Money Management: The Amateur Financier

by Jason Unger

Welcome to week 6 of Money Management by Personal Finance Bloggers! First up, we chatted with Roger of The Amateur Financier.

Previous interviews: Poorer Than You, 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?
Mostly credit, for the same reason most other people have given: reward money! I do use cash regularly for smaller purchases though, as when I go out to eat at a fast food place.

Do you bank online? How about use a financial aggregator (Mint, Wesabe, Yodlee, etc.)?
I do bank online; with the exception of keeping a single off-line bank account so I can withdraw cash or write checks as the need arises, I do all of my money management online. I have tried to use Mint in the past, but it seems easier (and safer) to just keep track of my finances independently.

What recurring bills do you have set on autopay?
Several of them, including health insurance (at least, until my policy with my new company kicks in) and my credit card bills. I still use checks to pay for some of them, though.

How are your finances automated?
My paycheck is direct deposited, a series of automated transfers moves the money where it is needed, and most of my creditors automatically withdraw the needed fees. If I could build a robot to cover my shifts for me, I might be able to get my entire financial life running on atuo-pilot.

Do you write checks? If so, how often?
About once or twice each week, including a monthly rent check as well as a weekly check to my church for my contribution. Also, an occasional check for places that won’t accept my credit cards or as a gift to family or friends.

Where do you stash your short-term savings?
I have a few online bank accounts specifically devoted to savings, including my most prominent one with SmartyPig. I used to keep some extra funds in my money market fund with Vanguard, but the interest rates as of late have barely been above zero, so I’ve been neglecting that place for my savings.

Want to find out more about The Amateur Financier? Check him out at, follow him on Twitter @amateurfinance and subscribe to his RSS feed.

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