At least one financial expert says that the names we give our financial accounts can make a huge difference in our relationship with money. If you rename your financial accounts she argues it won’t change the reality of your finances but it can change your attitude about them. And a change in attitude will ultimately make a big difference in everything.
You will need software
Of course, you can’t call your bank and ask it to change that long number that identifies your account to something like Harry’s Special Household Account. You will need to get personal financial software such as Quicken, You Need A Budget or Ace Money in order to change the names of your accounts. You won’t need to rename all of them. What you will need to do is go over your chart of accounts to see if there are some where you have a troubled relationship. If so, then changing their names could help change your attitude about them.
The power of a name
For the sake of an example, let’s suppose you have two checking accounts, a savings account, three credit cards, a mortgage, a personal line of credit and a home equity line of credit. You could consider renaming one of those checking accounts to something that would remind you why you have it. If it’s a joint account and you use it to pay household expenses why not rename it to something fun like “Bob and Tammy’s Domestic Bliss Account”. Every time you write checks on that account its name would remind you of why you have it.
If you hate making payments on your mortgage you might rename the account, you use to make your payments “20 Years to Mortgage Freedom”. That way, instead of thinking of the payment as a drain on your finances, you could think of it as another step towards having it paid off.
Why did you take out that home equity line of credit? It was probably for a good cause. So why not rename that account to something that would remind you of why you borrowed the money. For example, one person renamed his homeowner equity line of credit to “Our Lifesaving Medical Miracle.” So now instead of thinking of the loan as something he struggles to pay off, its name reminds him that the money was used to pay for a life-saving operation his son needed.
Do you have a traditional or Roth IRA? You might find it easier to put money into it if you were to rename it to “Our Retirement Beach Home” or ” Palm Springs Retirement”. That alone could take the sting out of putting money into the account by reminding you that each time you make a deposit, you’re getting just that much closer to realizing your goal.
Once you’ve identified those accounts where you believe a name change would be a good idea here are some guidelines for changing their names.
- Try to be creative
- Choose a name that has meaning to you
- Take a name that will force you to view the account from a different perspective
A name really does matter
In the play Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare has Juliet say, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” But when it comes to financial accounts we take the opposing view that names can make a big difference in our relationship with money. A retirement account named “Palm Springs Here We Come” would be a lot easier for most people to fund than just a plain vanilla “Roth IRA”. A fun, creative name like this would not only remind you of why you’re saving money but that each month you’re getting that much closer to achieving your goal.
A painless way to save money
Some people – and you may be one of them – like want to have a “fun” savings account or one where you save money for something extra such as a weekend getaway, a special night on the town or tickets to a sports event. The problem is how to fund it, what with all of your other financial obligations. Fortunately, there is a painless way to do this. It’s the app Digit. It can make saving money for fun stuff practically painless and here’s how. Every few days the app checks your spending habits and then if you can afford it Digit removes a few dollars from your checking account and transfers it to your Digit account. It’s easy to withdraw money from a Digit account whenever you like and there are no fees.