Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Account creep

I think I have a relatively straightforward financial life: no investment accounts, no real estate, just the basics. But eeek. I sat down today to update my bookmarks for my financial sites .... and the total is impressive. A checking account, a 401k, two credit cards, my student loan account, my HSA, and, now, my sharesaver thing. Plus the site I use to manage my pretax monthly subway card purchase funds. That's not counting sites for the other credit card which I never use, my closed 401k (I rolled it over to my new one last year), my closed FSA, my PayPal account, or on which I pay recurring bills, like Verizon's.

This space seems to be screaming out for a mashup -- something that will let you access all your accounts from one interface. But, alas, security restrictions mean no financial services company is exactly rushing to open APIs and let developers plunge in. (Ok, I grudgingly concede that's sensible.) Still, it seems like there must be a more sensible way to keep tabs on the profusion of financial sites. How on earth did people manage years ago and not simply lose track of accounts?