Households with Multiple Checking Accounts

My Money March 16, 2016

When you bring multiple people together under one roof, you often have multiple checking accounts. Just married? Moving in together? Got a roommate? You may be wondering whether it makes sense to consolidate several accounts.

But The Raddon Report says 37 percent of U.S. consumers have two or more checking accounts.  Here are some reasons why doing the same may be right for you.

 

Specific Goals
One way to save more for a common goal is to have a separate checking or savings account for it. For example, if you have a roommate, it might be helpful to have a separate checking account for the rent. If you both own the house, you might want a separate emergency fund for surprise expenses, like if the water heater goes out or the basement floods.

Saving for a trip, for college or for a down payment might be easier with a separate account, too. And if you want a fun fund to pay for things like sporting event tickets or parties at the home, a separate account can keep that apart from your money for living expenses.

With separate accounts for each of your savings goals, you’ll get separate statements. Since they show what you’ve saved toward your goal, you might find it easier to track your progress for each one. You can also check your progress at your convenience by using online or mobile banking.

 

Keep it Simple
Using multiple accounts can pose some problems, especially if all members of the household are drawing from the account (not just saving in it). You’ll need to come up with a system so that miscommunications don’t cause overdrafts or put the account below a minimum balance, resulting in potential fees.

You’ll also want to keep in mind that there may be monthly maintenance fees for each account. Some banks will waive those fees if you meet certain criteria, such as maintaining a minimum balance. In the end, it’s a good idea to understand all of the possible fees associated with an account before you make a final decision to open or keep one.

Visit usbank.com to learn more about comparing checking accounts.