You can’t put all of your eggs in one basket, the same way you can’t get all the benefits from a single account.
You need different accounts for cash transactions, savings, investment, and business activities.
Now you would ask, how many bank accounts should I have?
You should open multiple accounts only based on your financial requirements. You wouldn’t get any benefit of opening a new bank account if you open without any requirement.
You can also avail timely promotional offers on different accounts. I have mentioned different types of bank accounts that you can have in this article.
Before moving to the list, let’s first understand the benefits of having multiple bank accounts.
Benefits of Having Multiple Bank Accounts
#1. Different Accounts for Different Purposes
Different account has different benefits and they cater to a specific purpose.
For instance, a checking account is for day to day monetary transactions, while a savings account lets you stash extra money to earn some interest.
A business account keeps track of your business transactions and a Roth IRA account helps you save corpus for your retirement.
With different accounts, you can easily understand the cash flow that helps you organize your finances better.
#2. Organized Finances
Multiple accounts give you a clear picture of your finances:
- how much money you have in savings,
- how large is your investment pool
- how much you are spending every month
You can understand your current financial health and that leads you to make informed financial decisions.
This gives you confidence to plan for long term wealth creation goals.
For example, when you know you are saving $1000 every month in your savings account, you can easily decide to invest $500 into stocks or bonds or CDs to earn some additional money.
Similarly, if you are spending $200 extra on eating junk every month, you can think of reducing your spendings on junk food to 50% and transfer extra $100 every month to your savings account.
But what would you do if you are managing a checking account only? You would end up spending that money. Simple.
#3. Extra benefits
Banks keep on giving new offers on different accounts that can help you save extra bucks.
You get additional perks like unlimited cashback, ATM fee rebates, and many more.
No doubt you may have to pay extra money in maintaining your multiple accounts but if you choose accounts with proper research, you can save monthly fees or low balance charges.
These days many online banks offer zero monthly balance accounts and your money is safe because these banks are protected by FDIC.
Radius bank opens a $0 monthly fee checking account on depositing $2500 upfront. You also get up to 1% cashback and you can earn a minimum 0.10% interest on your deposited money.
Different Type of Bank Accounts You should Have
#1. Checking Account
A checking account takes care of your day-to-day spendings. You can write checks, pay bills and withdraw cash.
The checking account’s purpose is to make your money easily accessible to you.
If you are married, you can open a joint checking account with your spouse or if you both want to keep your bank accounts independent, then you can go for two separate individual checking accounts.
Always consider the monthly fee while finalizing your bank for the checking account. These days online banks are offering multiple benefits like low or zero monthly fees with no minimum balance required.
Some banks like Radius, even offer interest rates up to 0.10% on checking accounts.
#2. Saving Account
A savings account’s primary purpose is to earn interest on your stashed money that you can’t expect in a checking account.
You should definitely have a savings account that will keep your savings intact from any impulsive spending.
The savings account has some limitations like withdrawal options limited to six. No debit card attached with a savings account.
You can open multiple savings account for different purposes like an emergency fund, investments or business account.
#3. Emergency Fund Account
You can’t predict the emergencies but you can plan for it. The best way is to have a dedicated emergency fund account.
An emergency fund provides you immediate monetary help in emergencies like health emergency or job loss.
You could keep a separate emergency fund account because if you are using your savings account as an emergency fund, you might end up withdrawing money for some impulsive purchases or investing in a lucrative deal.
You can’t liquidate your emergency fund in order to buy something or satisfy your investment thirst. You should keep your emergency fund untouched for emergencies only.
#4. Investment Account
You can plan for different investments for your future goals like retirement.
The difference between an emergency fund account and an investment account is that an emergency fund is for unexpected events in life while the investment account is for planned events.
You can invest your money into stocks, index funds, mutual funds, and bonds, or CDs (certificate of deposits) depending on your risk appetite.
The best approach is to have a diversified portfolio where multiple types of investments are involved to balance the risks and capital growth.
#5. Certificate of Deposit
Certificates of deposits are long term savings accounts. The main advantage of a CD account is that you earn better interest rates than other savings accounts.
You can open CDs for a couple of months to a maximum of 10 years. Interest rates are in the range of 2.5% to 3%.
The drawback of CD is limited liquidity. For an early withdrawal, you will have to pay a penalty fee varying from 3 months interest to 12 months interest amount.
#6. Business Account
If you are an entrepreneur, you may need a separate business account which is essential for legal & financial reasons.
With a business account, your business income and expenses will remain distinct from your personal transactions.
A business account helps you maintain separate record-keeping to deduct business expenses for tax benefits.
A business account is similar to a checking account except that it’s not in your name rather on your company’s name.
Just like a checking account, you can carry out unlimited transactions. You don’t earn any interest on your deposited money.
How Many Banks Accounts should You have
There’s no fixed rule for how many bank accounts you should have. It all depends on a person’s financial situation and future goals.
However, you could have at least 3 bank accounts –
- A checking account
- A savings account
- A retirement account
For retirement purposes, it’s enough to have just one investment account that is IRA or Roth IRA (even if you are having a 401K account with your employer).
But if you want to invest in high yielding investment instruments like stocks, you can go for another account that you can hold with the brokerage company.
How to manage Multiple Bank accounts
I use spreadsheets to manage my bank account and other details in a confidential way.
If you find creating spreadsheets cumbersome. Then an easier way is to manage multiple bank accounts using a personal finance app like Personal Capital.
You can link all your accounts in the app and it will track all the transactions happening in these accounts.
Personal capital shows your income and spendings from different accounts in a very intuitive way. You can better understand your cash flow with different charting options.
A minimum number of bank accounts keep you organized and easy to track the transactions of all accounts.
Even Ramit Sethi, famous financial expert, emphasizes having 3 accounts that are 1 checking, 1 savings, and 1 investment (eTrade) account.
You can’t ignore the charges that you have to pay every month to maintain all the accounts. So, going with a minimum of 3 accounts is the best choice unless you wanna expand your investment horizon.