Money Management: Poorer Than You

by Jason Unger

With our second interview of week 5 of Money Management by Personal Finance Bloggers, we’re talking to Stephanie of Poorer Than You.

Previous interviews: Budgets are $exy, Blunt Money, Mighty Bargain Hunter, Financial Freak Show, PT Money, Moolanomy, No Debt Plan, ToughMoneyLove and Gen X Finance.

How do you spend: cash, debit or credit?
I use my credit card for nearly everything I can. I pay off the balance completely a few days before the bill is due. It earns me some nice reward point.

Do you bank online? How about use a financial aggregator (Mint, Wesabe, Yodlee, etc.)?
Yes and yes. I do all of my banking online – I only go near a bank or ATM when I need to deposit physical checks. I used to use Yodlee via Bank of America’s “My Portfolio,” but a few of my banks stopped working with it. Now I use Mint, which works… after 8pm. (ING Direct blocks Mint between the hours of 8am and 8pm.)

What recurring bills do you have set on autopay?
I only have savings on autopay, and I hate it. I spend all month waiting for that automatic transfer to go through – it drives me nuts. I’d rather transfer money around as soon as its available in my account. I’m way too Type A, I need to feel hands-on with my money.

How are your finances automated?
With the exception of a few of my savings transactions, they’re not.

Do you write checks? If so, how often?
I wrote a check a few months ago for the first time in years, it felt kinda weird. I do send checks about once a month or so via ING Direct’s Electric Orange account, which allows me to send both electronic and paper checks from my computer. It’s kinda like writing a check, except ING Direct mails it for me and I don’t have to pay for a stamp or hunt down an envelope.

Where do you stash your short-term savings?
I have savings accounts at five different online banks, but the majority of my short-term savings is either at ING Direct or E*TRADE Bank. I’m not a big fan of CDs, but I have started using SmartyPig, which is somewhere in the middle between a savings account and a CD. I like it quite a bit, and will be migrating several of my savings goals to it over time.

Want to find out more about Stephanie? Check her out at http://www., follow her on Twitter @stephonee and subscribe to her RSS feed.

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