How Many Bank Accounts Should You Have?
People eventually grow out of their piggy banks. Eventually, you grow out of your high school account. So how many accounts should you have?
Keep in mind; no one has to keep all accounts at the same bank. Shop around for the best account for your circumstances.
A college student
A typical college student needs just two accounts. One should be a checking account for spending and bills. This is where you paycheck or source of income lands. The other account should be a savings with three-to-six-months worth of necessary funds. It might not be possible for a college student to a mass that much savings immediately, but putting aside at least 10 percent of any income will but you closer to that goal. Try to have funds for $500 car repair or $1000 hospital visit. You can also use the savings account to save for goals and trips.
A single adult
In addition to a checking account where bills and spending are handled, a single young adult should try to operate two separate savings accounts. One account serves as emergency funds with three-to-six-months necessary expenses. This account you don't touch unless it's for an actual emergency. The second savings account is for goal-oriented saving. Save for a down payment toward real estate, graduate school, a car or other big-ticket items. As you get on your feet finically, investing or putting money a high-interest rate account like a CD or a money market deposit account can reward you for saving larger quantities of money. Open a retirement account.
A business owner
If you're a business owner or contact worker, separating money for your business and personal life makes taxes less complicated. If you have a number of business transactions, opening a separate checking account for transactions will keep things neat. Another option is getting a business credit card where you charge all business expenditures on the card. Then pay off the card with money from a business checking account. Be sure to maintain your personal finances and investments. If you are a freelancer or receive a 1099, be sure to have a savings account dedicated for tax quarterlies. Tax season can be less painful when you've paid ahead.
A married couple
This is where it gets more complicated. A couple should have the same long-term financial goals. Have a joint-savings account for long-term goals but have separate checking accounts for day-to-day use. A checking account for joint bills like the mortgage, utilities, car payments can organize money flow. A high yield account like a CD or money market deposit account can reward you for saving larger quantities of money but also increase savings toward goals like purchasing a house. Individual 401ks or Roth IRAs should be contributed into monthly.
Older empty nesters
Simplification is key. The fewer accounts the better. A checking account for bills and expenses and savings accounts for emergencies is essential. Accounts with both names help make sure funds are easily accessible or immediately transferable in case of death.