracted. I allow emails, phone calls, and to-do lists to dictate how I spend my time. I was shocked to feel as much relief as I currently do from only managing one bank account.

The peace of mind has found its way into other areas of my life. I’m now more motivated to delete time-wasting apps on my phone, clear junk out of the garage, and spend more meaningful time with my family.

3. Saves Time

Four months ago, a typical budget grind session would have me bouncing all over my computer, clicking frantically to make sure all my accounts were up to date in the budget app. This produced a sort of “cognitive backlog” that would literally leave me feeling fuzzy after finishing.  I would take 30 minutes to unwind, and then try to re-engage with what was going on at home.

Now, once a week I just open YNAB on my phone, balance my budget, and call it a win.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

I will say that if you’re struggling to budget and stick to your financial goals, moving some of your money to a savings account where you can’t accidentally spend it might be a good idea. If consolidating to one checking account isn’t for you, I’m willing to bet you can identify one or two tweaks that will help you simplify your financial picture.

If Stephen Morris can knock down a building with a microchip, you officially have permission to start small. Simplifying even one aspect of your financial world will build momentum. So what’s your first domino?

We’d love to hear from you on the community page at Money Untangled Facebook. Let us know how and when you pushed that first domino over.


About Daniel Browne

Daniel is a writer, speaker, and financial planner. He's currently pursuing his Certified Financial Planner designation and has a passion for helping anyone seeking financial freedom. Daniel is married to Abby and they have two children, Gia and Henry.


  1. Christina on February 11, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    Super helpful. We currently have 2 checking accounts and 5 savings accounts, thinking this would make it easier, but I feel the light bulb coming on after having that same brain drain feeling and feeling like everything gets so confused transferring money back and forth and then keeping track of what goes where. Great post, I’m thinking this would help me a ton.

    • Daniel Browne on February 11, 2018 at 9:23 pm

      Glad to hear it is helpful! You’ll hear me talk a lot about YNAB, and that whole system is what convinced me to go this route.

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