A strong savings account protects your money and generates interest, allowing your amount to increase over time. Many consumers believe that they simply require one savings account to suit their needs, but this is not necessarily true. Having several accounts – at the same or other institutions — can help you manage different savings goals, and there’s no danger in doing so because it has no effect on your credit. But you may wonder that “How many bank accounts should i have?”. This article will show you the answer. Let’s start!
Why Do You Need More Than One Bank Account?
Find The Highest Yields
Savings yields have increased significantly as the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates to combat inflation over the last year. The top savings accounts (many of them are online accounts) provide an annual percentage yield (APY) of more than 4%.
Having many accounts open with various banks is one approach to make it simpler to obtain the most interest. Accounts in that portfolio could include not only large, conventional banks but also higher-paying banks on the Internet. The money in the accounts may be transferred proportionately as interest rates change to receive the best yield on the highest sum. Having several accounts as a short-term investment plan might assist you build up your funds faster.
It’s also beneficial to have short-term funds in a high-yielding account, whereas long-term assets, like a retirement fund, may be held in a CD or IRA account that doesn’t produce as much interest.
Avoid Effects Of Bank Technical Issues
It’s helpful to have another option in case there’s an issue with your card or your online account. You can access money when there is a technical failure at your bank or your card is halted for possible fraud. Banks have seen some remarkable system failures, preventing consumers from accessing their funds for days or even weeks. For instance, up to 1.9 million clients ended up locked out of their bank accounts for a few days when TSB switched to a new IT platform in April 2018, while some consumers experienced issues for more than a month.
Increase Spending Awareness
It’s simple to sense the temptation of using money when you only have one account for savings with a large sum of money in it. Having all of your money in one location also makes spending simpler because it just takes one bank transfer to move money from a savings account to a checking account.
Your savings amount won’t look like one enormous number when it is spread among several accounts, and you will be able to better determine which funds are restricted from being spent. This may help you see your priorities for spending and saving more clearly.
Additionally, having many accounts increases obstacles to spending money, particularly if those accounts are at various institutions. Prior to using the funds, you must transfer them to a checking account, which could take several days if done across several institutions. It may be easier to resist the urge to squander your savings by taking these extra steps.
Utilize Any Available Rewards
Offering bonuses for clients who create new accounts is a frequent approach used by banks to attract new customers.
To get a bonus from a savings account, for instance, you must usually open an account and have a particular amount for a set length of time. These bonuses can be valued at dozens of dollars, so seek them if you possess enough money set aside.
Opening savings accounts at various institutions allows you to receive more than one of those bonuses, which you can put toward your savings objectives.
If you save some of your earnings in an employer-sponsored 401(k), you may be eligible for additional savings via employer matching. Employers often match 2 to 6% of what you make in retirement fund contributions.
Simply read the tiny print to determine if you qualify for a bank incentive. Bonuses are frequently only available to new bank clients, so if you currently hold a checking account with the bank, you are unlikely to be eligible.
Try One Of The Challenger Banks
Challenger banks are competing with traditional banks by providing enhanced services such as after-hours banking and free ATM withdrawals abroad. A few, like the well-known Monzo and Starling, are entirely app-based and provide tools to help you manage your spending, divide expenses with other people, and set up multiple savings and spending pots for better budgeting.
Make Your Money Insured
Insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) is one of the factors that contribute to a savings account being one of the finest places to keep extra cash. At covered banks, the FDIC provides up to $250,000 in insurance per depositor and account form.
If you’ve got more than $250,000 in bank accounts, any funds in excess of that amount may be in danger if your bank collapses. However, because every bank has a distinct insurance limit, spreading your money between savings accounts at several institutions ensures that extra deposits are kept safe.
For example, if you possess $300,000 in a savings account at a single bank, $50,000 is not covered. Instead, if you deposit $150,000 in two distinct banks’ savings accounts, your whole sum will be guaranteed.
You could also maintain extra deposits in accounts that have various ownership classifications. Separate from single-user accounts, jointly owned accounts are covered for an additional $250,000 per owner.
Lastly, you might diversify your savings among banks and credit unions. Credit union savings accounts are covered by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to the same limitations as bank savings accounts. Credit unions are member-owned institutions that frequently offer minimal fees and competitive rates.
How Many Bank Accounts Should I Have?
When it comes to managing your finances, the number of bank accounts you have can significantly impact your organization, budgeting, and convenience. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, understanding the factors involved can help you decide what works best for you.
The number of bank accounts you should possess can be determined by who you are and what your daily life is like. Overall, having between three and five bank accounts can assist you manage your money better.
Assess your financial goals and priorities first. Separate accounts for specific purposes, like emergencies or savings goals, can help track progress effectively. Budgeting benefits from multiple accounts as well, allowing you to allocate funds for different expenses and avoid mixing funds.
For example, if you are married, you and your partner may have a joint checking and savings account together. You and the other person might choose to maintain separate checking and savings accounts. This equates to four accounts for each individual. Separate accounts are devoted to your individual savings and payments, while joint accounts might be used for costs, emergencies, and savings objectives.
If it’s just you, three or four might be enough. It’s advisable to have a minimum of one bank account designated to an emergency fund, another savings account for future significant purchases, and a checking account for daily spending.
Consider convenience too. If you have a business or freelance income, a separate account for transactions can simplify tracking expenses and managing taxes. Multiple accounts can also provide added security by distributing funds, reducing the risk of losing everything in case of fraud.
Balance is key. Multiple accounts require more effort to manage, with monitoring balances, fees, and transactions. Technological advancements have made it easier, with online banking platforms and mobile apps offering comprehensive overviews.
The optimal number of bank accounts varies. Some find two or three sufficient, while others may benefit from specialized accounts. Start with a basic setup and adjust as needed.
How Many Savings Accounts Do You Need?
You need at least 2 savings accounts: one for emergencies and one for large purchases. The emergency fund you have should be large enough to cover between three and six months of living expenditures. Your additional savings account is where you deposit funds to cover certain future purchases. These can include items such as a pleasant vacation or a deposit on a vehicle.
Three savings accounts are recommended by some experts. In this case, you would have an emergency fund as well as one account for saving for the future and one for short-term savings. The long-term savings plan is used to cover expenses such as having a kid or paying for a down payment and closing expenses on a house. The short-term savings are for lesser expenses that you will cover within the year, such as holiday gifts or automobile registration.
Find The Best Bank Account For Your Financial Situation
Checking accounts provide a secure location to deposit and withdraw funds, but choosing among the numerous options available can be difficult.
Online banks, traditional banks, and credit unions all provide checking accounts with a variety of services. Checking accounts may offer higher-than-average interest rates, no periodic upkeep fees, reimbursement for ATM fees, and/or other perks.
All of these benefits can help you make the most of your money, but choosing the proper account for you requires some research. Compare various accounts and narrow down your best choices. Follow the principles provided below to select the best checking account.
Look For Banks With Minimal Or No Fees
There’s no reason to continue with a bank that charges unnecessary fees when many others do.
Online banks are well-known for charging low costs. Since they have fewer (if any) branches, they have reduced operational costs and so do not charge as many fees as traditional banks. There are also ATMs that charge free fees for some online bank cardholders.
Keep an eye out for monthly charges, ATM fees, and overdraft costs. According to Bankrate, the average overdraft cost is $29.80. Even enrolling in an overdraft protection program (in which the bank pays an unaffordable purchase) might be costly.
Many banks, even large ones like Citibank and Bank of America, have taken steps to remove or minimize overdraft costs. Evaluate whether the banks you are comparing have capitalized on this trend by implementing more liberal overdraft policies.
Take the following measures to avoid costs once you’ve identified the appropriate account for your demands:
- Connect your checking account with a different one at your banking company so that the bank can take funds from the other account to pay a transaction when you overdraw the balance on your checking account. The cost of this service could be charged, but it’s usually less than an overdraft fee.
- Utilize the website or app of your bank or credit union for signing up for low-balance alerts. You will receive these notifications, which could also include text messages if your account is in danger of being overdrawn.
- If there is a per-month upkeep fee, look into ways to avoid paying it. Banks frequently demand a minimum daily balance or prearranged direct deposits in order to forgo the cost.
Choose One With A Low Balance Requirement
Many checking accounts have minimum balance requirements that must be met in order to avoid fees. You could be charged a monthly maintenance fee of up to $15 if you don’t maintain the required balance.
Customers who don’t satisfy one of these three conditions are charged a $12 monthly service fee for the Chase Total Checking® account:
- Monthly direct transfers of $500 or more
- Each day’s opening balance must be at least $1,500.
- Between this account and the eligible Chase bank and savings accounts that are connected, an average opening balance of $5,000 or more every day.
Check that you fulfill any minimum balance criteria to avoid paying a fee if you establish an account that imposes monthly service fees. If not, choose a checking account that does not charge monthly service fees and does not ask you to keep a specific amount.
Think About The Convenience Of A Nearby Location
Another important issue in banking is accessibility.
According to Paul McAdam, the senior vice president of regional banking at J.D. Power, ATM location simplicity, branch location simplicity, and the accessibility of mobile and internet banking are all essential concerns.
What conveniences you value may differ based on your background. Clients who are accustomed to performing the majority of their chores online may prioritize digital banking tools over the convenience of branch locations. For people who are more acclimated to branch banking, the opposite might be true.
Nevertheless, as reported by J.D. Power, 78 percent of clients claim they opened their most current account or service in person in a branch, demonstrating the continued importance of branches in the lives of most customers. Additionally, according to its research, the most frequent justification given by customers for selecting their major financial institutions was the availability of branch offices in handy places.
So, even if you intend to conduct practically all of your business online, a bank with some branch locations might be a good choice.
Check For Mobile App Features
Choosing the best checking account is about more than simply money. You should also evaluate the mobile features available. Mobile check deposit and connection with peer-to-peer payment applications are desirable. You should also examine whether you can “lock” or “freeze” your card to prevent others from using it.
Checking out comments on the app store is another approach to see if the software is easy to use. Top-rated apps have ratings close to 5/5 stars and positive consumer feedback.
Consider Credit Unions
Many customers are familiar with the largest banks, but credit unions should also be considered.
Credit unions are non-profit, member-owned organizations. Members often see profits returned to them in the form of decreased fees, greater rates of savings, and cheaper borrowing rates.
It is no longer as challenging to join a credit union as it formerly was. Numerous are available around the country, and many enable you to become eligible for membership just by joining a group or making a charity donation.
Select a bank that promotes your lifestyle
The bank you select should meet your requirements. If you’re self-employed, for instance, you’ll need a bank that can help you build your business.
If you want to save more money, seek a bank that has tools that can assist you achieve your goals, such as:
- Savings accounts with high yields.
- A wide range of CD terminology, allows you to pick a term for your individual aims or construct a CD ladder.
- The ability to set up and name personal savings accounts. For instance, you could create a savings account for unexpected expenses, a travel fund, and a present fund.
- Features for tracking expenses. Many banks’ mobile applications and websites have budgeting features that make it simple to manage your costs and understand where the money you have is going.
Recognize The Terms And Conditions
Significant details concerning a bank account can normally be found in the account agreement, which might not be visible on the account’s home page but is usually available elsewhere on the website of the bank. Examining the disclosure might help you avoid missing any hidden fees.
If there are any monthly service charges, the account agreement will include information on how to waive them. If there are out-of-network ATM fees, the fee disclosure may include whether the bank provides refunds.
Check to see if your savings are federally guaranteed by the National Credit Union Administration or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (in the event that your bank closes).
Also, while you compare products, keep an eye out for promotional prices that are about to expire. Some banks may provide enticing teaser rates that subsequently fall to considerably lower rates.
Review The Banks You’re Thinking About Using
After you’ve begun comparing a few banks, reading expert evaluations about them can help you understand what to expect from the bank, like its client service and goods. Feedback from clients can also be beneficial, especially because many customers continue with their banks for a long time.
If you can’t decide on a single bank, managing accounts at numerous banks or credit unions might be the best option.
You’ve undoubtedly thought to yourself, “How many bank accounts should I have?” You are free to have any number that you want. You should have two to three savings accounts along with one to three checking accounts, optimally. This is plenty to manage your money and expenses, but not so much that it gets cumbersome. Whether you have one or several bank accounts, examine the fees and balance necessities of every option you have, and always keep your emergency funds in an easily accessible account to deal with life’s unforeseen events.
By: Bank Info