I opened my first bank account when I was 18 years old. Back then people still wrote checks. I had a couple of "accidents" those first couple months where I forgot that the check was actually tied to an account with real money as opposed to being a magical paper that produced money from a money tree somewhere.
It didn't take me long to understand that I had to keep track of my spending, or I'd be in a world of trouble.
Since opening that very first account, I never switched banks. It went from First Union to Wachovia to Wells Fargo, and with every change, and even every mistake they made, I stuck with them. For some reason I tend to have weird loyalties to companies, even the ones that have ticked me off (i.e. why I've only every had Sprint Cell service).
Before I got married, or engaged for that matter, when we would have our "what if" conversations, we both agreed on joint accounts and a complete co-mingling of money. I never understand why people are afraid to mix money in a marriage but they weren't afraid to promise forever, or why they would marry someone they don't even trust with money.
After we got engaged it was the perfect opportunity for us to start looking at what we were getting out of our current banks by way of incentives, customer service, etc. We compared the services with other banks and finally made the hard decision (hard for me; he just wanted us to do what made sense) that we would go with a new bank and close our other accounts.
The week before we got married, we went into the new bank and got everything set up, so that things would be seamless after the I-do's.
Well, the new bank set up was easy, but closing my other account was not as much. I had to contact a thousand companies to give them my new information and stop direct deposit into the almost defunct account. It sounds easy, but it wasn't. It took almost 3 pay periods before my job got it right with the direct deposit; I forgot about 4 companies (netflix, bestbuy cellphone insurance, home warranty, and security system) so for the first time since I was about 19 I was faced with some overdrafts, and the stupid fees and embarrassment that come along with them.
I was so paranoid that I would forget something else, that I just started keeping money over there until I felt like enough time had passed that everything was handled.
Finally, yesterday I got that feeling - that everything was in order. So, I marched into the bank and closed my very first bank account, my very first savings account, and Amy daughter's very first checking and savings accounts. I know this may sound crazy, but I kinda felt like I was breaking up with someone. Albeit someone who wasn't treating me like we had 16 years invested, but still...break ups are weird.
So even though we all switched to our new bank months ago, it finally feels done. I'm glad we took a long hard look at what works for us and decided to move on from our old banks.
Another marriage step under my belt!
~ Blissfully Yours