3 Smart Checking Account Moves to Make in 2022
- The right checking account could reward you with a nice bonus for opening an account.
- You may also want to take advantage of your existing account's features.
Your checking account needs your attention this year.
Your checking account is something you may not put much thought into most days. Sure, it's the place where your paychecks land, and it's your source of bill-paying activity. But how often do you really spend time contemplating checking account matters?
If the answer is "rarely" or "never," you may want to consider changing your approach. Here are three key checking account moves that could really benefit you this year.
1. See if it pays to open a new account
These days, savings accounts are paying very little interest. It could pay to transfer some money out of your savings account and into a new checking account if the latter is offering up a decent-sized bonus for opening a new account.
Say there's an offer for a $200 bonus for opening a new checking account with a minimum balance of $10,000. If you have $10,000 in savings, you may want to consider using it to fund your new checking account.
To be clear, if that $10,000 is your emergency fund, you'll still want to treat it as savings. But just because it's not in an actual savings account doesn't mean you're compelled to spend it. And the $200 you earn in the form of a bonus could be way more than what you'll earn in interest on that sum this year.
2. Make sure your account has a cushion
You probably use your checking account to pay bills, and when you take out money at ATMs, it probably comes out of your checking account. But it's easy to lose track of how much you're spending from time to time. Or, you may not remember you recently took a $300 cash withdrawal, so you end up taking another one and it virtually depletes your account.
Whittling your checking account balance down to $0 is obviously a problem. While some banks will allow transactions to go through when you don't have the money on hand to complete them, that will often result in overdraft fees for you.
That's why it's a good idea to pad your checking account a bit. Try cutting back on spending for a couple of months to give yourself a small cushion, even if it's just an extra $200 or so. Having that extra cash in your account could spare you a world of hassle and stress.
3. Set up an automatic transfer
If you have savings goals you're trying to meet, waiting until the end of the month to move money from checking to savings may not be the best strategy. If you go that route, you'll risk a scenario where you'll have spent your entire paycheck, leaving you with no money to transfer over.
A better bet? Set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings so money is moved over at the start of the month, before you get to spend it. Doing so could effectively force you to get better at savings, which could benefit you in many different ways.
You may have different money-related goals and objectives for 2022. While you're tackling them, take some time to give checking account matters your attention. You may find that opening a new account, padding an existing one, and putting your savings on autopilot works wonders for your personal financial picture.
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